Meet Mike

Mike's Story

Mike grew up in the Bellevue neighborhood in Ward 8, and had his first job at the Downtown Locker Room in Eastover Shopping Center. The oldest of four children, Mike’s parents taught him that although they didn’t have much they were blessed, to always work hard in school and life, and always treat people with dignity and respect. 

 

After high school, Mike moved to New Orleans a year after Hurricane Katrina, to attend Xavier University of Louisiana, and help families rebuild after they lost everything from one of the deadliest hurricanes to ever hit the US. Mike spent his time volunteering with Habitat for Humanity to rebuild homes for displaced residents. He went on to work with local non-profits to help families enforce tenant rights, revitalize neighborhoods through land use efforts, preserve historic buildings, support residents to shape neighborhood investments, and fight displacement.

 

Later, Mike went on to attend law school where he worked at a Community Economic Development Clinic as a student attorney, helping non-profits and community organizations  

with their legal needs. Mike spent his free time working with a local non-profit mentoring at-risk and homeless youth four days a week. Mike understood the importance of reaching back, because many of his mentors helped steer him in the right direction when Mike needed it most.

After law school, Mike returned home to serve Ward 8. He became the Legislative Director to former Ward 8 Councilmember, LaRuby May, overseeing all policy and legislation for 80,000 Ward 8 residents. There, he wrote countless pieces of legislation to prevent displacement, improve academic outcomes, increase access to quality healthcare, and push criminal justice reform. Mike focused on bold, forward-thinking policies that improved the lives of Ward 8 residents. 

After his time with May, Mike served as the Legislative Director to the Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity, where he 

focused on closing the economic gap for Ward 8 residents. He oversaw policy initiatives and budgets for the Department of Employment Services and the Department of Small and Local Business Development. Mike helped open the DC Infrastructure Academy in Ward 8, making it easier for residents to find employment in their community by creating a one-stop shop for multiple infrastructure programs including PEPCO, Solar Panel Installation, and the energy utilities. To date, over $20 million have been dedicated to these programs and services. Further, Mike also helped create Financially Fit DC, which helps residents understand and improve their financial health; and Project 500, which helps residents create and access capital for their new business. 

Mike also served as a Vice President at United Medical Center (formerly “Greater Southeast"), where he worked to better the health outcomes for his community by improving the services at the primary hospital in Ward 8. Mike was instrumental in standing up the George Washington University ("GW") - United Medical Center partnership. With GW as the primary partner, Ward 8 residents have the same knowledgeable and experienced doctors as the GW hospital in Ward 2.  

Currently, Mike serves as the Chairman of ANC 8C. As Commissioner, he negotiated one of the largest Community Benefits Agreements in Ward 8 history, created the ANC 8C grant-making authority to support neighborhood organizations, and oversees the multi-million-dollar St. Elizabeth’s East development. 

Mike lives in Congress Heights and volunteers to feed and clothe the homeless on weekends. He remains committed to Ward 8, and Mike remains focused on creating equitable opportunities for our most vulnerable residents in Ward 8. Mike believes Ward 8 has been over

looked for generations; and unfortunately, leads the District in some of the worst statics, from life expectancy to the unemployment rate. However, Mike knows that with elbow grease and forward-thinking policies, Ward 8 can solve our most pressing challenges.

Mike has the legislative and community experience and the passion needed to make real, proactive change that benefits everyone in Ward 8. That’s why he is running for Ward 8 Councilmember – to solve the ward’s most pressing challenges with balanced, bold, and responsive leadership. Ward 8 deserves a voice that has the experience and education to move with a sense of urgency to deliver results. It's Now or Never. 

© 2020 by  MIKE FOR WARD 8

Paid for by the Mike for Ward 8 Committee. PO Box 31528Washington, DC, 20030. Breanna Bledsoe, Treasurer