Family: Married for 30 years with two adult children (one is married) and one 3-year-old grandson.
Education: Some college; Michigan Municipal League (MML.org) participant that has completed two Leadership levels.
Occupation: Licensed Realtor
Why do you feel you are a good fit for Flint City Council?
As the incumbent, I have consistently fought for the interest of the residents I serve with professionalism and integrity. I have actively pursued governmental training through the Michigan Municipal League, a non-profit foundation dedicated to supporting local government leadership and development. As a member of the Leagues Elected Officials Academy the workshops taken have included but not limited to: Priority Based Budgeting, Policy-making and Governance, Ethics and Parliamentary Procedure, Elected Officials Academy weekends (Core and advanced), and multiple Lobbying workshops. I currently serve on the Finance Committee for the League and have served previous years of the Michigan Black Caucus – Local Elected Officials (MBC-LEO) Board. In my four years on the Council, I have been the Chairperson of the Finance, Planning/Development and the Governmental Operations Committees. I am committed to serving the City of Flint and my Ward with honor and dignity.
What are the top five issues you want to focus on as a City Council member?
(1) The number one is building trust with residents through sound decision-making (2) Helping develop a sustainable financial and infrastructure solution to the current water crisis. (3) I am committed to working to develop a strategy that will help bring relief and assistance to seniors and low-income residents that struggle to pay their water bills on fixed incomes; while being financially responsible. (4) I will seek out our State and Federal Senators and Representatives to bring funding to support Flint and our residents (whether it’s blight, financial relief for water billings, alongside economic and job development initiative). (5) I will continue building partnerships with residents and community activist in the community that are committed to improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods.
How would you help the city navigate through the water crisis?
I have spent the last two years helping this community navigate through the current water crisis. I have supported the administration’s Fast Start program, by approving resolutions and appointments to move the process forward. I have assisted the seniors by having water delivered to the Brennan Center and Court Street Commons. I have at times delivered water to residents that were homebound. My assistance has extended to areas outside of the 7th Ward with the approval of supporting city council members; I have actively advocated for the healthy grocery store initiative for the north side of Flint.
What would your water source recommendation be?
My colleagues and I are seeking out experts in this profession in an effort make or be armed with supportive data to accept the recommendation that has been set before this community. I realize that alternative recommendations require money that is not currently available to our city. Although financial resources are not readily available I am committed to exhausting every option before making a long-term decision that will financially impact the lives of many future generations.
How satisfied are you with Flint’s current administration?
My loyalty is to serve this community and my constituents and to constructively work with the elected leadership duly chosen by the people.
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?
I would partner with the Flint & Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce, private lenders, the MEDC and existing philanthropic foundations with the assistance of my city council colleagues in an effort to extend the development into diverse areas throughout the City of Flint. There are many socio-economic activist and entrepreneurs that have excellent ideas and we should tap this conduit of creative ideas to assist in this area. I will not label areas that need more focus because that can be a matter of opinion. I will say that the north end of Flint needs access to fresh fruits and vegetables as well as a grocery store with a diverse selection of dairy, poultry, and meat products. I am committed to supporting the priorities of the entire city.
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?
There needs to be research done to see what can be done to attract and retain this population that has inexhaustible creativity and many innovative abilities and ideas. I would look to spearhead the establishment of several diverse focus groups composed of their peers to develop ideas, create suggestions and put forth recommendations regarding this matter.
What is your opinion about blight in Flint and how would you tackle it?
We are faced with a blight problem that requires about $54 million dollars based on expert opinions and writings on this matter. I will continue to work with the Land Bank and our grants department to secure funding to tackle this health and safety concern.
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 will continue to communicate the needs of my constituency to the administration in a professional and respectful manner. Policy differences do not mean communication has failed. Effective leadership requires everyone to truly focus on the problems in our community and how to resolve them in the best interest of the residents being served. I have demonstrated my commitment to constructive unity through the sharing of information gathered through due diligence on a wide range of community problems.
What are the top three top goals that you hope to accomplish as a City Council member?
A long-term financially sustainable water solution, Rebuilding of trust with City of Flint residents through honesty and transparency, Having a greater community presence and cross ward boundary partnerships regarding economic and job development.
If there was one thing you could tell all Flint residents what would it be?
Flint is facing challenging times and tough decisions have to be made. I have shown the political will to make those decisions in the face of adversity and microscopic scrutiny. I have prepared myself to lead through the incorporation of the governmental tools that I have acquired through the Michigan Municipal League, Mott Community College, the Michigan Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials and a positive utilization of partnerships that I have built with other City, County, State, Federal political leaders and community activist. My experience gained through the water crisis has uniquely prepared me to continue serving as the 7th Ward Councilperson.