At 20 years old, Councilman Jewell Jones is making history!
On November 16th Jewell Jones was sworn in as an official City Council Member in Inkster, MI becoming the youngest member to be on board. He represents the city’s 4th district.
Councilman Jones is also a full time student studying political science and finance at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He is very active on campus as well being involved in the Black Student Union, the Student Veteran Association as well as their ROTC program.
It’s rare to hear about the success of young people outside of fame and fortune. This is even more rare for young people of color. I was able to interview Councilman Jones and get to know a little bit more about him and his platform. Check out the interview below to see what inspires him and how he plans on getting Inkster back on track!
What made you want to run for the position of councilman in Inkster, MI?
The opportunity presented itself, and I advanced on it. In part, due to what I heard at the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference, back in the fall of 2014 — in one of the youth workshops, they told us to go back to our communities and take a more active role (I was already pretty active, so this was the next step for me)
Who are your biggest influences?
Everyone that I come into contact with – I feel as if we can learn something from everyone… We just have to pay attention and observe.
What are your plans as Councilman of Inkster?
Along with my colleagues, we plan on getting the City of Inkster back on track, however my more personal issues focus on
- Public safety (to address the issue of crime and violence in our community, and bring more community policing to our City)
- Parks and recreation (to provide outlets for our youth and seniors, especially since the public education system has been shut down, and senior funding drastically declined, as well as training up the Next Generation of Change)
- Economic development — maybe the most important — (to bring revenue to our City, and begin to develop our Downtown, and inner city areas).
What do you believe that you need or should do to be successful?
I believe you need a positive mindset, and a good team, but most importantly, just allow the God of Israel to lead and guide your steps. As long as you do what is right and you put in the work, the grace of God will carry you a long way — Optimism & Execution.
How does it feel to be the youngest member of Inkster’s City Council? Are you taken seriously or do you feel like you have more to prove because you are young?
It feels great – I’ve been able to bring a lot of positive media to the City of Inkster, and turn a lot of heads. I don’t have a lot to prove, in part because the people know me, and know what I’ve been doing down through the years – service is natural for me.
Is your age an advantage or disadvantage?
I would say it is a blessing and a cursing. I have a target on my back, simply because I am 20 years young and have plenty of life ahead of me. I’m in an atmosphere where people my age aren’t typically around. However, it is good, because I’m able to bring attention to the issues from a different perspective and show other young people: This can be done. It’s not impossible.
Was politics always something you wanted to do?
I’ve always wanted to serve, not necessarily in public office, but I just stayed on that natural trajectory and it placed me here.
What motivates you to strive for success?
I just like to stay busy – I love motion. I believe anything is possible with God on your side, so I just keep on keeping on.
What advice do have for others to accomplish their goal?
Get out there, and do it. Pray often, in good times and bad times – but always remember faith without works is dead (James 2:17 KJV). Advance on your opportunity, and remain optimistic, and always execute.
To hear more from Councilman Jones, check him out on Facebook.