Downtown Flint lies empty as shops and restaurants close due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Flint, MI — The Blue Ribbon Task Force, a panel created to help advise the city as it transitions into reopening, has held two committee meetings since its conception, along with some additional subcommittee meetings.

They will convene for a third committee meeting this week, as the city prepares to resume its typical functions.

The task force was announced on April 30, and is made up of various professionals, community leaders and residents, with Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley as the presiding chair.

Maurice Davis, vice-president of the Flint City Council and appointed member of the task force, commented on his position as an advisor, saying that the blue ribbon task force is exactly what the community needs, whether it knows it or not.

“He got the right team of people,” said Davis.

“He has actual doctors there. He has, from the faith base, pastors of churches and congregations. You have people that are in the beauty business, you’ve got store owners there. You even have activists, people that are in the community, involved in the community, sitting at the table.”

As for solutions, he says every time they get together solutions are made. Those solutions, according to the city, will be shared with the community as they are adopted.

The members of the task force are listed below.

  • Gerard Burnash, director of the Flint Downtown Development Authority
  • Maurice Davis, vice president of Flint City Council
  • Kate Fields, finance chair of Flint City Council
  • Chief Phil Hart of the Flint Police Department
  • Pastor Jeffrey Hawkins of Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist Church
  • Tim Herman, CEO of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce
  • Charis Lee, Flint attorney and Army veteran
  • Pastor Daniel Moore of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church
  • Bobby Mukkamala, president of the Michigan State Medical Society
  • Quincy Murphy, Flint resident and activist
  • State Rep. Cynthia Neeley, D-Flint
  • Bryant Nolden, county commissioner
  • Lawerence Reynolds, medical adviser for the City of Flint
  • Anita Steward, interim superintendent of Flint Community Schools
  • Beverly Walker-Griffea, president of Mott Community College
  • Brenda Williams, Flint attorney
  • Katy Yellow, director of placemaking for the Flint Downtown Development Authority
  • Asa Zuccaro, executive director of Latinx

Ramona Watson is a 23-year-old Flint native with a love for art, culture, and the written word, as well as a keen interest in learning more about Flint not only as a city but as a community. Ramona graduated...