Brenda Carter | A Proven Leader !
Educated ! | Experienced ! | Passionate !
Elect
Brenda Carter 
State Representative District 29

Educational Equity


My passion for educating children in poverty started two decades ago. I came to a city in economic decline. The school system was in a downward spiral, and the community was suffering. I joined a group called the Pontiac Community School Improvement Team (PCSIT) under the leadership of Velma Stephens, a longtime advocate for equity in education. This group met to develop strategies that would assist teachers and administrators. My involvement became my passion. In 2003, my husband Pontiac City Council Pro-tem Randy Carter helped to lead a group of high school students to the F.I.R.S.T. Robotics national championships. However, it wasn't until the housing bubble of 2007 that I began to see the impact of economics in communities of poverty.


In 2008, mass layoffs in the automotive industry took a struggling city to a city in economic crisis. Pontiac's tax base was shattered, and the future of the city and the school district was in the hands of legislators in Lansing. Attempts to dissolve the Pontiac was averted, however, many of the city's and school district's assets were sold for pennies on the dollar. Thousands of jobs were lost, and the city and school district were clinging to life. I ran for the school board in 2010 and what I learned inspired me to run for State Representative.


Nothing takes the place of hands-on experience. I started with developing policies with Clark Hill law firm. I learned about the budget process and human resources from being on the board. My skills were formed when I entered the leadership track. In 2014, I became Vice-President of my local board, and Vice President of the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB), an organization that represents 600 boards of education and intermediate school districts in Michigan. In 2016, I was President of both Pontiac School District and MASB. It was during this four-year learning curve that I identified inequities in education on all levels, not just in Pontiac. I traveled to the Upper Peninsula, Baltimore, New Orleans, and Japan.  I saw that our educational disparities were systemic, and something had to be done about it.  Not on the local level, but on the level where the laws that govern schools were made.


The City of Pontiac and Pontiac School District are recovering largely in part of the hard work done by advocates like Velma Stephens who have been supporting our city and schools for years.  However, my passion took me to Washington D.C. for eight years and eventually to Japan. Despite attempts to promote public education on a national scale, private interests were consuming our school system for personal gain at an alarming rate. I realized the only way I could assist in eradicating this assault on public education was to work with lawmakers of like minds. My experience in policy, law, national and international leadership has positioned me to be a part of the change by implementing new ideas that will bring our communities together.

My passion for educating children in poverty started two decades ago.  I came to a city in economic decline.  The school system was in a downward spiral, and the community was suffering. I joined a group called the Pontiac Community School Improvement Team (PCSIT) under the leadership of Velma Stephens, a long time advocate for equity in education.  This group met to develop strategies that would assist teachers and administrators.  My involvement became my passion.  In 2003, my husband Pontiac City Council Pro-tem Randy Carter helped to lead a group of high school students to the F.I.R.S.T. Robotics national championships.  However, it wasn't until the housing bubble of 2007 that I began to see the impact of economic in communities of poverty.

In 2008, Mass layoffs in the automotive industry took a struggling city to a city in economic crisis. Pontiac's tax base was shattered, and the future of the city and the school district was in the hands of legislators in Lansing.  Attempts to dissolve the Pontiac was averted, however, many of the city's and school district's assets were sold for pennies on the dollar. Thousands of jobs were lost, and the city and school district was clinging to life.  I ran for the school board in 2010 and what I learned inspired me to run for State Representative.

Nothing takes the place of hands-on experience.  I started with developing policies with Clark Hill law firm.  I learned about the budget process and human resources from being on the board.  My skills were formed when I entered the leadership track. In 2014, I became Vice-President of my local board, and Vice President of the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB), an organization that represents 600 boards of education and intermediate school districts in Michigan. It was during this four-year learning curve that I identified inequities in education on all levels, not just in Pontiac.

My passion took me to Washington D.C. for eight years and eventually to Japan.  Despite attempts to promote public education on a national scale, private interests were consuming our school system for personal gain at an alarming rate.  I realized the only way I could assist in irradicating this assault on public education was to work with lawmakers of like minds. My experience in policy, law, national and international leadership has positioned me to be a part of the change by implementing new ideas that will bring our communities together.