By Courtney Morrison
Aug. 4 is the primary election day in Inkster and one of the University of Michigan – Dearborn’s own students, Jewell Jones, will be on the ballot. At only 19 years old he will be running for a seat on the Inkster City Council. He sat down to speak with The Michigan Journal about his plans for the election and afterwards.
MJ: Why did you decide to run for councilman?
I’ve been doing quite a lot of community service and business in the City of Inkster, as well as other communities growing up. And I figured I would be able to serve my city in a greater capacity as a Councilman.
MJ: What are some challenges you face or think you’ll face if elected?
Unwilling workers. People do a lot of talking, yet when the time comes to make some moves, people hastily retreat. However, I will remain positive and I’m sure all citizens will get on one accord. Additionally, I’ve heard everyone won’t like you. So, I’m prepared for that, but it’s all about relationship building, so I plan on being friends with everyone I encounter – it’s gotten me this far thus far.
MJ: What would you say to people who think you are fairly young to be running for an office?
I just smile and say I’m 19 years old. Nevertheless, do to the condition the youth are in, in the City of Inkster, with public education diminished, we need a young person who can shift paradigms and work as a gateway between the younger and older generations to effectively unite us all. Additionally, we need some fresh faces to represent our City, as well as people that will be trained to serve. There is no training for others to come in and work – the same people have been doing the job for years, and if they don’t pass on their experiences, the next wave of officials will be caught blindsided and will be unable to step up to plate and do the job, when the time comes.
MJ: How do you plan to balance your schooling, the Army ROTC program you are in, and councilman duties if elected?
Army ROTC is the training program for future Officers. I’m scheduled for undergrad graduation in 2017. Upon completion of undergrad, I am to serve the Army; however, I plan on delaying entry into the service in order to attend Law School — roughly three years — and finishing out my City Council term — four years from 2016 to 2020. Busyness excites me and keeps me out of trouble. I meditate and pray and I have a solid, and abundant support system, and God’s been allowing me to balance everything thus far. So, I believe I will continue doing what I’m doing and everything will fall in place.
MJ: What about your consulting business?
My sister and I had (have) a small business doing small jobs, from when we were younger. As I got older, I decided to go out on a whim, problem solving. I did it all the time, like basic advice to people, so then I began to get paid for it.
Basically, I am a problem solver. And I do wide-range consulting – so I don’t have a particular focus. With my small firm, The Coup Group™, I plan on creating a “one-stop-shop” of consultants, in the future. The business is kind of on the backburner at the time, due to my schooling, campaign, and some other areas of my life.
MJ: Do you have any mentors or people who inspire you?
I have sooo many mentors. I take something from everyone I meet; everyone has something to give and I just get as much knowledge as I can. Clergy/ ministers, Coaches, Professors, Relatives, Statesmen and Stateswomen, Servicemen and Servicewomen, the man on the corner of the street… everyone.
MJ: Of all the different things you do, what are you most passionate about?
I just truly love people. Anything that can help folks out is what I’m passionate about, and that’s quite a lot. There’s too much to name, but I do love art – music, drawing, etc., Church, and all that good stuff.
MJ: If elected, where do you see yourself in five years? What’s next for you?
I see myself finishing up my City Council term, graduating Law School, and transitioning into my Army service, most likely the Judge Adjutant General (JAG) Corps, and possibly continuing my consulting work.
Jones is excited to see what the future holds for him and says he does what he does for people. He loves working with people, and even if he is busy, he is willing to listen and help anyone achieve their dreams.