I have spent my life working to improve the quality of living for all people. I am running for City Council to put “PEOPLE FIRST”. Our City’s residents are being displaced and left out of decision-making processes. Many neighborhoods are unfairly targeted for code enforcement and business closures. We lack real solutions to address crime and violence. Developers, business leaders and elected officials have made strategic plans, profits, and politics a bigger priority than improved quality of life for all Cincinnatians.
Growing up in a rural North Carolina community and later in the small steel town of Middletown, Ohio, I learned the values of respect, hard work, and cooperation that have stayed with me through 26 years of serving and working with people. It was in Middletown, where my mother, a roll grinder at AK steel (formerly ARMCO) and step-father, a retired, Army veteran, where I began volunteering and becoming a voice for the most vulnerable members of our community. I organized back-yard events to raise money for the Jerry Lewis Telethons, organized teams to ride in the American Heart Association Bike-a-thons, and attended school board meetings where I lobbied for Black History classes and funding for girls sports.
Twenty-six years ago, after graduating from Miami University. I moved to the City and took my first job in Cincinnati Public Schools after being told by a college professor that students in CPS were not capable of learning. This included educating and empowering inner-city youth, uplifting the Black community, and advocating for the poor, homeless, mentally ill, and LGTBQ Cincinnatians. I found much to do in my early years, from volunteering with the Midwest Black Family Reunion to serving on several non-profit Boards, and community council. Eventually, I became a human rights professional and community organizer working to improve the quality of life for all Cincinnatians at the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission, Equality Cincinnati and Cincinnati Job Corps. Integrating all my work experience and answering the call to ministry, I founded a church that is home to many spiritually progressive, justice focused people of faith. With great affection, I now call Cincinnati home. I love this City and the Citizens that is why I want to work on Council to put "PEOPLE FIRST".