Game Changer: Brenda Lawrence

Brenda Lawrence


Brenda grew up in Detroit's northeast side and was raised by her grandparents, after her mother died when she was three years old. Her story is one of a profound commitment to public service. She got her start in politics by being active in her children’s PTA, then the school board of education, then Mayor, then running for Lt. Governor, and now running for Congress.


U.S. House of Representatives – Michigan’s 14th Congressional District – Open Seat.


Brenda is currently President of the National Association of Democratic Mayors.

In 2010, she was the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor, the first African-American woman nominee from a major party in Michigan’s history.

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 to become the city's first African-American and first woman Mayor. She was re-elected in 2005, 2009, and 2013.

As Mayor, she was invited by the U.S. House Oversight Committee in 2008 to represent U.S. mayors in testimony about the mortgage crisis and its effect on American communities.

Brenda will be a strong advocate for equal pay. In Michigan, women earn only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. The number is only 65 cents for African American women. She is ready to fight for the 14th Congressional District, which has many female-headed households that would benefit from federal equal pay policies.

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