Family: Single Mother of One Daughter: Malia
Education: BSW and MPA
Occupation: Social Worker
Why do you feel you are a good fit for Flint City Council?
Because I love Flint and I am interested in being a part of the solution, I am in love with this town and not only do I love this town, I made a choice to remain here to serve this city in various capacities. I love the people of Flint and when you think of public offices this is the one that actually allows me to bring fresh perspectives, advocate for the people and have direct interaction to listen and take action on the needs of the community. I am serious about seeing Flint move beyond the adversities we have been plagued with, I am not walking into this because I am going to make a whole bunch of money, I am here because my community is hurting, people are suffering and the progress that I would like to see is not happening.
What are the top five issues you want to focus on as a City Council member?
There are a number of issues that I would like to work on during my tenure as a council member but the five most vital: Working with all elected officials to meet the needs of the constituents, blight reduction and elimination in 6th ward and the city as a whole, creating recreational programs for children in the 6th ward, working with public safety staff to increase opportunities to keep our neighborhood safe and being visible to constituents to address their array of needs/concerns.
How would you help the city navigate through the water crisis?
I would continue to do the work that I have been doing as an activist; making our allies in other parts of the country aware of our ongoing needs, ensuring water delivery information is available to senior and home-bound residents as well as spreading awareness of the abundance of available resources. I would work with all stakeholders to ensure that all critical pieces of the puzzle were available to help us move toward a sustainable and long-term water source.
What would your water source recommendation be?
How satisfied are you with Flint’s current administration?
As It relates to the mayor and the city council alike, I applaud the efforts they have taken to improve our city. Additionally, I believe as our residents do, that there is still lots to be done and I look forward to being apart of that process.
Millions of dollars have been poured into the development of downtown Flint. How would you develop other areas of the city and what areas do you think need more focus?
The downtown development is absolutely beautiful and is bringing life to our city center, thus strengthening opportunities to attract a variety of businesses to the area. As a person who grew up on the north end of Flint and that has invested so much of my activism in that area, I would love to see some additional development focused specifically in those areas north of downtown to enhance the quality of life for families residing in those areas through increased public safety, blight elimination and recreational activities to name a few.
A complaint from some millennials is the lack of opportunity in Flint. How would you tackle that issue in hopes of keeping young people in Flint?
As a millennial, I understand this all too well and I can speak to this from a personal standpoint with business owners and other elected officials on the importance of expanding these opportunities to keep our generation in Flint to help us recover economically. I have chosen to remain in Flint and establish myself versus taking my talents and education to another location in which I have no vested interest. I would also speak to the millennials to hear their individual challenges that they have experienced so that I can also share them with stakeholders. I have found it rewarding to stay home and be part of the solution and would encourage others to do the same.
What is your opinion about blight in Flint and how would you tackle it?
I believe that blight is a concern that often goes overlooked and it is affecting all areas of our city at this time. I would work with stakeholders to determine how we could incorporate neighborhood members and block clubs to help offset some of the labor costs. Mott Park has a blight squad and I think developing more groups like that throughout the 6th ward and entire city would make a huge difference in beautifying our city.
How would you build better communication with the administration in hopes of unifying the two bodies to work for the betterment of the Flint community?
I would remain open and respectful of all perspectives and ideas. I would lead by example when it comes to remaining professional as I understand that the residents expect and deserve for us to work together. I would not choose the sides of any elected leader on issues that come before us but I will in fact always be an example in choosing what benefits the residents of Flint! When it comes to communications, I believe that as a city council person it is important that I do not develop bad political habits but that I start in the spirit in which I believe our residents are yearning for: fair, open-minded, willing to work with all of those who desire to move our community forward yet avoiding group-think as it relates to decision-making.
What are the top three top goals that you hope to accomplish as a City Council member?
I hope to be an advocate for change by bringing innovative programs for low-income families, obtaining resources to increase neighborhood activities for youth and building upon the great work of the block clubs who are working daily to enhance the quality of their neighborhoods. I hope to enforce new policies to move the City forward and work effectively with all other officials for the benefit of residents all across the City of Flint.
If there was one thing you could tell all Flint residents what would it be?
There is no place like Flint; we have faced with many challenges over the last decade but those challenges do not define us. We are interconnected and if we work together as residents, leaders, and elected officials, we will be a force to be reckoned with.