It is never too early to begin making history, At just 29 years old, Kentucky State University graduate Darren E. Bryant has become the youngest Black mayor in the state of Illinois. In a hotly contested election, Bryant has emerged as the next civic leader of the Village of Robbins.
“I would like to thank God for this moment,” Bryant told the Chicago Defender after emerging victorious.
“It feels good, but it’s a part of me and my DNA being from Robbins. Robbins has a history of African American pioneers, and once being a center of black culture in Illinois is astonishing. This is the people’s victory more so than mine, and it feels amazing to get it done for the people.”
Bryant has been working toward this moment for some time now. Shortly after completing his studies at Kentucky State University, he worked as the commissioner of Robbins. Afterward, he transitioned into becoming the town's trustee. With unemployment rates above 20% and a median income of $25,000, Robbins presents a major challenge to the young politician.
As mayor of Robbins, Bryant has an ambitious agenda that he believes will revitalize one of the oldest Black townships in the nation. The newly elected lawmaker hopes to focus on job training, educational development, financial innovation and residential development.
“We must build our citizens,” he explained.
“I call it the big three. We have a 38% poverty rate, 41% non-homeownership, and 15% higher education rate, and that is a problem. What I plan to do is move the municipality as an investment machine that will empower people through residential development, job training, and creation. We don’t have a business district in our community to offer amenities to our taxpayers. We have to keep the dollar within the community to regurgitate and build a strong community.”
Bryant is set to be sworn in as mayor on May 11.
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