Third party speaker to visit campus

Omar H. Ali, and independent party activist, will give a speech entitled, “For the American People, Independent of Special Interests,” Wednesday.

The speech will offer students a look into the role of third parties in the 2004 election.

Ali is the director of research at the Committee for a Unified Independent Party. The CUIP is a nationally known strategy center for independent politics and election reforms.

Sponsoring Ali are two campus political organizations, the Campus Greens and College Independents.

“We choose to co-sponsor the event because the Greens support independent politics, and democratic reforms such as instant runoff voting,” senior Richard Lewan, president of the Campus Greens, said.

An honors graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science, Ali’s research and analysis on new voting trends and realignments in American politics have been printed in newspapers and magazines all over the United States and England.

Ali is also a leader for the New York Independence Party, the state’s third largest party. Ali was part of the team that organized 100 voters to run for the Independence Party’s State Committee, the party’s leadership group.

He has worked on ongoing voter registration drives that have brought tens of thousands of new voters into the political process and petitioned to place dozens of candidates on the ballot.

Ali was born in Lima, Peru, and has traveled all over the world including Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.

He completed high school in the United States and then attended college at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, before transferring to the London School of Economics.

While Ali attended Michigan, he received an Oxford House scholarship and earned research grants from the Lilly Endowment and the Mellon Foundation to work under Amxwell Owusu, who is an adviser to the Committee of Experts on the Ghanaian Constitution.

In 1992, their research on Ghana helped inform the rewriting of the country’s constitution.

After graduation, Ali came back to the United States to work on Lenora Fulani’s independent presidential campaign. He also worked in the Department of Public Information at the United Nations and at the New School for Social Research before entering graduate school at Columbia University.

Ali’s research has narrowed in on the development of third parties in the United States and he has accomplished a great deal of progress in the Independence parties.

Currently, Ali is working on a multi-state tour, in which he will be stopping by Eau Claire.

Freshman Matt Elliot said he plans to go to Ali’s speech.

“I’m definitely going to go,” Elliot said. “I have never really heard about the independent political parties.”