Bachelor's in Communications from Saginaw Valley State University
2015-Present - State Representative of Michigan's 34th District, which encompasses most of the city of Flint;
2001-Present; Union President for the National Association of Broadcast Employee and Technicians, Local 46, a division of the Communications Workers of America (NABET/CWA)
2005-2014 - Sixth Ward City Councilman as the first African-American to represent the Sixth Ward, the most diverse — economically and racially — in the city;
1991-2016; Broadcast Engineer, ABC12, Flint
-Raised money to establish The Flint Development Center Virtual Library and Family Literacy Center, located in north Flint;
-Spearheaded The Flint Promise Scholarship Fund;
-Has been a tireless advocate on behalf of all Flint residents in the aftermath of the Flint water crisis;
-Initiated the only legislation out of the water crisis that has yet been passed [Name it]
RN & RPh Union of Hurley Medical Center
There are a number of pressing issues facing our community as indicated by residents; if not resolved will have a devastating impact on the quality of life. These issues are as follows:
-Water cleanliness and safety, including pipe replacement and completion of our water infrastructure after the contamination crisis; transparency to residents;
-Economic development -redevelopment of all areas; with focus on the north-side
-Education and literacy;
-Safety and security for residents and neighborhoods;
-Providing returning citizens with jobs and job training;
The priorities for my tenure include the following:
-Protecting the most vulnerable residents of Flint, including our children, youth, senior citizens, and the disabled;
-Building a pathway of economic recovery out of poverty systemic violence and the water crisis;
-My administration would focus on the issues related to the on going water crisis, to include transparency and sustainability;
-Make the infrastructure whole again
-Growing educational opportunities and literacy
-Doing whatever it takes to create a successful future for our families.
From 2005-2014,I served on Flint's City Council as the first African-American Councilman to represent the sixth ward. Since 2015 I have been privileged to serve as State Representative for Michigan's 34th District, which covers most of Flint. For almost three decades, I was employed by WJRT-TV 12, as a Broadcasting Engineer, witnessing first hand through the media's lens, what everyday citizens in this community face.This was one of the catalysts to my decision to enter local and state politics. I represent the third of five working-class generations of my family; I am invested!
30 Years as a Mental Health Professional
Former Mental Health Professional at Mott Children's Health Center
Former CEO, Ennis Center for Children
Owner, Shea LaVelle Boutique
Executive Committee Member, Flint Branch, NAACP
Former Board Member, Community Foundation of Greater Flint
Former Member, Board of Managers, Hurley Medical Center
Several members of local Faith Community
Bringing closure to the water crisis and restoring trust in the city's ability to deliver clean water to its residents;
continued crime reduction; and economic development are the most pressing issued faced by our community. Denials by the previous city administrations caused our citizens to distrust government. Fighting crime with a depleted police force is a huge challenge,but innovation on the part of our police chief is resulting in a reduction in crime. Thanks to a $3 million grant from the Kellogg Foundation, economic development is back on the front burner.
To continue on my course of bringing closure to the water crisis, restoring trust in city government; reducing crime; developing our local economy and creating jobs, and bringing community development initiatives to every area of the city. The last phase of our Fast Start program is currently underway and should be completed by the end of summer. Our police department continues to find innovative ways to fight crime, using technology and other measures, and a $30 million grant from the feds, will bring new housing developments to our city.
As a health and wellness professional, I possess genuine empathy and compassion for people of all walks of life. I value wellness, and I give my all to ensure the citizens of this city will be healed and healthy. I created a Health Department within city government to advise me on the health and wellness of our citizens. In addition to my professional credentials, I am a proven leader. I took the risk of declaring an emergency on behalf of our citizens, when city and state officials warned against it. I leveraged the Governor to restore home rule to our city.