Myya D. Jones is just 22-years old, but she believes that she can be the next mayor of the city of Detroit. She was born and raised in the city, and wants to use her personal experiences to help enact change in her hometown.
A graduate of Michigan State University, she has served as the president of the National Pan Hellenic Council, and has had two positions on the board of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA). In addition, she has been a Google Student Ambassador, has sat on a Sexual Violence Advisory Committee, and has studied abroad in six different countries. She says her interest in politics can be most easily attributed to her time on Capitol Hill.
She comments, “I have always been interested in civil engagement. But I was turned off from doing politics because we had such a negative stigma around politics in Detroit.”
Jones says that she wants to change things around. “While I was interning in Congress, I knew this was something I wanted to do. I want to give the voiceless a voice,” Jones says. She specifically wants to change the focus of Detroit’s revitalization from Downtown and Midtown to the parts of town where lower income people live.
She comments, “I have lots of plans for the neighborhoods. I want people to be able to walk down the street and go to the park. I want to clean up our streets and make sure we have block clubs and neighborhood clubs. I want to make sure people feel a responsibility to their neighborhood. Right now those things aren’t happening.”
She adds, “We can’t forget about the people who have to live in Detroit. We need to create more opportunities for people to have jobs, for them to be financially literate.”
Not a newcomer to solving problems
Although only 22-years old, Jones says she has overcome a great number of obstacles. In her youth, she helped raise her five siblings after her mother fell into a deep depression and was diagnosed with bi-polar. And at an even younger age, she was sexually abused.
Even worse, when in high school, Jones discovered that the man she thought was her father wasn’t her biological father after all. She too, like her mom, was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
But because of these personal triumphs in life, she believes she can win if she runs for office and so she is going for it. And she already seems to have a following of supporters that are on her side, so only time will tell what will happen.