Attorney General candidate discusses making Michigan a more inclusive state
Dana Nessel is a “civil rights hero” and someone who's persistent in fighting for Michigan residents' civil rights, said College Democrats president Ethan Petzold.
The Attorney General candidate spoke to a crowd of about 25 people hosted by the College Democrats at Central Michigan University on Jan. 31. She spoke about how her priorities as Attorney General will be met for the citizens of Michigan as well as the nation, from the environment to insurance protection.
Nessel began to speak about her background and profession, as she graduated from the University of Michigan and Wayne State University Law School.
She began her legal career as an assistant prosecutor in Wayne County, where the cases were often difficult and challenging.
"While I dealt with difficult cases regarding rape and homicide, I observed a lot in the criminal justice system and courtroom that gave me the essential credentials to run for Attorney General," Nessel said.
Nessel said she also handled cases dealing with discrimination against African Americans, LGBTQ and immigrants. She is most known for her defense in the DeBoer v. Snyder case that challenged Michigan's bans against same-sex adoption and marriage in 2014.
The biggest flaw in the government and Attorney General office currently is that they simply do not care about the well being of Michigan citizens, Nessel said. She's noticed that the office is not handling cases and lawsuits appropriately.
"The Attorney General office only cares about getting paid from companies they sponsor instead of bringing justice to our state," said Nessel. "As the Attorney General, preserving the rights of citizens is my number one priority, and should be the only concern for the Attorney General."
Nessel laid down a few of her policies while answering questions from the audience.
Environmental Protection and Enbridge Line 5
In the State of Michigan, there are only 2 provisions in the Michigan constitution that protect air, water and natural resources, Nessel said. She calls for Enbridge Line 5, the major oil pipeline conveying petroleum from Canada to the Great Lakes, to be shut down.
"These pipelines could leak at any time and pollute our beloved Great Lakes, that account for roughly 20 percent of our freshwater," Nessel said.
She also spoke about how Marathon Oil is wrongfully given an permit to omit sulfur dioxide into the air, poisoning many citizens in Southeast Michigan.
"It's insane that the Attorney General office is sponsoring these companies that are killing our citizens."
Tackling High Rating Auto Insurance
Nessel said she will create an Auto Insurance Fraud Unit that addresses lowering Michigan's insurance rates, which are highest in the United States. She added she'll eliminate the discrimination that citizens face with getting quality auto insurance.
"There is absolutely no reason that women should pay higher insurance rates than men," Nessel said."The insurance rates should be lowered and fair for everyone of all genders and races."
Genison sophomore and education major Jacob Helm asked Nessel how she'll address issues in the education system.
Nesselsaid she vows for fair legal battles for public schools and teachers, as in a lawsuit voted unconstitutional by the Michigan Supreme Court, three percent of teachers' earnings were deviated from their accounts towards retirement and healthcare.
Helm said that he was very happy with her policies and attitude on the policies, and felt comfortable with Nessel as a Attorney General candidate.
"After hearing her speak, I am now politically more aware of the issues that are happening in Michigan, and I believe that it's important to vote, especially for college students, for someone who shares our beliefs and genuinely cares about the citizens," Helm said.
People interested in voting for Attorney General should register to the Michigan Democratic Party at michigandems.com and attend the Michigan Democratic Party Convention Convention Sunday, April 15th at Cobo Hall in Detroit at 7:30 a.m.