Our Mission


Southpaw Michigan supports candidates and causes that move us toward a more just, equitable, and sustainable Michigan.

We are building on the movement that coalesced around Dr. Abdul El-Sayed’s historic run for Governor of Michigan — a movement of thousands of Michiganders knocking hundreds of thousands of doors, making millions of phone calls, sending texts, and spreading the word to their communities. 

We support people who stand up to corporate politics rather than play by its rules. We focus on down-ballot races in local communities across the State as well as statewide ballot proposals. 

Our candidates and causes stand up to the corporate influence on our politics and support universal healthcare, full renewable energy and environmental protections, a livable minimum wage, labor rights, and full civil liberties that include comprehensive criminal justice reform, environmental justice, and LGBTQIA+ rights. 

We believe that people – not money – win elections, and support candidates through grassroots organizing and fundraising support.  


Our Values

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We believe in a politics of purpose.

Justice, equity, and sustainability should be at the heart of our government.


ethical campaign financing

Trust in Michigan government is at an all time low. Corporate interests dictate our politicians’ agendas, and people can’t trust their representatives to stick up for the common good. Michiganders deserve a government that works for all of us. We believe that people, not corporations, should be at the center of our politics.


Universal healthcare

The United States is one of the richest nations on the planet, yet our country ranks 37th in terms of healthcare systems. It’s time for our government to catch up with every other modern nation and implement a healthcare system that leaves no person uninsured. We believe healthcare is a human right. All Michiganders deserve healthcare without having to worry about whether or not they can afford it.


environmental justice

Michigan is home to 21% of the world’s fresh water and yet is home to countless water-related catastrophes. The Flint Water Crisis, PFAS contaminations, water shutoffs, and so much more have prevented Michiganders from having access to clean water. Unfortunately, our state government has voted repeatedly to support corporations and special interests at the detriment of our environment. If we want to preserve our world for future generations, we must stand up to protect it. We believe in stricter environmental regulations, stronger renewable energy standards, and environmental justice from corporate abuse.


criminal justice reform

Michigan spends 20% of its general fund on incarceration. The prison industrial complex has wreaked havoc on Michigan and the United States for far too long, disproportionately harming communities of color. Michigan needs drastic reforms to our policing and justice systems to ensure that these systems are fighting for Michiganders – not against them.


full civil rights and liberties

All Michiganders deserve to live dignified lives, regardless of their race, gender, ethnicity, religion, nationality, or sexual orientation. We must confront the oppression of women, the LGBTQIA+ community, communities of color, and the numerous other communities too often silenced by the voices of the powerful. We must fight to ensure that every single Michigander is guaranteed and afforded their full rights because this Michigan is big enough for all of us.


equity in education

Michigan’s public education system has been dismantled by inequitable funding, for-profit motives, and the DeVos agenda. If our students make it to college, they graduate straddled with debt. Our children are our future, and they deserve a better education system than what Michigan currently offers. We must fight to implement universal pre-K, end the for-profit motive in education, provide equity in school funding, and create a tuition-free college system.


Dr. Abdul El-Sayed


Dr. Abdul El-Sayed ran for Governor of Michigan in 2018 on an unapologetically progressive platform, advocating for universal healthcare, clean water for all, debt-free and tuition-free higher education, a pathway to 100% renewable energy, and to rebuild the barrier between corporations and government.

During his campaign for governor, Dr. El-Sayed found that Michiganders — and Americans in general — are more than ready for a politics that puts people first. The Abdul for Governor campaign harnessed that enthusiasm to knock thousands of doors, make hundreds of thousands of phone calls, send millions of texts, and raise over $5 million dollars — all without accepting a dime of corporate money.

That energy did not go away with the conclusion of the campaign. In fact, it heightened; now more than ever, Michiganders are ready to take back their politics and secure a better future for their children.

Dr. El-Sayed founded Southpaw MI to ensure that candidates and causes who relentlessly advocate for the people will have a shot at leadership, no matter how much money they have as a campaign.

Our Team

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Meet our team of passionate activists working to change Michigan’s future for the better.


Dr. Abdul el-sayed |chair


tara terpstra | secretary