JUICE: Powering Toledo with Next Generation Leadership

Rev. Donald L. Perryman, D.Min.

By Rev. Donald L. Perryman, Ph.D.
The Truth Contributor

   A politician thinks of the next election. A statesman, of the next generation.
James Freeman Clarke

Toledo City Council’s recent appointments of Brittany Jones, Ph.D., affectionately known by some in the community as “Juice,” and Mac Driscoll, showcase a clear commitment to infusing the Council with fresh perspectives and next-generation leadership.

Significantly, this decision, emerging from a rigorous selection process among 37 applicants, also illustrates the Council’s deliberate action, overall, to prioritize the city’s long-term welfare over transient political victories or Party allegiance.

Jones and Driscoll represent a new era of council members who embody the promise of innovation, inclusivity, and forward-thinking in municipal governance. Councilwoman Cerssandra McPherson’s statement to The Blade, “It’s a great day,” captures the collective sentiment of optimism, further reinforced by Council President Carrie Hartman’s confidence in their capabilities: “I have no doubt in your abilities and your dedication to public service.”

These affirmations highlight Toledo City Council’s criteria for selection—individuals who are not just capable but deeply committed to public service and connected to the community’s pulse.

Councilwoman Brittany Jones

Brittany Jones brings a unique mix of academic excellence and rigor, activism, and profound community engagement. Her nickname “Juice” speaks volumes of her respect and credibility within the community, symbolizing her vibrant energy and the impactful contributions she’s poised to bring to Council’s hallowed dais.

Brittany’s mother, Kenyatta, has been in leadership in the United Auto Workers Union and was once championed as a candidate for Toledo City Council but declined to run. She has also been active in the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) and as a board member of the NAACP.

According to one of her advocates, Brittany’s lineage emerges from “generations of people who are willing to stand in the gap and have been out there quite a bit pounding the pavement for the Black community. They are highly esteemed and very well recognized.”

Therefore, Jones’ appointment is not merely a nod to her impressive credentials but a recognition of her ability to connect with and represent the diverse voices of Toledo’s residents.

Mac Driscoll’s appointment, on the other hand, embodies a strategic choice for a council member who understands the weight of his responsibilities.

Following an exhaustive six rounds of voting, Driscoll’s selection further underscores City Council’s commitment to “due diligence and meritocracy” over convenience or political expediency.

His pledge, “It’s a tremendous responsibility, and I don’t take it lightly,” also reflects a sentiment of dedication and service, aligning with the many personal endorsements and community support that highlighted his selection by Toledo City Council.

Yet, Council’s decision to welcome Jones and Driscoll into its ranks signifies more than just a change in its composition. Indeed, this move goes beyond typical political maneuvering, so it isn’t just politics as usual either.

Above all, and at the heart of the matter, City Council’s decision to bypass recommendations from the Lucas County Democratic Party to select Jones and Driscoll injects “Juice into the Mix.” It loudly heralds a new philosophy that powers Toledo’s future with emerging voices filled with fresh ideas, diversity, and a deep connection with our dynamic community fabric and civic ecosystem.

Councilman Mac Driscoll

In our current political climate where short-term gains and partisan interests often overshadow the collective good, the decision to bring these next-generation leaders into the fold unequivocally demonstrates that Council is prioritizing Toledo’s long-term welfare over transient political victories or Party allegiance.

The Toledo City Council has set a new standard for local governance by choosing statesmanship over politics. It’s a refreshing departure from the status quo. It’s a bold step towards embracing a leadership model that doesn’t just aim to navigate the present but is committed to shaping a brighter, more prosperous future for all of Toledo.

Therefore, as we welcome Jones and Driscoll to their new roles, let us also acknowledge and celebrate the bold wisdom of the Toledo City Council. Their decision is a powerful reminder that genuine statesmanship can prevail even in an era often marked by division and short-sightedness.

Moreover, it’s a shining example of principled leadership that empowers communities through the next generation of leaders.

Contact Rev. Donald Perryman, PhD, at drdlperryman@centerofhopebaptist.org