Detroit politician Mary Sheffield talks policy and breast cancer awareness

Photo credit: Instagram – @marysheffield
Detroit Councilwoman Mary Sheffield was recently honored by Supreme Clientele during their recent charity event in honor of breast cancer victims and in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Rolling out  caught up with Sheffield who shared how she has been personally affected by breast cancer. Sheffield also shared what it means to be one of the city’s youngest city council members ever elected to Detroit’s City Council.

How do you feel about receiving the Community Leader of the Year Award?

Great! To receive an award from my peers is really, really important to me and inspiring to me. The young people like myself, doing great things in the city, being recognized in the city, is extremely rewarding. I’m just glad to be here, glad my hard work is recognized and I’m going to keep working hard for my city.

You were elected as the youngest city council member in Detroit at the age of 26. That’s a lot of responsibility at a very young age. How do you feel about the level of responsibility on your shoulders?

It doesn’t bother me, but it’s a lot of responsibility because a lot of people are watching me, wondering what I’m going to do next. I’m just blessed and fortunate to hold this position at such a crucial time. With the history of our city, things are changing left and right; the city is being rebuilt right before our eyes, so I have the opportunity to make a huge impact and make sure, for me, one of the biggest things that I fight for is Detroit to have inclusion. It’s just important to me that I continue to make my mark and show the young black woman how to be your own voice.

What are you involved in around the city?

“Occupy the Corner” is a huge initiative that I started three years ago. We just wrapped it up. We go into inner city communities, which brings hope and love, we try to stop the violence in the inner city areas … we try to focus on the causes of the crimes which is going to help unemployment, education and mental health services. I’m also dealing with affordable housing right now, making sure that young people can be included in the new development we’re seeing. They’re building it, but who can afford it? Just making sure units are being set aside for low-income families. We want to attract new people to Detroit but we have to make sure that we pay attention to the people that have been here.

This event was about raising awareness and funds for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. How important is it to continue to raise awareness about breast cancer?

We need to do whatever we can continue to do to make sure people want to get tested. Both of my aunts had breast cancer and it’s an important issue to stay aware of — and to see young people like this get together and have a party for a good cause is so beautiful. I commend Supreme Clientele for having this event and this was a tremendous event for the cause.

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