I grew up on Detroit's Westside as the fourth of eight children and first of our siblings to graduate high school and college — I studied Government and Urban Planning on an academic and athletic scholarship receiving an Undergraduate and Masters degree from Georgetown University — From there I earned a job as Constituent Services Deputy Director for the District of Columbia, teaching me the value of embracing a community-first approach to problem solving.
Working in city government and later in building disaster recovery networks in the private sector taught me valuable lessons. I felt called to return to the community and organize those underserved around the issues that matter as a Regional Field Director in President Barack Obama’s Organizing for America and Strategic Director for 1911 United. When the campaign concluded in success, I worked as the Small and Disadvantaged Business Director of The Anacostia Waterfront Initiative — one of the nation’s largest redevelopment projects valued at more than $1 billion — I was able to provide more than 32 percent of spending to veteran-, women- and minority-owned businesses by providing innovative programs. I longed to create this same opportunity for the community that raised me in Michigan. Upon returning home I was voted as Treasurer of the 13th Congressional District Democratic Party Organization and trusted with the fiscal responsibility of our group of citizens. From my experiences and acumen I know that our 13th District has both the talent and hard-working optimism that we need to succeed.
My great-grandfather, John Conyers Sr., arrived in the City of Detroit during the early 1920s as a teenager from rural Georgia, where shortly after he met his wife, Lucille, from Mississippi. They put down roots and started a family, and together went on to raise four boys — John Conyers Jr., Nathan, Carl and William Conyers — the latter of whom is my grandfather.
As one of the first African-Americans hired by the UAW in 1940, John Sr. instilled in our family that the way to the American dream is through steady work and pursuit of goals, and his children not only listened, but took those words to heart. My great-uncle, U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D–Detroit), was elected to Congress, and his siblings went on to break barriers in business, law and education.
I still believe that the American Dream is possible for every family, and I will work hard every day to provide quality ladders of opportunity for residents of the 4th District.
My grandmother, who served as a Detroit Public Schools teacher until her retirement, taught me to ‘Do Good’ — and that is what we will reach for in building jobs, protecting neighborhoods and developing community across the district. I started my journey as a need based scholarship recipient at University of Detroit Jesuit High School. I'm committed to providing jobs, quality of life and real results for our community.