Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Davis speaks at UA

Kevyn M. Bryant II

With debate raging nationally about the newly approved health care reform and at the state level about gambling and funding Alabama’s college tuition program, the College Democrats hosted gubernatorial candidate Democrat Rep. Artur Davis as he spoke to UA students about the 2010 campaign Tuesday night.

Davis spoke about issues ranging from his vote against the health care bill, the Alabama Prepaid Affordable College Tuition program, the state’s gambling debate and his campaign for governor.

Davis focused on the percentage of college students who plan to leave the state after graduation.

“One of the issues that is most shocking to me is the few students that plan to stay here in the future,” he said. “It is because they don’t sense a competitive, dynamic environment, and I want to try and change that.”

He said it is depressing to know bright and talented students will plan to move elsewhere, because they don’t see much potential in the state.

Davis said he thinks it important to speak to college students because they will be impacted by this election, and they have the power to vote as well.

He also addressed questions regarding his reason for opposing the recently passed health care reform bill. He was one of 34 Democrats who voted against the Democrat-supported legislation.

“There were three fundamental goals of the health care bill when the issue was first discussed last February, which included making coverage available to everyone, containing the cost of private insurance companies and making sure that underserved communities have access to the care,” he said. “Over the course of time, I feel that the latter two goals were lost and myself along with 33 other Democrats decided to not support the bill.”

He said he thinks that after this issue, there should be a respect of differences, and unlike some of the other candidates for governor who would not enforce this bill if elected, he said he does plan to do so.

Davis also spoke about the PACT program and how the state of Alabama has a legal obligation to ensure that the families get the funds that they were promised for their children’s education.

“Our state needs to devote more funds to education and focus on it from pre-K all the way through graduate school, focus on innovation and develop a new state constitution that does not slow down our progress as a state,” he said

Davis also touched on the importance of voter registration, which he said will be essential in the November election. There are about 90,000 people from age 18 to 29, excluding blacks, who are eligible but not registered to vote, Davis. In addition, he added that there are 223,000 eligible blacks who are not registered as well.

“I hope that students realize that they can engage in politics already and get involved on a community level as well as on campus,” said Natalie Latta, a senior majoring in English and political science and president of College Democrats.

She said the College Democrats will be holding voter registrations at the Ferguson Center over the next few weeks before the semester ends.

“On a local level, the Tuscaloosa Democrats will continue to try and get voters registered up until the first primary, which is June 1,” she said.

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