UMD student Mike Mayou runs for Duluth City Council At-Large
For many students, involvement in politics begins in late high school or college. College students are old enough to vote and often have access to more ideas and resources to make a change in their communities.
One UMD student, junior Mike Mayou, is taking the next step in political involvement: Running for an At Large seat on the Duluth City Council.
Mayou’s main goal? Making Duluth affordable for everyone to live in.
“[The first goal] is ensuring that everyone can afford to live in Duluth regardless of your income,” Mayou said. “Everyone who wants to live in Duluth should be able to live here. Everyone should have access to housing.”
Another goal Mayou has made is to knock on doors that may rarely be knocked on in Duluth, from East to West. He emphasizes the need for everyone’s voices to have a place in the conversation.
“I want to hear voices that might not otherwise be heard,” Mayou said.
Mayou also wants to focus on “maintaining Duluth for future generations” and keeping them in mind when making decisions. As stated on Mayou’s campaign website, “We need to assess long term impacts as Duluth moves forward.”
While many students are familiar with the branches of the federal government, local government is often overlooked. However, local government is what can impact citizens on a daily basis.
“So one of the biggest things I think that people don’t know about is local government can have the biggest impact on your day-to-day life—housing, parking, ordinances—there’s a lot of stuff that affects us on the daily that we might not think about,” Mayou said. “We think a lot about national elections [and] students often don’t vote in local governments, but there’s a lot that can affect us locally.”
What’s happening in the community affects students too, Mayou pointed out.
“There are a lot of problems we have in the winter even with plowing—who’s gonna shovel your walk?” Mayou said. “Is it your landlord? Is it you? This is stuff that is taken care of at the city level.”
At the end of the day, Mayou is inspired to get involved by the people.
“There’s always going to be elections where you lose and you’re not going to win over everyone on the issue but meeting new people and hearing what they have to say and building a community is kind of what motivates me day in and day out,” Mayou said. “It’s just a matter of looking at who I know around me and what I’ve seen done in the past and knowing that can be done in the future, too.”