With Tuesday’s election fast approaching, Rep. Mark Schauer (D–Mich.) of Michigan’s 7th Congressional district, rallied a small group of Sierra Club supporters on campus yesterday afternoon.
Introduced by Sierra Club President Robin Mann as a “principled and great leader,” Schauer took to the podium in the Michigan Union Pond Room amidst applause from the Sierra Club members.
Schauer, who is running to represent parts of Washtenaw County as well as other areas in southeast Michigan, immediately told the crowd there is still time to convince voters, and that the last 48 hours are the most important in determining the outcome of the election.
“We understand what’s at stake,” Schauer said.
Starting as a canvasser for a citizen action group in college, Schauer said his whole life has been devoted to politics, and that the problems of today cannot be solved by the agenda of his opponent and former Republican Congressman Tim Walberg.
“I do not want my grandchildren to grow up in Tim Walberg’s world,” Schauer said.
Schauer also emphasized the importance of focusing on clean and alternative forms of energy in the future.
“We need to break our dependence on foreign oil,” he said. “It is a national security issue.”
Schauer, a first-term congressman, has had a strong emphasis on clean energy during his congressional career, something many members of the Sierra Club say they admire about him.
Mann said the Sierra Club strongly supports Schauer as their candidate of choice in Michigan’s 7th Congressional District. Mann said Schauer’s emphasis on clean energy made the choice easy for the Sierra Club.
“Mark Schauer has been a very strong supporter of clean energy, clean energy jobs, and our environmental objectives in general,” Mann said. “He just is very principled and in favor of the issues that we care about.”
Mann said she thinks an emphasis on clean energy is important in strengthening the economy and she believes Schauer is the best candidate to get that done.
“What we want is to see the American economy revitalized on the basis of clean energy and protecting the environment and building jobs in this country,” Mann said.
She added, “This is creating the kinds of jobs that we want to see young people go into.”
In an interview after the event, Schauer said the student vote is essential in Tuesday’s election.
“Part of our get out the vote effort has been to identify those student voters through their home, trying to contact them directly, urging their parents to contact them, help them make arrangements to vote,” he said. “It’s very important.”
Schauer added, “College students were instrumental in President Obama’s election two years ago, and they will be a deciding factor in the elections around the country this year.”
Schauer said his record on education has been clear and that he remains committed to focusing on the affordability of higher education.
“I think this is when we need to double-down on education and it should be number one as part of our economic strategy in this country,” he said. “The smartest countries are going to win, the smartest states, the smartest communities are going to win, and you don’t win by cutting education.
Schauer said he wakes up every day “fighting for jobs and fighting for economic opportunity,” and that he doesn’t plan to stop if re-elected.
“I’m very practical and pragmatic, and very hard working about that,” he said. “That will be my passion again in my second term.”