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Wilmington City Council District 4

Wilmington City County district members serve four year terms and respond to constituent concerns in their geographical areas and hold committee leadership positions.

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    Michelle Harlee **
    (Dem)

Biographical Information

What motivated you to seek or continue in this office?

What are your qualifications for office, and what differentiates you from the other candidate(s)?

What are the most urgent issues facing the City of Wilmington, and how will you address them?

How do you believe that racial inequity can be reduced/eliminated in Delaware?

What steps can be taken for Wilmington City Council to work more efficiently and cohesively in the future?

Wilmington City Council’s actions affect the welfare of city residents. How will you keep the lines of communication open with your constituents?

Last edit date: submitted 8/28/2020
Phone: (302) 547-7803
Campaign email: Harleemh@gmail.com
Website or social media link: http://N/A
Age 58
Education Springfield College (Human Services) and Liberty University (Theology) Ordained/Licensed Elder
Work Experience Employed at DuPont for 30 plus yesrs. Started in Marketing moved to Finance and is now in the Global Procurement Quality organization. Current role and responsibility is ISO 9001 Lead Quality Auditor for the organization. Part time job is 4th District Wilmington City Council Representative.
Community Involvement Civic Association President for Compton Park Square Village, Civic Association President for 4th District Eastside. Board Member of Stepping Stones Credit Union. 4th District NPC Chairperson, 4th District Wilmington City Committee member, Eastside Rising Blue Print Committee member, Executive Director for “Polish Me Perfect“ Grooming Class for Women18 and older.
Additional Information *Active member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Inc. Delaware Chapter. *Mentor for Interns and Co-ops recruited from Colleges and Universities at DuPont. * Managed 4 Associate Pastoral Department assignments at NDF Church * Church Board Member of NDF * 2019 Recipient for the Community Advocate Award from Beautiful Gate Outreach Center for Leadership in the Fight Against HIV/Aids * 2020 Recipient Award for Faithful Commitment and Support as a leader in the 4th District from I.M.A.C.
I wanted to give back to the community by using my education, professional training, experience, spiritual orientation and grass roots community activism to improve the quality of life for all 4th District residents especially for the marginalized and disenfranchised communities. Work with the appropriate level of government to address the trauma, poverty and crime and to give people hope! When we did Asset Mapping on the Eastside Blue Print Committee I realized the help that was needed in certain communities within the 4th District. The 4th District is the most diverse District. With my background and experience I could also see where I could work collaboratively with City Council and the Administration to attract new businesses to our great city!
I see my 4th District Community activism and engagement as my strongest qualifications for the office of City Council that I listed above and more. Civic Association President for 10 years. 4th District NPC Chairperson for 4 years. 4th District Wilmington City Committee for 10 years. Board Member of Stepping Stones Credit Union for 2 years and having a heart for people and wanting to make a positive difference in their lives and look for opportunities to write Policies that would promote equitable and sustainable changes for opportunity, more access for services, programs, housing, and economic development.
Public Health-Flatten the COVID-19 curve by reinforcing the CDC recommendations along with our Governor and Mayors recommendations. Being proactive letting everyone in my District know about free COVID-19 testing sites weekly.

Public Safety-Youth Prevention and Intervention. Need more youth services and programs for our youth. Work with the State agency’s and other organizations to make sure our youth are being mentored and have Safe Havens to deter them from crime. Police Reform: Ensure that me and my colleagues are sponsoring legislation to ensure residents feel safe when dealing with the WPD and implementing an Advisory Board that includes residents from across Wilmington.

Economic Development-Ensure our economic engine can be sustained and continually grow by getting businesses fully up and running, putting people back to work, creating job equity and an environment where more businesses would want to come to Wilmington to start businesses. I want to see Wilmington thrive!
Racial inequity can be reduced by building relationships and getting to know people that don’t look like you. Be open to talk about our differences. Allow people of color to embrace and celebrate our culture and not feel as though we have to pick or choose. People have to acknowledge their biases before they can remove them. We can learn and grow together in this space. The world is changing and we must understand that we have more similarities than differences but will only learn that once we tare down the barriers and begin to build bridges between us to have access and be comfortable in our own skin knowing that we all can be great together! Eradicate the old mindsets of fear and intimidation and embrace love and unity.
There needs to be an understanding that when new people come on City Council they may want to select different Rules than the ones that currently exist. The world is changing and there is a need to consider that things are not the way they use to be 10, 15, 20 years ago and that the Council is a governing body of 13 people not 1 person to determine from the beginning of every new session collectively that the full Council should be included appropriately in how it’s to be governed. Empower the full Council to lead their districts, make decisions and be the leaders they where elected to be. I believe the next Council will be better prepared to start off right and Wilmington will see a more unified cohesive City Council working for them.
The best way to keep lines of communication open is for Council members to attend civic meetings, community meetings and events to connect with constituents and even on social media platforms as well. Build relationships and show interest in constituents and remember that most constituents don’t know who to contact for information or resources. Be willing to educate constituents about how government operates and how to get things done. Help them to understand that both the legislative and executive branch works together for them. We are the checks and balance for the executive branch.