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That Girl Melandie Hines: A Dedicated Advocate for District 25

Hey That Girl Tribe! In a candid conversation with Melandie Hines, a seasoned community leader and advocate, we delve into her extensive background spanning over two decades of dedicated service. From her roles as a Precinct Delegate and Election Chair to her current position on the Wayne Westland Board of Education, Melandie shares insights into her journey and aspirations as she seeks to represent District 25 as a State Representative.

Please enjoy our interview!

Please tell us about your background and experiences that have led you to pursue the role of State Representative in District 25?

Melandie: I am a compassionate person who has served my community for over 20 years as a community leader, advocate, Precinct Delegate, City of Westland Election Chair for 5 years, and I am currently serving on the Wayne Westland Board of Education for 9 years which includes the cities of Wayne, Westland, Canton, Dearborn Heights, Romulus, and Inkster.

Your commitment to education is evident through various roles, including as a Representative for the Michigan Association of School Boards. How do you envision addressing educational challenges at the state level?

Melandie: I am committed to addressing the key issues that matter to our community, such as affordable housing, skill trades workforce development, education, healthcare, and economic development.

I have a strong track record of working in Economic Development, getting multi-million-dollar bonds passed in two different school districts, creating job fairs in Skilled Trades and Workforce Development. Working as an insurance agent for over 20 years, I understand the health disparities that everyday Americans face. I have been involved in several chambers of commerce and have a close relationship with the business community. I am dedicated to making a positive impact on our community. In fact, I have a plan to work on solutions with affordable housing with the background from working in Grants and Contract Management from a Housing Commission and sitting on the Housing Committee for the Wayne County Women’s Commission.

I am currently working closely with the MEA, bus drivers and teachers to vote no and prevent privatization of services in the Wayne Westland Community School District. I voted no to employee layoffs and was able to rescind the layoffs until the Superintendent came up with a better financial plan for the district. We were able to fight and get the administration to back down and talk to the union about options. I supported the Local 900 on the picket line when they went on strike because I believe that workers should be paid livable wages.

I believe that I am the right person to represent District 25 because of my commitment to the community. I have already been elected in the Cities of Wayne, Westland, Romulus, Dearborn Heights, Canton, and Inkster for over 9 years doing the work in the community. I have been making calls to AV voters, knocking on doors and setting up fundraisers. My campaign slogan is, “Don’t talk about it, be about it.” It’s about doing the work and bringing resources from Lansing back to the community.

When I joined the Wayne Westland Board of Education in 2014 they had a fund balance of 4% and were in danger of the department of treasury taking over. I was able to get a team of 10 people to pass a $150 million Bond passed in 2018. We were able to pass it unanimously in 6 cities: Wayne, Westland, Inkster, Dearborn Heights, Romulus and Canton to help in new construction on several buildings, improvements in safety security on top of getting an additional 12 million in Lansing and additional funding with grants. The fine balance increased to 20%.

I am proud to serve as a representative on the Michigan Association of School Boards in which I have relationships with school boards all over the State of Michigan. We take classes and we receive credits and I have earned my Master Award Board Member status. I use the information that I get from the conferences to take back to my school district to make improvements.

Serving as a Precinct Delegate and Election Chair for the City of Westland, what initiatives do you plan to undertake to enhance civic engagement and participation in your district?

Melandie: I have served as a Precinct Delegate Precinct 39# in the City of Westland for over 10 years. I started out working for the Barack Obama Campaign in 2008 with my son knocking on doors at 5 years old. That grass roots campaign triggered me to become a public servant and we were able to register 2,000 people to vote in the City of Inkster. I have worked on numerous campaigns for senators, judges, state representatives and my favorite was working for Honorable John Conyers Jr. the Dean of Congress. I have worked as the Election Chair for the City of Westland for 6 years and have detailed knowledge of the interworking of the election process from start to finish. I plan on helping to increase voter engagement with our youth.

Your community involvement extends to organizations like the Wayne County Women’s Commission and mentoring in the Champions of Wayne program. How will these experiences influence your approach to policy making and representation?

Melandie: Being appointed to the Wayne County Women’s Commission I have the privilege to serve on the Housing Committee, Educational Committee, Skill Trades Workforce Development, Health and Wellness, and Education Committee. I have the resources to help our residents come up with solutions to everyday problems. I enjoy being a mentor to our youth because there are so many obstacles and our youth need to have someone they can trust with their social emotional needs and a positive influence to make the right decisions. We also need to have more African American Leaders in Lansing. We need people who look like us to represent us.

In your role as Director of Contracting and Grants Management for the Inkster Housing Commission, what insights have you gained that you believe will be valuable in advocating for your constituents in District 25?

Melandie: When I worked in the Inkster Housing Commission I was the Director of Capital Improvements using grants from HUD to fix and upgrade some of the housing units. I was promoted to Director of Grants and Contracting writing the contracts and identifying grants to help increase the funding with Inkster Housing. Affordable housing is one of my platforms in my campaign which is the People’s Campaign. People over politics. My campaign slogan is, “Don’t Talk About it, Be About it,” I have been doing the work for over 20 years. I have a close relationship with my Congresswoman Rashida Talib and she sends me the e grant list with all of the federal money coming from congress.

As a single parent and advocate for positive change, how do you balance your personal responsibilities with your commitment to public service?

Melandie: It was a struggle being a single parent working 2–3 jobs and serving on the Wayne Westland Board of Education for over 10 years. My husband was an Inkster Police Officer and died of cancer at age 42. I have made it to be 45 years old and his spirit of serving the community lives on in me. I have been to the mountains and valleys of life and have experienced things that have made me very empathetic and to have compassion for the people. This election is important. It’s about putting the right people in the right place to make sure we make a difference. This is an important election. We must vote like our lives depend on it. “You only have one shot, now take your chance, because opportunity comes once in a lifetime”. Eminem



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