Miramar, Florida, Mayor Wayne Messam, who will likely run for the Democratic nomination for president, wants to use his campaign to call for canceling over $1.5 trillion in student debt.
Messam announced his forming a presidential exploratory committee on Wednesday, saying in a telephone interview with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that the panel will help “ensure that once a decision” on running for president “is officially made, that we’re off to a sharp and a quick start.”
“The mayor firmly believes you cannot just move to debt-free college when student loan debt is stifling the American dream today,” an aide to the mayor, who was re-elected earlier this week, told BuzzFeed News. “We’re declaring it as an issue that threatens the economic security of this country. We don’t have to walk into another Great Recession.”
“We must resolve the $1.5 trillion in student loan debt and give Americans a chance at the American dream,” the aide added to explain the mayor’s position. “Americans struggling to make ends meet should be the priority.”
Messam, a 44-year-old businessman who started a construction company before entering politics, was first elected mayor in 2015, and was the first African-American mayor in the city’s history. Earlier this week he won re-election with 86 percent of the vote, although only 8 percent of the city’s eligible voters actually voted, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
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