‘How do I win as a councilwoman if I am not working for you’: Councilwoman At-Large reflects on 100-day mark

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – This past week our newly elected city officials reached 100-days of being on the job.

Councilwoman at-large Michelle Chambers is a native of Fort Wayne but spent some time in Southern Californa, there she racked in 25 years of public service work. She told WANE 15 that home is where the heart is and she always knew she was coming back to the summit city to serve the community she loves so much.

Chambers said she is committed to serving Fort Wayne and understands that her current position has to be done with heart.

“I want to work on making sure that we have jobs that are paying a living wage, I’m starting to work on that specifically,” said Chambers. “I want to make sure that we have boards and commissions that are reflective of the constituents that live here.”

She added that she plans to create a nondenominational clergy council for faith leaders and wants Fort Wayne to continue to be a city where everyone wants to work, play and retire. According to Chambers, Fort Wayne is experiencing a brain drain. She said the city has a wonderful college system but she doesn’t have the opportunity to take full advantage of graduates.

Her experience so far has been everything she expected and more and learned that the position is not a part-time job.

“When you are making the decision to commit millions of dollars to a project you really have to drill down on that project and really look at the total benefit to the community at large,” said Chambers. “These are public dollars, these are our constituent’s tax dollars, these are dollars that we are granted to develop. What I am deciding on in 2020 will effect this city for decades.”

One key thing she enjoys in her new position is that the current council is able to work across party lines to vote what they believe is best for the community.

“It isn’t about party, it’s really about the people that we serve and that we serve them at the highest level possible,” said Chambers. “We take into consideration what their needs and desires are and sometimes that’s not always defined by party affiliations. There is no benefit to us not working together for our constituents”.

Being one of the two only women on council, Chambers said her and Councilwoman Tucker aren’t just there because they are women, but because they are qualified.

“I believe that we created a shift, in the thought process ideas, being innovative both from our life experiences.”

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