DISCLAIMER: The League of Women Voters of Palm Beach County asked the candidates to share information about themselves and their platform. These were their responses. These statements reflect the candidates’ views and not the views of the League of Women Voters. The league does not endorse candidates. We provide the public resources to make informed decisions.
My roots in Belle Glade run deep. I grew up, went to school, work and raised my family here. Residents are the heart of our city. Supporting locally-owned businesses can help close the racial wealth gap, create jobs, amplify our voices, and strengthen communities. As a City Commissioner, I promise to listen to our residents and continue my work with local organizations (like food banks) that help address the impacts of COVID-19 in the Glades.
My priorities: Protecting and creating good, high-paying jobs. Creating more opportunities for our children so that they will be successful in life. Keeping our families safe.
I am Steve Messam and I want to be City Commissioner.
I was born in Pahokee, as the last of five children of Jamaican immigrants. And, with the exception of thirteen years of college and corporate career, I have been a lifelong Muck-Stepper.
When I say I am a Muck-Stepper, I have been impacted and influenced by every city in the Muck. Born in Pahokee, grew up in South Bay, attended school at Rosenwald Elementary, Gove Elementary, Canal Point Elementary, Lake Shore Middle, Glades Central High, and now a proud active resident of the City of Belle Glade for the past 5 years.
As a first-generation American, my parents instilled in me the importance of faith, family, and working hard to achieve your dreams. Putting people first is by far the greatest quality my parents instilled into me and my siblings.
I was very active growing up with involvement in youth sports (football, basketball, baseball, and track) and the arts played a key role in my development playing the trombone in the band and singing in youth choirs.
As a standout student-athlete, I graduated number four in my class with high honors and I was a starting wide receiver for the Back-2-Back State Champs, Glades Central Raiders football team (’98 & ’99), and a member of the State Champion Track & Field Team (’99).
A defining moment in my life was being challenged by my 10th-grade gifted teacher. She challenged me to go off to college, experience the world, learn as much as I can from people and places, and in 10 years come back home and pour back into the community.
When I left for college on a full athletic scholarship to Central Michigan University (CMU), I knew that I would come back home to live and serve. I served as Vice President of the Rho Delta chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., started the Black Student Union at CMU, and led the successful petition to add a minor degree program in African American Studies. I graduated from CMU in three and a half years, one of the first male student-athletes to do so, with my bachelor’s degree in Business Management.
I have served in multiple leadership roles in the Pharmaceutical Sales industry, working for multiple fortune 500 companies (Merck, Schering-Plough & Bayer) and Construction Management (Messam Construction) industry which include: Associate Director of Sales, Executive Professional Development Trainer, and Senior Vice President of Business Development. My current role as a Business Development executive for Messam Construction has provided me with the opportunity to advocate for small and minority companies and local workers to participate in some of the iconic projects in the county: Glade View Elementary, Gove Elementary, and the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches (Spring training home of both the Houston Astros 17’ and Washington Nationals 19’ World Series Champions).
I am married to my beautiful and talented high school sweetheart, Lomiekia (Lo’), and we have a charming and super-smart son, Noah. Since returning home, I have relentlessly pursued the challenge of pouring back into my community. Being actively involved as a Wood Badge Scout Leader for Pack 605, conducting leadership training in various local schools as a certified John C. Maxwell trainer, advocating with the “Stop the Burn, Go Green Harvest” campaign to provide more jobs and better quality of life for our residents. I also labor as a servant leader, pastoring a local church.
I want to be City Commissioner.
Since accepting that challenge in the 10th grade, I have been committed to the idea that I want to serve Belle Glade in the most meaningful way possible. I want to be a bridge that connects our past successes to our future achievements, connecting our older generation to the next generation. I want to work with and serve alongside our residents in making Belle Glade a place worthy of her amazing People, Culture, Natural Resources, and Potential.
To accomplish this, we need Bold New Leadership for a New Day — leadership with Vision, with Integrity, with Engagement. I am asking you to vote for me, Steve Messam for the City of Belle Glade, Commission Seat C. Putting People First! I hope you will join me.
Belle Glade Council Candidates
Mary Ross Wilkerson – Incumbent
Vice Mayor Wilkerson is known among her peers as a tireless advocate for community, homelessness advocacy efforts and collaboration.
Vice Mayor Wilkerson has been serving in her role since 2009, during this time she has resurfaced 100 streets, built an Observation Tower at the Marina and worked to complete badly needed projects in the city.
In addition to serving as Vice Mayor, she serves on the Florida League of Cities Community Economic Development Committee, the Palm Beach County Advisory Board for Community Action and is a member of Zeta Phi Beta, Sorority Inc.
Belle Glade Council Candidates
Johnny Burroughs – Incumbent
Andrew “Kenny” Berry
My name is Andrew “Kenny” Berry.
I am running for City Commission Seat E in my hometown of Belle Glade, Florida. After high school, I was able to secure a football scholarship to attend the University of Miami and later play in the NFL. After football, I worked for agencies like the State of Florida Juvenile Correction and the Palm Beach County School District as an educator and coach. I am a Sr. Pastor of Grace Fellowship Worship Center in Belle Glade.
The City of Belle Glade has reached a point of no return whereby through periods of economic hardships, stagnation and now, the global pandemic, specific needs and issues must be addressed with a decisive and definitive plan.
I have a three-tier plan that would:
- Build a diversified economic base through cultivating the existing industries and attracting new or complementary industries to the community
- Establish an educational base to increase workforce development
- Develop alliances with strategic partners in our community and statewide to support the efforts needed to make Belle Glade a vibrant community
I want to move Belle Glade in the direction of establishing a vision, collaborating with strategic partners and implementing the plan.