It was our parents that told us that we could be whatever we wanted. I’ve been a secretary (fun), an AmeriCorps member (proud), flight attendant (interesting), IT Business Analyst (weird right), and now I can add millennial mayor to that list. On February 11th, 2019 I was sworn in as Braddock’s youngest mayor. I went from a super volunteer to a real change agent.
Braddock has a weak mayor system so I have to collaborate with council to make any major community changes but working in a team has always been a strong suit of mine.
What can I do as mayor? Be a resource, make connections in and beyond the community, form committees and recruit community members to be change agents in Braddock’s transformation
Last but not least, I can be a leader in crafting and analyzing past, present, and future public safety goals as public safety and redevelopment initiatives can’t coexist without one another.
Why mayor? Why not? I’ve volunteered time helping with initiatives behind the scenes. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will Braddock’s rebuild. The cool thing about our community is we can get the community involved in creating an identity for this rebuild.
I’ve lived in Braddock all my life (except for a short six-month exploration adventure in 2014). Walking away is easy. Staying to rebuild is harder and I always say don’t just talk about change but be it and that’s what I’m living.
But you’re not a politician.
I’m certainly not your typical politician. What is even your typical politician? I lived in my parents’ attic for like ever. I have a decent amount of student loans (because higher education has a hefty price tag) and my Converse Sneakers outnumber my heels by far. I’m a person first, political volunteer second, and I want our community to not only build sustainability financially but personally. Getting the community involved in redevelopment and public safety initiatives create this sustainability.
How are you going to do that?
Encourage and build several committees to build community. I want to encourage transparency as council and the mayor are put in place by the community. There would be no mayor or council without them. In essence it’s not the mayor’s or council’s community. It’s everyone’s and everyone should be approachable and informed on what’s going on.
How to get involved in your community?
Go to council meetings. Ask what your local government needs help with. Join a committee, start a committee, find a cause, no project is too small.
Follow my journey as mayor as I’ve finally found a way to combine two of my passions. Community engagement and writing can both be interesting.