As a change agent for advocacy, activism and equity, I strongly believe that service, leadership and family systems matter. I have been called “the Harriet Tubman of the city.” This calling is a direct result of advocating and fighting for over 1,200 alternative education students to receive their high school diplomas. Standing toe to toe with them to change a system that once demonstrated inhumane thinking, these students who faced troubling times didn’t deserve to be cast aside. I traveled to and fro from Harrisburg, PA to ban the box, advocate for a higher minimum wage, create widespread change for returning citizens, and advocate for fair housing. This calling continued as civil unrest roamed the streets of our city. I participated in leading more than 100 people as they marched down Board Street to pray and bring a voice of reason and understanding to individuals who were determined to destroy our local businesses and community.
City Council At-Large affords me the opportunity to challenge our system and do things differently. Fighting for access to mental health services, bringing awareness to environmental changes spearheading economic development and increasing the awareness of barricades and hurdles Philadelphians face has always been a focus of mine, primarily for the least, the last, the lost and the left behind. It’s indeed true that we Philadelphians encounter complex issues, but I believe we don’t need complex solutions. Higher quality of life can be a simple solution if we can focus on staying true to our intended goals a workable economic system, improved social intelligence, a reformed educational system, adequate equal employment opportunities, fair housing, an increase in adult literacy and the list goes on.
I have listened to individuals that have spoken their concerns, opinions, fears, doubts and disappointments. I have given hugs of comfort to more than 350 grieving mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters who have lost their loved ones to gun violence. I have lost 15 of my friends to gun violence and I have counseled more than 2,000 children in the city of Philadelphia who have mental health challenges in school, community, home and spiritual institutions. We are facing extraordinary circumstances within our city and this requires mandatory and extraordinary responses.
The suffering of our city becomes greater and greater when we dismiss or downgrade the injustices and inequities that happen right before our eyes.
With my lived experience of over 25 years, my response is, I am ready to serve as your next City Council At-Large leader. We need a continued representation of principled and wise leadership to help us in this 21st century.