Electing black millennials is not just about creating pioneers, but about changing the face of power away from the narrative of the older, average white male.
Have you heard? Baby Boomers are aging out of local government. Yay! No more mandated Google Drive professional developments! Millennials — specifically, black millennials — are coming for their seats of power, potentially setting us up for a much-needed governmental whiplash after this dystopia we are in runs its course.
These young, gifted black people range in age from 19 to 29. They don’t have a lengthy resume; some do not even have degrees. What they do have is inspiration from the likes of Cory Booker, permission from Barack Obama, and that “I can do anything if I try and don’t do hard drugs” attitude that only soccer-league participation trophies can give you.
Michael Tubbs, 26, Mayor of Stockton, California
Tubbs is a Stanford-educated former city council member and now mayor of Stockton, California. He was endorsed by President Barack Obama, and began serving January 1, 2017. His first order of business: police reform. To learn more about him, I encourage you to watch the documentary about his election, True Son.
Misha Stallworth, 28, Detroit Public Schools Community District School Board Member
Stallworth holds degrees from University of Chicago and the University of Michigan. She ran in the first elected school board in Detroit since the state takeover nearly 10 years ago. And she won, deservedly. Misha is heavily focused on improving school culture, including creating safe and healthy physical and psychological learning environments for all students of Detroit. She was just named as one of the Michigan Chronicle’s 40 under 40, and is, in fact, well under 40.
Running for office:
Myya D. Jones, 22, Running for Mayor of Detroit, Michigan
Jones, at 22, is a student at Michigan State University. She is a Detroit native and has worked for Google and interned on Capitol Hill. One way that Jones stands apart, aside from her age and race, is her openness about her bipolar disorder. Jones pledges to improve mental health capacity for the city of Detroit — something that has been ignored in Detroit and African American communities alike.
Mary-Pat Hector, 19, Running for Mayor of Stonecrest, Georgia
First, Hector fought with the election commission, which tried to block her from running in the election. Then she went to work for Hillary Clinton and met with Barack Obama, all while taking classes at Spelman College for her degree in political science. Hector makes up for her youth in experience organizing and volunteering. When she was 11, she participated in a sit-in at her local recreation center and prevented it from closing. It’s hard to claim you don’t have experience when you have been fighting since middle school.
Why this is important:
You know, some young kids enjoy fast, shiny cars. And yet, never ever have I had a black or brown student tell me, “I want to drive for NASCAR.” Never ever. Why is that?
You must understand how important imagery is. In order for people to believe it, they first must see it. Electing young people to positions of power is not just about creating pioneers, but about changing the face of power away from the narrative of the aged average white male. So many politicians have shown us that years of experience does not prevent corruption or mismanagement from imputing an administration. With that said, there are a lot of young underrepresented people out there who could use the positive imagery of another to motivate them to follow their dreams; or to do something which has never been done before. Present company included.