The latest headlines regarding politicians have been: Rep. Trey Radel of Florida pleads guilty to cocaine charge or US Congress’s approval rating is at its lowest. There’s not much good news regarding those in office lately.
However Aja Brown and Karen Freeman-Wilson are two shining lights in politics. Both are African American women who grew up their respective cities. Aja Brown is the mayor of Compton, CA. Wilson is the mayor of Gary, IN. Both cities are battling challenges not unfamiliar to today’s urban cities such as high unemployment, crime, and lack of civil engagement. This does not seem to deter these two from making the living condition better.
If you read recent profiles done on the two there’s a common theme. Both government officials are pursuing community engagement. They are talking with constituents while tackling one issue at a time with help from different perspectives. Freeman-Wilson did something you don’t hear most politicians do, she asked for help. She is seeking the advice from former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley regarding how to use Gary’s resources to bring businesses to the community.
It’s refreshing to see these government officials thinking outside the box to solve real life issues. Their leadership is setting path for others in office to do the same.
Linda Diakite Karressy currently works as a Financial Analyst. She is pursuing her MPA at IUPUI’s School for Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) in Indianapolis.