by Jacob Strier | 8/3/20 2:00am
Source: Courtesy of Solomon Rajput
Medical student turned progressive politician Solomon Rajput 14 is taking on an 87-year-old political dynasty in his campaign for Michigans 12th Congressional district, using TikTok and other platforms to amass supporters and volunteers. The primary election will take place on August 4.
Rajput is attempting to unseat incumbent Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), whose family has held office since 1933. As a medical student at the University of Michigan, Rajput opted to take a leave of absence to dedicate all his energy to his campaign. He said a political science degree is not necessary to run, but rather the right values and a willingness to learn and listen. For Rajput, those values are progressive, including action on climate change and efforts to eliminate student debt. In medical school, Rajput said he has accrued some $100,000 in debt.
By now it is clear to everyone that we cant put band-aids on our broken systems, Rajput said.
University of Michigan student and communications director Kathryn Todd said the campaign has avoided smear campaigns against Dingell, instead focusing on the establishment which the incumbent congresswoman represents.
The establishment politics that runs amok in the United States is what led to Rep. Dingell being our representative now after her husband and her father, Todd said. There has been a Dingell in power for years in Michigans 12th district.
Rajput said a future in career politics is not his goal. Instead, he said he aims to go out and make change that he sees as long overdue.
If we are able to get all of this stuff done a Green New Deal, eliminate student debt, get money out of our political system I would not want to be a congressperson anymore, he said, noting that he also loves medicine.
While at Dartmouth, Rajput said he majored in biological sciences, and aside from one public policy class, did not take courses in political science. Rajput said his choice to major in biology came from a disillusionment with American politics.
I didnt want to get involved in a world at the bidding of the corporate elite, he said.
Rajput said his strategy to win involves amassing an army of young people, enlisting volunteers to knock on doors and, due to the spread of COVID-19, phone and text banking.
Congresswoman Dingell has all this money, but what is it going to get her? Rajput asked, We are focused on building people power.
The campaigns political director and Michigan undergraduate student Rachel Fagan said she has been with the campaign since its second week, helping Rajput write and research policy briefs. She has seen the campaign swell but said the community aspect remains the same. Part of the sudden growth has been due to robust social media outreach, according to Fagan.
At first I was skeptical of TikTok, because we want people to take us seriously, she said. We reached a lot of young people sitting in quarantine and wondering what they can do to help this burning world around us.
One August 1 TikTok by Rajput has registered nearly 500,000 views. The video shows what he plans to fight for if elected, including removing big money from politics and free college. In other TikTok videos, Rajput has utilized popular dance trends on the app, like the widely-known dance routine to Lottery by K-Camp, to inform viewers of his platform or remind them to vote.
Keshav Ramesh, a rising high school senior in South Windsor, CT, said he discovered Rajput on TikTok. Ramesh said the candidates values resonated with him as a South Asian and a student.
I am Indian and he is Pakistani, Ramesh said. He is from my region of the world and he is championing progressive values in Michigan.
Ramesh has since been hired as an intern for Rajputs campaign and calls potential voters four to five times per week, making some 25 calls per hour. He has also found a community of like-minded young people online in the group of Rajput volunteers, with whom he frequently has discussions or watches debates.
Solomon is a very different candidate, Ramesh said. There is no chain of command to contact him he talks with everybody and knows people by their first name.
Todd said the campaign had 300 to 400 interns, spread throughout the United States and Canada, working on Rajputs behalf. She said the campaign has grown beyond the borders of the 12th district.
My job was really difficult: nobody cared about this August election or this kid going up against an [87-year-old] dynasty, Todd said. All of a sudden I wake up to three new [press] emails.
According to Todd, the campaign has made over $100,000, while the Dingell campaign has earned well over $1.4 million.
Regarding finances, Rajput said his Dartmouth experience taught him innovation and entrepreneurship, and his campaign works to think critically about why campaigns have so much money. He added that his campaign has worked to execute strategies extremely cheaply.
Fagan noted that Rajputs campaign emphasizes the contributions of young people, noting she did not expect to be a political director on a congressional campaign as an undergraduate student.
He is a young progressive, and he knows people my age have been doing activism for years, she said, noting that on other campaigns, years of previous experiences are a prerequisite for upper-level roles.
Fagan, a rising junior, said the campaign includes many younger than herself.
It is a cool place for young activists looking to dip their foot in electoral politics, she said.
Fagan said she has learned about the political sphere while devising campaign strategy. She explained that Michigan is a swing state, diverse in both perspective and political ideology.
Fagan added that her hometown in the states 11th district, 40 minutes away, is solidly red.
In the 12th district, Fagan said groups ranging from student activists in Ann Arbor to large communities of Arab Americans in nearby Dearborn, MI, converge ideologically on progressive issues like union activism and U.S. military intervention. The district also includes a minority of conservative voters.
To Rajput, bipartisanship in Congress is appealing but elusive. He compared working across the aisle to a feel-good myth, which he has not seen materialize in his lifetime. Instead, Rajput said he seeks to challenge the narrative that policies face greater success if they are diluted to meet needs across the aisle.
According to Fagan, Rajput believes progressive policies represent the best policies for everybody.
He will be elected on the platform he is preaching, she said.
- To deal with the A levels fiasco fallout, medical schools need a cash injection - Times Higher Education (THE) - September 8th, 2020
- Mercer University Breaks Ground on New Medical School Campus in Columbus - Mercer News - September 8th, 2020
- COVID-19-induced 'sophomore medical student syndrome' | TheHill - The Hill - September 8th, 2020
- New crop of medical students are headed to the lab - Stanford Medical Center Report - September 8th, 2020
- U of M Medical School researchers look to beach water for COVID community infection - KARE11.com - September 8th, 2020
- When's the right time to choose a medical specialty? - American Medical Association - September 8th, 2020
- Gujarat medical school to carry out autopsies of COVID-19 victims to study effects on body - Republic World - Republic World - September 8th, 2020
- Durham student with dreams of med school wins $100,000 in lottery game - WRAL.com - September 8th, 2020
- How to help medical students keep tabs on their mental health - American Medical Association - September 8th, 2020
- Industry VoicesCould less emphasis on the MCAT bring more diversity to medicine? - FierceHealthcare - September 8th, 2020
- Medical exams postponed amid strike and resurgent virus - University World News - September 8th, 2020
- TCOM creates office of student success - fortworthbusiness.com - September 8th, 2020
- COVID-19 Disproportionately Impacting Those With Developmental Disabilities - Disability Scoop - September 8th, 2020
- Med Students 'Feel Very Behind' Because of COVID-Induced Disruptions in Training - The Southern Maryland Chronicle - September 8th, 2020
- A bill would spend $1 billion on diversifying medical schools to close the racial health gap - NBC News - August 10th, 2020
- Pandemic acts as dress rehearsal for new medical school curriculum - Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis - August 10th, 2020
- The Unnamed Hero - Pager Publications, Inc. - August 10th, 2020
- Testing is the key to a successful fall reopening on campuses (opinion) - Inside Higher Ed - August 10th, 2020
- TUNE IN: Alexandria Addressing Back-to-School Worries in Virtual Town Hall - The Zebra - August 10th, 2020
- Community Healthcare honored during National Health Center Week - Times Record News - August 10th, 2020
- When Things Arent OK With a Childs Mental Health - The New York Times - August 10th, 2020
- Making sure patients, physicians know about the advances in treating female cancers - Norton Healthcare - August 10th, 2020
- 'We Are Here to Help Them' | Harvard Medical School - Harvard Medical School - August 10th, 2020
- In the face of challenges posed by a pandemic and racism, the White Coat Ceremony underscores the importance of our shared humanity - AAMC - August 10th, 2020
- Physician Group Wants Medical Schools To Waive The MCAT This Year - Physicians News Digest - August 10th, 2020
- Born with 1 hand, she's an inspiration in virus fight - ABC News - August 10th, 2020
- What to Expect in Medical School - AAMC for Students ... - August 8th, 2020
- International med students ease the path for others with new mentor group - STAT - August 8th, 2020
- Texas schools reopening mandate sets off another local control debate - The Texas Tribune - August 8th, 2020
- Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Morehouse School of Medicine Welcomes Its... - Diverse: Issues in Higher Education - August 8th, 2020
- Guntersville native joins Andrews Sports med team | Free Share - Sand Mountain Reporter - August 8th, 2020
- COVID-19 changing study of medicine on Long Island - Newsday - August 8th, 2020
- Health Care Workers Of Color Nearly Twice As Likely As Whites To Get COVID-19 - WUSF News - August 8th, 2020
- Dancing Wildcats Enjoy Smoother Transition to the Field of Medicine - UKNow - August 8th, 2020
- Kindness is the best medicine - Argus Leader - August 8th, 2020
- Kindness is the best medicine | Coronavirus | rocketminer.com - Daily Rocket Miner - August 8th, 2020
- With academic health center, the imagined can be reality - Las Vegas Sun - August 8th, 2020
- Need to Take the MCAT? You'll Still Have to Do It in Person - The New York Times - August 8th, 2020
- Why isn't ventilation part of the conversation on reopening schools? - STAT - August 8th, 2020
- A UT undergrad helped build the app that will assist students coming back to school this fall. Here's what it can do. - UT News | The University of... - August 8th, 2020
- Med School Professor Removed from Fellowship Director Post, Apparently for Publishing Anti-Affirmative-Action Journal Article - Reason - August 7th, 2020
- Good Shepherd celebrates one of it's first graduates on track to realize dream of becoming doctor - WDSU New Orleans - August 7th, 2020
- Change the course of the pandemic: UMass Medical School, Boston tech company at center of national push to - MassLive.com - August 7th, 2020
- Duality Health Begins Rapid Blockchain Innovation Cycle with Health Product Innovation Team at Dell Medical School - Tyler Morning Telegraph - August 7th, 2020
- Deciding whether to send your child back to school? Heres what the experts say to consider - nj.com - August 7th, 2020
- Kaine introduces bill that would support medical schools in underserved areas - WDVM 25 - August 4th, 2020
- Medical school affiliates on lack of diversity, burden of the 'minority tax' - The Stanford Daily - August 4th, 2020
- International medical school graduates need an easier path to practice in the US | TheHill - The Hill - August 4th, 2020
- The 'dura mater' handles medical training and motherhood with aplomb - DePauw University - August 4th, 2020
- Emory University doctor and former teacher suggests staggered starts, plexiglass lunch barriers to avoid COVID-19 spread in schools - 11Alive.com WXIA - August 4th, 2020
- President Houshmand and CMSRU Dean Reboli named to South Jersey BIZ Power 50 list - Rowan Today - August 4th, 2020
- 'Its a good mix of medicine and social justice': Medical student gets experience at NATIVE Project during pandemic - The Spokesman-Review - August 4th, 2020
- Addressing inequalities in women's health research | Contemporary OB/GYN - Contemporary Obgyn - August 4th, 2020
- New medical residents experience a different kind of welcome into URMC - University of Rochester - August 4th, 2020
- 'Not surprising': International graduate students respond to short-lived ICE directive - The Stanford Daily - August 4th, 2020
- MASKED-COVID Study to Assess Renal-Related Complications of COVID-19 - DocWire News - August 4th, 2020
- Addressing inequalities in women's health research - Contemporary Obgyn - August 4th, 2020
- Seeing the Health Care Profession Through the Eyes of a Medical Scribe - Hamilton College News - August 4th, 2020
- University of Medicine and Health Sciences Launches State-of-the-Art Virtual Tour - PR Web - August 4th, 2020
- Researchers With Game - Ohio Wesleyan University - August 4th, 2020
- List of medical schools in the United States - Wikipedia - August 3rd, 2020
- Disc Medicine Expands Leadership Team with Industry Veterans to Advance Hepcidin Modulating Therapies Toward the Clinic - PRNewswire - August 3rd, 2020
- Fighting the Coronavirus, from New York to Utah - The New Yorker - August 3rd, 2020
- Boston doctor named hospital hero relied on human connection to get through COVID peak - Boston Herald - August 3rd, 2020
- Starkman: Beaumont Executive Paid $932000 by Hospital Vendor Whose Implants Were Pushed on Surgeons - Deadline Detroit - August 3rd, 2020
- Students need to be tested every 2-3 days for colleges to safely reopen - Yale News - August 3rd, 2020
- Taking Medicine and Tech to the Next Level: Ranney on New Brown-Lifespan Center for Digital Health - GoLocalProv - August 3rd, 2020
- Medical Schools Have Historically Been Wrong on Race - The New York Times - August 3rd, 2020
- After the Match: The Match in the Age of COVID-19 : Emergency Medicine News - LWW Journals - July 31st, 2020
- North Philly coronavirus risk: Temple University's return to campus is irresponsible - On top of Philly news - Billy Penn - July 31st, 2020
- Researchers Discover Stem Cells in Optic Nerve that Preserve Vision - Newswise - July 31st, 2020
- Pre-med students spend the summer studying COVID-19 - DePauw University - July 31st, 2020
- The Author of Blacks in Medicine on Race, Racism, and Health Outcomes - KCET - July 31st, 2020
- Five Questions With: Dr. Ben Abo on Snakes and Television - EMSWorld - July 31st, 2020
- We asked 20 medical experts whether they're sending their own kids back to school. Here's what they had to say - CNBC - July 31st, 2020
- NYU Long Island School of Medicine Is First School on Long Island to Start 202021 Term, May Be Microcosm of 'Hybrid' Class Model - NYU Langone Health - July 31st, 2020
- Medical education in the time of COVID-19 - Science Advances - July 31st, 2020
- Rutgers New Jersey Medical School - July 31st, 2020
- Discrimination in the medical curriculum: are medical schools providing students with equal access to the medical profession? - The European Sting - July 31st, 2020
- Marshall School of Medicine 1 of 9 schools to offer Mission Act scholarships to veterans - Huntington Herald Dispatch - July 30th, 2020