MEET Michalyn Easter-Thomas 

*Public School Teacher, Community Advocate, District 7 Born and Bred*

              Raised by her parents in Frayser, Michalyn attended Memphis City Schools. There she learned first-hand the importance of an active government providing meaningful services for the community. Her lifetime membership with the Girl Scouts, as well as a half decade of involvement with the Memphis Parks Commission's Summer Camp program at the Ed Rice Community Center and the Mayor's Summer Youth Job program at Vollintine Elementary, further cemented her commitment to community involvement and an understanding of how both private organizations and local governments could empower and improve local communities.

              Her upbringing in District 7, as well as her experiences elsewhere, helped Michalyn see Memphis through a new lens - one that shed light on the immense challenges and disparities that faced her community, but also magnified the potential and greatness that had long existed there. This new awareness led her to found Our Grass Our Roots (OGOR), a collaborative non-profit interested in pushing back against gentrification and promoting progressive partnerships in North Memphis. She also became involved in many other community organizations: She was invited to join the board of Vollintine-Evergreen Community Association in 2015, and in 2016 joined the boards of the BLOOM partnership for Memphis parks and Memphis Greater Greenline.

              Michalyn is a candidate for Memphis City Council District 7 because she understands that community comes first in order to bring integrity and transparency to this City Council seat. She understands that it is the time for engagement over apathy and action over complacency. All of Memphis deserves investment and support to strengthen our community’s economy, safety, and livability. Michalyn will fight to make sure District 7 gets that support it deserves.

              A lifetime of community involvement taught Michalyn that involvement with neighbors and community groups is about listening to the community first, and must be followed up by passionate advocacy on their behalf. She is already well experienced in winning resources and funding for community funding through grants and initiatives, and looks forward to using an elevated platform to amplify the voice of the community. She recognizes a better future comes only through action in the present, and we can together build the communities our children deserve through action and advocacy.

Michalyn Easter-Thomas’ Top Three Priorities for District 7:

1. Safe Communities: Michalyn will build partnerships between neighborhoods, law enforcement, and local government to decrease crime and strengthen opportunities for the community, including reentry programs and full benefits for first responders.

2. Improved Housing: Michalyn believes that access to safe and affordable housing is a vital key to generational success, and will support policies to reduce blight by targeting absentee landlords and increasing  paths to home ownership.

3. Economic Opportunity: Michalyn believes that community access to employment and economic security is foundational to a thriving community, and will aggressively pursue investment in citizens, local businesses, and the city government to help develop the community's workforce. Michalyn also will fight for labor and trade representation in local infrastructure and investment projects.

Michalyn Easter-Thomas understands that District 7 residents want honesty, visibility, and advocacy for every neighborhood from their representative, and she is eager and excited to do this with the people of District 7.  

EDUCATION 

  • Central High School

  • B.A. History and Political Science, Christian Brothers University, 2013

  • MAT, Columbia University, 2014

  • Ed.S, Arkansas State, 2019

PROFESSION 

  • Shelby County Schools, Teacher

  • Instructional Facilitator

  • Our Grass Our Roots, Founder

COMMUNITY AFFILIATIONS

  • Shelby County Democratic Party, GrassRoots Council Member

  • Democratic Women of Shelby County, Member

  • Vollintine Evergreen Community Association, Board Member

  • BLOOM partnership for Memphis Parks, Board Member

  • Memphis Greater Greenline, Board Member

  • SPARRC-NCR, Working Group Member

  • Tennessee Educators Association (TEA), Member

  • Memphis Shelby County Educators Association (MSCEA), Member

  • St. Andrew AME Church, Member and Young Adult Ministry Member

  • Tri-State Defender, Women of Excellence 2015

  • Leadership Memphis, GrassRoots Graduate Class of 2016

  • Memphis Flyer, Top 20<30 of 2017

  • 3V Leaders, 2019 Leading Lady

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