Wiki: Brenda L. Lawrence (born October 18, 1954, Detroit, Michigan) is the current mayor of Southfield, Michigan and was the Democratic nominee for Michigan lieutenant governor in 2010.
Lawrence grew up in Detroit’s northeast side and was raised by her grandparents; her mother died when she was three years old. She graduated from Detroit’s Pershing High School, and earned her bachelor’s degree in public administration from Central Michigan University.
In the early 1990s, as an active member of the Parent Teacher’s Association at her children’s school, she sought and earned a seat on the Southfield Public Schools Board of Education, serving as president, vice president, and secretary.
In 1997, she was elected to serve on Southfield’s City Council and in 1999 she was elected council president.
In 2001, she defeated longtime Southfield Mayor Donald Fracassi becoming the city’s first African-American and first female mayor. She was re-elected in 2005 without opposition. As mayor, she was invited by the U.S. House Oversight Committee in 2008 to represent United States mayors in testimony about the mortgage crisis and its effect on American communities. She returned to Washington later that year to lobby Congress for a bridge loan for the American auto industry.
Lawrence was a Michigan delegate to the 2004 Democratic National Convention. As a superdelegate at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, she endorsed U.S. SenatorBarack Obama for president in June 2008.
She successfully sought a third term as mayor in 2009 defeating former Councilwoman Sylvia Jordan with nearly 80 percent of the vote.
Mayor Lawrence is the first African-American and woman to serve as the Mayor of Southfield (elected in 2001).
Mayor Lawrence was appointed to serve as a member on the U.S. Conference of Mayor’s Advisory Board.
Mayor Lawrence is actively working with State Senator Gilda Jacobs, State Representative Vincent Gregory, and City Council to pass legislation to provide tax relief for Southfield residents.