At 30, Abdul became the youngest health official of a major American city when he was brought home to rebuild Detroit’s Health Department after it was privatized during the city’s bankruptcy. As Health Director, he was responsible for the health and safety of over 670,000 Detroiters, working tirelessly to ensure government accountability and transparency, promote health, and reduce cross-generational poverty.
After witnessing the systematic failures of government only a few miles away in Flint, Abdul worked hard to ensure that children attending Detroit schools and daycares were drinking lead-free water. He has also served expectant mothers and women by creating programs aimed at reducing infant mortality and unplanned pregnancy. He built a program to give schoolchildren across the city glasses if they needed them. Abdul also stood up for children with asthma by taking on corporations that wanted to pump more harmful pollutants into our air, working with them to reduce emissions and invest in parks.
Abdul is called to public service by a core belief in people. He believes that all people can thrive when we value each other and our communities, we seek to protect and defend our vulnerable, and when we create the kinds of opportunities that empower people to dream for a better future.