As part of the Oregon State University community, I am excited to see some of my peers increase their political interest, and hope to see more raise their voices. We heavily criticize recent presidents’ decisions correctly, and often lose faith that our vote will make a difference, but rather just add ourselves to those responsible for the next disaster. However, when the populous does not vote, it gives more power to special interest groups that buy candidates in mutually favorable deals. These policies don’t generate the profit for the special interest groups out of nowhere; they are reaped from the paychecks and benefits of middle class workers. Several successful presidential candidates, especially Bernie Sanders, claim to be proponents of campaign finance reform, and some have campaigned in accordance with their proposed changes. This alone has inspired large turnouts of new voters willing to change the system that feeds off their personal well-being.

Sanders has been insistent that this political revolution lives in the hearts of the people rather than in his own candidacy, and that populist outsiders are also needed in national and state legislatures. For one, a local graduate student, Sami Al-AbdRabbuh, is running for the District 16 State House seat as a progressive Independent. Sami is an engineering systems thinking who believes legislature needs to be held responsible for investigating the full complexity of community issues with an analytical and innovative mindset. Sami is also well networked into the community through his many organization memberships and leadership responsibilities. To learn more about Sami’s experience and qualifications, visit, and to learn more about Sami’s campaign and become involved, visit

In Solidarity,

Markus Woltjer

Oregon State University Computer Science Student

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