MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – A Madison Heights City Council member is making history.
In the city’s 67-year history, Quinn Wright is the first Black city councilor.
He was sworn in on Dec. 13, 2021.
“For me when I think about, in the year 2022, to be the first. In a lot of ways it’s unreal to believe it took this long but at the same time, it’s important to recognize that the folks in the community are now welcoming me and ready for this opportunity to embrace diversity,” Wright said.
“Our city council has always been very representative of the residents,” City Manager Melissa Marsh said. “(Quinn) brings a new perspective, new life experiences to the discussion of the decisions being made. So it’s definitely an exciting time.”
Wright said he ran for City Council to help spark change.
“Making sure that there’s proper representation and that we can do something to help make our city safer and also make sure that we have policies that considers the people not only on the north part of town but the south part of town,” Wright said.
The opportunity to make that happen was put on hold when he lost the election in Nov. 2021 when Wright lost in a close call.
“I lost by about 22 votes. And it was a hard pill to swallow because that meant that we were incredibly close, but still very far away,“ Wright said.
Incumbent Bob Gettings suddenly died a couple of weeks after the election. The city manager said under the city’s charter when there is a vacancy, the person with the next highest votes is appointed to fill it. In this case, that person was Quinn Wright.
The sign at City Hall reads “city of progress,” and now that holds greater meaning.
“It’s more symbolic today than it was yesterday because we are standing by that slogan, being the city of progress and showing that in the representation we offer to the diversity of our city council,” Wright said.
Marsh hopes it is a reminder of how important representation is.
“I mean, myself being a female city manager I think that’s very important that women see that that’s an avenue and I think it’s very important that Black residents and young men, young adults see this as an opportunity going forward,” said Marsh.
Wright’s term ends in 2023, so he would have to be elected if he wanted to stay on council.