A Call to Service
I have met hundreds of my neighbors who have expressed to me that they need a leader who will serve them with the best interest of our district and our city at heart.
MILWAUKEE – When I was a boy, my father gave me some pretty good advice. My dad told me that as an African American male growing up in Milwaukee’s inner city, I should get off “the block” as much as I could. At that age, I didn’t quite understand the magnitude of what my dad was trying to teach me, but as I got older; I began to understand this lesson very well. My dad was telling me that it wasn’t going to be easy growing up in the areas where I lived and there would be many nefarious influences trying to steer me away from things that really matter — and he was right.
Drugs, violence, guns, bullies, and the ever constant notion from peers that an African American kid focused on education wasn’t really interested in being Black were everyday occurrences on my block as a boy. My dad was implying that I should seek opportunities which would expose me to experiences beyond the four points of “the block” (for many growing up in places like I did, those four points were similar to these: home; school; a relative’s house and; the corner store). I listened to my dad and did just that.
At 14, I had an opportunity to become involved in a program at my local YMCA. The program, Sponsor-A-Scholar, had a strong emphasis on sending first generation, low-income youth from Milwaukee Public Schools to college. Post-secondary education was an important goal for me to attain but attending college was years ahead of me at the time. Fortunately, the program had another, very satisfying component — service to our community. With my father’s advice still fresh in my mind, I relished every chance to get out of my everyday routine in order to serve my community.
I started by raking leaves and shoveling snow for the elderly. It then grew to packing food donations for the hungry. I helped in serving meals to the less fortunate. It led to helping to rehab a dilapidated school for children in South America. What followed was a week of renovating homes in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Later, there was a summer of working with at-risk youth in London. I continued working with at-risk youth at the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board. For the last nearly two years, I’ve been serving our city by working with faith-based groups and community groups from the Mayor’s Office.
Over these past couple of months I’ve taken the time to go door to door throughout Milwaukee’s Second Aldermanic District. I have met hundreds and hundreds of my neighbors who have expressed to me that they need a leader who will serve them with the best interest of our district and our city at heart. They need a leader with innovative ideas to move our district and our city forward. They want a leader who is responsible, accessible, and dependable. They want a leader that they can rely on.
I think that my dad knew those experiences off “the block” would mold me into a well-rounded person who would be able to see the world beyond the experiences where I lived. In doing so, those experiences would encourage me to come back and serve. I didn’t know it then, but that advice from my childhood would snowball and lead me to a life of service. In my opinion, there is no greater way to serve your community than to participate in our system of self government. That’s why I would be honored and privileged to have the support of my neighbors in Milwaukee’s Second District and their vote to serve as Alderman.
It’s a call to service and I am here to answer the call.
Chevy Johnson recently served as Staff Assistant to the Mayor of Milwaukee. A long time resident of the 2nd district, Chevy is committed to bringing responsible, accessible and dependable leadership to the Milwaukee Common Council. The primary election is February 16th, 2016 and the general election is April 5th, 2016.
Mentioned in This Press Release
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