Video (above) by Anthony Davis
Photos by L.M. Land
Featured photo: Rev. Lynn Jackson of Quinn Chapel
Written by Tanya Terry
EDITOR’S NOTE: THE FLINT COURIER NEWS DOES NOT ENDORSE INDIVIDUAL CANDIDATES
Quinn Chapel AME Church hosted the Get Out the Vote Rally on October 1. Current government officials and many of those seeking to represent the Flint community and surrounding area spoke at the event.
Rev. Lynn Jackson, senior pastor at Quinn Chapel, pointed out the low voter turnout in the community.
She explained social justice was a founding principle of the AME church.
“We want the community to get information on candidates so they can vote intelligently and go away with a spirit of community,” Jackson added.
Congressman Dan Kildee
Congressman Dan Kildee said those who know the people in this community are aware of local needs. He pointed out the need for reinvesting in manufacturing. He said affordable healthcare and assuring every kid can attend a school that gives them the best opportunity for success are essential, too.
Kildee stated: “Our job, those of us who are connected, who know the importance of voting, is to have that conversation with those folks who might not see themselves in the conversation and help them understand that their vote is their voice. It’s their opportunity to have their interests at the table where decisions are being made.”
Kildee has served as the U.S. representative for Michigan’s 5th Congressional District since 2013. On November 8, voters will decide whether Kildee (D) or Paul Junge (R) will represent them for the U.S. House District 8 seat.
Mayor Sheldon Neeley
Mayor Sheldon Neeley pointed out one of the most outstanding American rights we have is the right to vote. He also urged those in attendance to share this truth with those in our communities and neighborhoods.
“Flint has been bruised and battered over the years, but we’re coming back stronger,” Neeley said. “From crisis to recovery, we have been doing that.”
On November 8, voters will decide if Neeley will remain the city’s mayor or if Dr. Karen Weaver, former mayor of Flint, will become Flint’s mayor again.
Dylan Luna, a Flint Community School Board candidate, also briefly spoke at the recent event.
“I’m running for school board to rebuild trust in our system,” he stated.
He pointed out 15,000 students live in the city of Flint. However, he said less than 3,000 students currently attend Flint Community Schools. Luna said distrust in current leadership attributed to this.
Luna is seeking one of three six-year seats expiring December 31, 2028.
He is a former teacher who has worked in state government for five states, including Michigan. He currently works in economic development.
There are a total of 15 candidates running for seats on the Flint Community School Board.
Lakeisha Tureaud also seeks one of the six-year seats with the Flint Community School Board. She worked for Flint Community Schools as a part-time secretary and later as a full-time librarian. She owns and operates four mental health facilities in Flint, which house homeless, mentally ill men.
“I am asking that if you are looking for a change, if you are looking to gain trust back into Flint Community Schools, look for honesty,” Tureaud urged. “And that’s one thing that I can guarantee you is that you can trust me with your children.”
Donyele Darrough seeks a partial four-year seat with the Flint Community School Board.
“Flint education provided me the platform to complete my degree and become an attorney,” Darrough said.
Darrough was born and raised in Flint and worked in other cities as an attorney and a librarian. She said she moved back to make a change.
“I want to partner with our teachers and our administration to make Flint Schools, not what they used to be, but better than what they used to be,” she said.
Linda Boose is a current Flint School Board member seeking a six-year seat. She was appointed on March 16 and is fulfilling the term of Adrian Walker, who relocated.
“I believe that we can reimagine our school district,” Boose said.
Boose would like to see new schools built.
“It’s very important we maintain our Flint Schools,” she stated. “We want to keep our public schools open and active. We want to make sure we offer a variety of academics and curriculum for our students to succeed.”
Jasper Martus is the democratic nominee for state representative in the new 69th District. He will face Republican candidate Jesse Couch, who ran unopposed in the 69th District primary.
Martus said his family’s roots in the community stretch back well over a century.
“Whether it was the classroom, the factory floor, or the wide-open fields, each generation of my family has tried to figure out how best to serve others,” Martus stated.
Martus previously worked for Congressman Kildee. He said he learned through that experience every person has a story deserving of being heard.
Martus also worked for the State House in Lansing.
Dr. Karen Weaver
Dr. Karen Weaver is running for mayor of Flint. She previously served as mayor of the city from 2015 to 2019.
“I’m running again because I don’t like the direction that our city is going in,” she said.
Dr. Weaver expressed concern about unfinished pipes, public safety/crime, economic development, blight and housing. She said she would like to work closely with the Flint Board of Education if elected.
Judge Sima Patel
Sima Patel is a judge of the Michigan 2nd District Court of Appeals, the second-highest court in the state. Patel is running to retain her seat on it against Michael D. Warren on November 8.
“In my time on the Court of Appeals, I have set on decisions that may have not been popular for everybody, but I know that I have used my voice to preserve justice and do what is right for the people of Michigan,” Patel said. “I’ve used my voice to make sure that when people have their Miranda Rights, that that means something, that somebody who is pumped full of drugs and doesn’t have the mental capacity to give a knowing and voluntary waiver can’t be forced to give confession without having their Miranda Rights given.”
Dawn Weier is running for Genesee County Circuit Court Judge. She is a lifelong resident of Genesee County, grew up in Burton and lived in Flint for six years. She currently lives in Richfield Township.
She has been a lawyer for over 20 years and said she is passionate about children.
“I vow to you that if elected, I will do everything in my power to make sure that the children of our community are kept safe from harm,” Weier said.
Mary Hood is the other candidate for Genesee County Circuit Court judge.
“It’s extremely important that voters be informed of their choices,” Hood said.
Hood was born and raised in Flint. She was born during the latter part of the Civil Right Movement, which she said affected her decision to become an attorney. She was appointed 20 years ago to serve as an attorney referee. She has listened to custody cases, divorce cases, child support cases, spousal support and cases on other family law matters.
Martin Cousineau (D) is running for Genesee County commissioner-7th District. He will run against Lynn Culver (R) on November 8.
Cousineau has served as a county commissioner in the past.
He stressed the importance for voters to check out all candidates. He said he understands some have had to leave Genesee County to maintain employment, including his family members.
“I got involved in politics because I wanted to make Genesee County better,” Cousineau stated. “I’ve been a small businessperson for 40-some years. I’m a semi-retired chiropractic physician and I’ve devoted the rest of my career to public service to try to make Genesee County economically more feasible for businesses to come to the county.”