My mother, Martha Burns (middle), worked at CEDA for 18 years helping people meet their basic needs. After work, she’d pick up my sister Tamara and me from the YMCA, get groceries up to our second floor apartment, complete her university courses and somehow find the energy to prepare dinner and help us with homework.
My mother is superwoman. And she had a support system: the after school counselors who were happy to watch us after hours if a meeting ran a little over, her friends who’d drop off food when she wasn’t feeling well, and her siblings who helped her when money got tight.
In 2009, I decided to follow in my mothers footsteps. I organized an anti-violence march around E.T.H.S (Top). 11 years later, we organized a rally in support of Jacob Blake and his family. The calls were the same: stop the violence and increase spending on programs that foster peace and strengthen families.
In between those marches, I started a community group called the Evanston Collective. We made it our mission to organize around a wide range of issues impacting residents such as racial inequities at Evanston Public Library, 5th ward school, food waste, affordable housing, and predatory lending to name a few.
Ald. Rue Simmons led the city council in passing our nations first taxpayer funded reparations program for African Americans. In collaboration with the Clerks office, I assisted in drafting a memo that helped make the case. Community organizing is rewarding, but equally challenging work--so the big wins feel great!
Organizing is powerful when it leads to sustainable mechanisms that repair the social & economic condition of underserved communities. With structural reform in mind, we launched a D65 parent advisory group 4 years ago, a digital newspaper, and we're in the early stages of launching a foundation.
Sign up to receive updates from the candidate on the trail!