Candidates for Kentwood’s First Ward seat share top priorities ahead of 2021 election
KENTWOOD, MI – Two people are vying to represent the western half of Kentwood on the town commission.
Meochia Thompson and Clarkston Morgan will face each other in the Tuesday November 2 election for one of two four-year seats on the Kentwood City Commission representing the First Ward.
Several other seats on the committee, including that of mayor, are also contested this year. The other seat of the First Ward is up for grabs in 2023.
To help readers learn more about the candidates, MLive sent out a questionnaire to each candidate asking for their basic information and why they are showing up.
General information is provided here in alphabetical order:
Clarkston morgan, 38, is the CEO of Ambassador Consultants and COO of W4 Construction Group. He currently sits on the Kentwood Planning Commission and was previously a member of the City’s Zoning Appeal Board and Arts Commission. Morgan is also a member of the board of trustees and associate pastor of a church in Kentwood and is the former senior director of church partnerships and engagement at Our Daily Bread Ministries. Morgan is a young mentor for the Big Brother program, Big Sister of America, a community advocate and former board member of Project Green, an advocate for Zero Day veterans and president of the African American Leadership Council for Christian Alliance for Orphans. He is also a lawyer and advisor to the management and staff of Samaritas Adoption and Foster Care and a volunteer with the “Be the Dream” program at Kentwood Public Schools. He is also a foster / adoptive parent advocate at DA Blodgett – St. John’s. He holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from Grand Valley State University.
Its candidate site is https://www.clarkstonmorgan.com/.
Meochie Thompson, 47, is a speaker, editor and president of Blessed Pen Ink Publishing. Thompson is the Director of Women’s Ministries at Kentwood Community Church and a student ministry. She has volunteered as a news anchor for WKTV, as a Sunday afternoon radio host for Life Chats on Magic 104.9FM and for Bible Club at Kentwood Schools. She is the Director of the RUTH (Reaching Up Toward Heaven) Mentorship Program, which helps girls and young women become leaders, and is the Chapter 900 President of the Women’s Life Insurance Society, which helps raise funds for many local non-profit organizations, including Alpha Women’s Center. , (WINC) Women wounded in combat, surprised by hope, and the potter’s house and refuge. She also facilitated a journalism workshop at the Grand Rapids Public Museum School. She holds a BA in Journalism from Columbia College.
Its candidate site is https://www.meochia.com/.
Here’s how applicants answered questions about why they are running and their top priorities. Applicants were asked to limit their responses to 250 words and those who exceeded expectations had their responses cut off at the end. Otherwise, the responses were not edited by MLive.
Why should voters elect you?
As a resident of Kentwood for 13 years, Asst. Pastor in a local church, small business owner and Kentwood Planning Commissioner, I have found great joy in empowering our families and our Kentwood community to reach their greatest potential. While I have strategically helped broken families out of poverty and small businesses increase their profit margins when politics and / or broken systems limit growth, I understand that this system is not an advantage. city scale.
Residents trusted me as a candidate because I have knowledge and experience in delivering strategic solutions to positively improve Kentwood through my positions as Planning Commissioner (currently), Appeal Board zoning and arts commissioner. Through my personal career, I provide the leadership skills necessary to manage multi-million dollar budgets.
As a non-partisan leader, I stand up to make sure that the policy does not limit the voice and benefits that all residents can receive. To ensure that the heart and voice of the community is valued in our city master plans and budgets. Coming in with my past experience means that I don’t need to use residents as test subjects to confirm the validity of the policies. On the first day, I am equipped and ready to serve.
The people of Kentwood should vote for me because I am trustworthy, reliable and reliable. I’m used to building strong relationships by listening to people’s needs and responding to them by connecting them to the right resources to help them be successful and standing up for what’s right and important. Their rights, safety and families are at the top of the list. My skills, education, and life experience prepare me for this role as a mother, wife, leader, ministry leader, journalist, community advocate, and business owner. I believe in the fairness of people. I believe in investing in my neighbors and our businesses and helping them grow by providing a healthy, safe and inclusive environment so that our whole community can thrive and that is why they should vote for me. No one is left behind!
If you are elected, what will be your three priorities?
1. Strengthen the relationship between police and our community by organizing community forums to discuss issues and solutions and creating more diversity within police and fire departments to reflect the community they serve. .
2. Build stronger bonds with non-English speakers and new residents to help them acclimatize to city and state laws and facilitate access to resources for business, rehabilitation, services. education and mental health.
3. Invest in fully accessible play equipment so that children of all abilities can play together and provide maximum equipment for adults with disabilities in residential and commercial developments.
- Maintain Policies of Impartiality: Alongside my current efforts, I will unite communities and businesses with diverse perspectives to achieve common goals that provide a better quality of life for all. I will make decisions based on what is best for the community, not for political positioning. I will work with my colleagues to deliver results, not dissent.
- Maintain a balanced budget while improving the city’s infrastructure: Kentwood is one of Michigan’s most financially sound cities. With the goal of staying debt free, I will review the annual budget to make sure we are maintaining all essential services. At the same time, I will come up with innovative ideas on how we can improve and support the growth of the community.
- Promote community involvement: Having structured relationships with places of worship, businesses, nonprofits, and community leaders from diverse backgrounds, I will advocate for a community group or ‘united nations’ team to provide cultural information and staff to hire for positions in the municipality. .
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