FLINT, Michigan — Flint’s community liaison, Carma Lewis has gained a new position as an office assistant for Congressman Kildee’s district office. She’s two weeks in and already well established in her new role.
“Carma is my boss now,” announced Congressman Kildee during early morning visit to Joy Tabernacle last Friday. “Whatever she tells me to do, I do it.”
Kildee said he was already well aware of Lewis’ work in the community, so when a vacancy opened in his district office, she was the first to be considered. Offering her the job was a no-brainer, he said.
“For me having people who have established credibility and relationships in the community is incredibly valuable. … It was a huge win for me,” said Kildee.
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As a Civic Park resident and president of Flint Neighborhoods United, many know Lewis simply for her ability to streamline public health information online and off—a crucial service during the height of Flint’s water crisis when she served as Outreach Coordinator for the Flint Action Coordination Team.
She places herself near the heart of resident affairs, facilitating exchanges of information between neighborhoods, the City, non profits, and now state activities. Seeing her in action is witnessing a series of pivots between emails, texts, and pictures all existing in the bandwidth of her cell phone and laptop—her office on the go.
Lewis also is on the board of the Neighborhood Engagement Hub and is a strong advocate of its community tool. (And can sometimes be found gleefully mowing overgrown lots.)
Lewis’ new job with Kildee requires an ability to facilitate incoming calls to the office and the handling of new case work. For Lewis, the new job requires her to change little of what she is doing now. She will remain president of Flint Neighborhoods United and hold her position on the board of the Neighborhood Engagement Hub. Lewis will continue walking the streets and surfing the web for answers to the questions deemed vital to the livelihood of Flint residents.
“(I’m excited to bring) my relationship with both residents and organizations in the city,” said Lewis.