I was born and raised in northwest Detroit - just a stone's throw away from where I, my wife and our two young children (Gabriel, 10 and Jacob, 2) now live. In fact, my parents still live in my childhood home in the College Park community.
Over the years, we have had friends and neighbors come and go - largely because of lack of opportunity. We could have easily counted ourselves among them, but WE CHOSE TO STAY. The goal of my campaign is simply, be the voice that you deserve in Lansing.
I was educated in the Detroit Public School system, and have been blessed to take advantage of every opportunity that has come my way. With the encouragement of my loving parents (my father a laborer and my mother an educator and minister), a solid faith-based foundation, and a belief that with education and hard work you can overcome any obstacle, I'm running to be your next Representative in the Michigan House 8th District.
I worked my first political campaign at the age of 14 handing out literature at the former Greenfield Peace polling location on West Outer Drive. Although my candidate didn't win, I was able to convince my peers (many of whom were too young to vote themselves) to get involved and hand out literature with me from the time the polls opened until they closed. At the end of the day, I had a few dollars in my pocket. More importantly I had a desire to serve my community having seen the passion and drive of those seeking public office - and I've never looked back.
In 1999, I was appointed by the Office of U.S. Senator Carl Levin to serve as a Legislative Page to the U.S. Senate for the 105th Congress. In Washington D.C., I had the opportunity to not only address the needs of Michigan residents who called the office with concerns, but also play a vital role in researching issues and crafting policy which would ultimately shape the nation in regards to gun control, health care, workforce investment, children's online privacy protection, and funding for the arts. I have had the honor of continuing to work with U.S. Senator Carl Levin and the Honorable U.S. Representative John Conyers, Jr. in many different capacities.
In 2000, I was selected to represent the Detroit Region as a Youth Ambassador to Israel through the American Israeli Friendship League. I traveled the country of Israel lecturing youth in both Jewish and Islamic communities about the commonalities between us all.
In December of 2005, I began my career with the City of Detroit as Community Liaison and ultimately as Director of Economic Policy for the Office of the Honorable Barbara-Rose Collins, former Chair of the Detroit City Council's Planning and Economic Development Standing Committee. Later, in the summer of 2006, I graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and a Minor in History.
Where it all began
My Current Role
Proud to be a Leader in the Community
Since 2009, I have had the honor of serving as a City Planner / Land Use and Zoning Specialist for the Detroit City Planning Commission and as a Legislative Policy Analyst for the Detroit City Council. Additionally, I have continued my role as the Neighborhood Association President for the Castle Rouge Civic Association (2009) and Precinct Delegate for the 13th Congressional District - Precinct 351. As of January 2019 I serve as the Chair for the Policies and Resolutions Committee for the 13th Congressional District. In 2013, I took on the added responsibility of serving as an Eligibility Specialist for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in the Metro Detroit area before returning to city government on a full-time basis.
In my various roles and while working with numerous community partners and stakeholders, through petition efforts we have been able to facilitate the rehabilitation of our communities sidewalks and crosswalks making them ADA compliant. Through aggressive letter writing campaigns and phone banking we have had our residential streets repaved, dead trees removed, parks renovated, blighted buildings torn down, streets patrolled, offenders arrested, hungry people fed, water services restored and students provided with the basic necessities for school. These are quality of life issues which affect every community, in every village, township and city in the State of Michigan.
Under my leadership, an initiative started in the Castle Rouge community where legislation has been introduced and is pending passage out of committee in Lansing prohibiting slumlords and absentee landlords from repurchasing rental properties which have gone into tax foreclosure - ensuring protections for unsuspecting renters.
Through our community-based initiatives, the State of Michigan is now renewing their interest in better regulating single-family home Adult Foster Care facilities. This will ensure that our seniors and those most vulnerable in our communities such as those with mental or cognitive impairments are protected from predatory operators.
Additionally, I have also taken the initiative of reaching out to neighboring communities and identifying residential properties that are on the verge of tax foreclosure, educating renters of their rights and assisting seniors and others who may qualify for poverty exemptions.
For additional information on various policy issues that I wish to tackle in Lansing please visit my platform page.