Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks discussed her U.S. Senate campaign and the importance of student participation in the 2024 elections Wednesday at the University of Maryland’s public policy school.

Nine student organizations at this university, including Black Girls Vote and Pro-Choice Terps, partnered with Alsobrooks’ campaign to organize the Get Out the Vote event. The event focused on engaging voters, demystifying the electoral process and registering students to vote.

“This election is not so much about the rest of us. It is about the kind of world that we pass on to you,” Alsobrooks said during the event.

The event was held ahead of Maryland’s May 14 Democratic Senate primary. Alsobrooks is running for the seat currently held by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), who is retiring after holding his seat since 2006.

Alsobrooks became the first woman to be the Prince George’s County executive in 2018 after serving as the county’s state’s attorney for eight years.

During the event, Alsobrooks pitched her campaign platform to students, emphasizing her approach to issues affecting young voters. She vowed to address the rising cost of living, student debt, climate change and abortion rights if elected.

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More than 70 students attended Wednesday’s event and 15 students registered to vote for the first time.

Several event organizers shared their experiences as first-time voters and highlighted the significance of voting in local elections.

Joyce Banjo, a fellow with Alsobrooks’ campaign, hoped the event would help engage student voters on campus who have not had the opportunity or interest to participate in elections.

“College students and the younger generations are usually an ignored demographic when it comes to voting in elections,” the sophomore government and politics major said. “We want to make sure that they know their vote matters.”

Alsobrooks also called on students to support her over Rep. David Trone (D-Md.) — her primary challenger for the Democratic nomination.

She detailed her working-class background and touted her years of work in Prince George’s County. Her experiences provide a unique perspective from Trone, who has spent his political career at the federal level, she said.

“One of the things that I believe is that whoever is closer to the pain is often closer to the solutions,” Alsobrooks said.

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Event attendees also highlighted how Alsobrooks would allow traditionally underrepresented students to have their voices heard in the Senate.

If elected, Alsobrooks would be the fourth-ever Black woman to serve as a U.S. senator and the first to represent Maryland.

District 2 Prince George’s County council member Wanika Fisher, spoke at Wednesday’s event and said Alsobrooks can relate to the average student’s needs. Alsobrooks will also provide a diverse voice for Maryland, Fisher added. During her speech, she emphasized that she doesn’t “need more rich males in the Senate.”

“Angela has been in our shoes,” Fisher told The Diamondback. “I think she’s really in tune with what we’re going to need and our version of the American dream.”

Mason Minus, a junior government and politics major and the president of this university’s Black Student Union, hoped the event would bring students together to create change.

Alsobrooks is a great candidate to help lead this political activism, Minus said.

“Her stating that it was her priority to speak to the students and give them a voice and give women a voice in a Senate position was extremely interesting to me and impactful,” Minus said.

Moving forward, Alsobrooks emphasized the importance of having a legislative body that is representative of all of its constituents.

“I think we should have every gender, every race, every background represented in the United States,” Alsobrooks said. “It makes our country stronger. It makes our policy stronger.”