FLINT, Mich - (WJRT) - State Representative Sheldon Neeley is running for Flint Mayor. He is a former Flint city councilman and this is his second time running for mayor.
7/30/2019 - Why are you running for mayor?
Rep. Sheldon Neeley: The sense of commitment and that love that I grew up in a community which gave so much to me, it's time for me to give back to it. I have to come back to the city of Flint bringing a skill set that I have developed in government. Making sure we can build those bridges and mend those fences that's going to improve the quality of life for residents inside the city of Flint. So young people like myself will have the benefit of growing up in a flourishing community. So, I want to bring that skill set back to the city of Flint.
What are Flint's biggest challenges?
Rep. Sheldon Neeley: "Well, economically you know we've had some hardships. State revenue sharing pulled up and out. We had a billion dollar corporation in our midst. They are no longer the primary source of revenue for this community, we have some challenges around that. Of course we have this water crisis that's ongoing. Challenges with law enforcement as far as crime data, diversification of our economic base. We have to move forward in a positive way to try to diversify our economic base to support the city in it self."
What is Flint's largest asset?
Rep. Sheldon Neeley, "No doubt about it the people. We are not a community of victims we are a community of victors. So the people, the spirit of the people is the biggest asset that we have in this community. And, now we need to benefit the people by saying to them you are a benefit, you are an asset and we are going to have leadership that reflects that."
What is your strongest strength and biggest weakness?
Rep. Sheldon Neeley: "I am a unifier. I am a visionary and I can build a pathway to success. And, so, I have done that many times over and we are going to continue to do that and we are going to build another pathway to success by bringing people together and moving us forward."
"My biggest weakness. Some would say my skin is not thick enough to be in this political arena. Sometimes you know it is hard not to take things so personal when you are attacked and your are doing your very, very best and you are doing the good works. So you have some of those naysayers that may come along. You know I have a tendency to listen to everyone, I want to make sure my door is open to everyone but, sometime people are not genuine in their behavior or their conduct. And sometimes my skin is not as thick as I would like it to be so sometimes I take a little bit to heart."
How do you see Flint in the year 2030?
Rep. Sheldon Neeley: "Flint is going to be an independent community; a self sustaining community. We are going to be more of an academia community, having you know four universities or institutions of higher learning with Mott, Kettering, Baker and U of M in our midst. We are going to be capitalizing on our intellectual capital, we are going to be an inviting city and incentivising people to come back to the city of Flint. So, it is going to be a growing community in 2030 and beyond."
Voters will head to the polls for the primary on August 6th. The top two vote getters from that election will advance to the general election in November.