Thank you for the honor of being August Democrat of the Month! I am humbled.
My roots are from Eastern Tennessee, where my dad, Roland, helped build and operate the first nuclear plant in the world during WW2. I was born in Detroit during the 1950s and becoming a boy scout, and member of many other organizations at that time. I enjoyed following the Martin King and meeting Rosa Parks while campaigning with John Conyers in Kalamazoo. I worked as a visiting nurse hospice until a recent liver transplant.
I grew up in a politically active household learning the importance and power of voting, with my mother being a delegate during Nixon time in office.
My interest began after the death of John Kennedy, so I chose the Democratic Party around 1964. One memory from that time is joining the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The name Martin L King’s organization has and going to the poor people’s campaign in 1968 to address the injustice of Native Americans and Afro Americans, as well as education and housing. My interest is human rights, education as well as progressive ideas, like climate change and environmental issues like air quality.
I joined the KCDP after moving here in 1995. I med Ed LaForge who was representing my district and was able to volunteer at the DSO. That led me to the ballot running for Precinct Delegate, then working with Sindy Lipsey, Bob Jones, Sean McCann, and now Jon Hoadley, all representing the 60th district.
Over the years my concerns have changed, like Get Out the Vote registrations meeting first time voters in the 8th precinct…. Affordable housing and rights for the LGBTQIA+ community, education for all, supporting the Kalamazoo Promise, and Pre-K opportunities in the 60th district.
Soon my issue was service for seniors and the importance of them having a voice by encouraging absentee ballots so they did not have to worry about whether or transportation on the voting days.
I feel the Democratic Party in Kalamazoo could better serve by having town hall meetings on issues as they affect the community, and not wait on a news broadcast before the public is informed. We are the party of the people, the common man, and should return to our roots by being more outspoken and informative.