The Rev. John Burns is no stranger to community involvement. He has dedicated a lifetime to strengthening communities and empowering citizens within.
That same dedication has come front and center as he prepares to officially launch his campaign on Saturday, May 4th, at 10 a.m. in Nardin Park, to run for Farmington Hills City Council.
“Because I am devoted to this community, I understand the good. I can see the better,” said Burns.
The City Council Candidate has spent recent months actively engaged with the public since filing his nominating petitions and securing his name on the ballot.
“I spend a lot of time in a listening campaign…talking to people at various venues,” said Burns.
Talking to people in the community about issues that matter.
“In Farmington Hills, they are pretty well-informed and they are well-engaged folks. I have found that inspiring and challenging…to make sure that I am thinking about the things that they are thinking about,” said Burns.
Burns cited certain issues with the libraries, schools and school boards as some of the prominent concerns of residents. He has vowed to tackle those areas of concerns…as well as topics central to his campaign platform.
“We need a moral revival in our politics. And I do believe that I can bring a sense of sensitivity. I can project a certain sense of caring and demeanor that can set a tone. And I believe I have already begun,” said Burns.
Burns says strengthening Public Safety for the city, including increasing neighborhood watches and decreasing the disproportionate amount of people of color in the courts, would be a top priority. Addressing city services would be another goal.
“Overall we are pretty good with our Public Safety and our services. But the quality of the roads continues to be a concern. I did work on a Road Millage Committee and we were able to get a millage passed for the roads last November, which will raise around $8-9 million each year. Before this, individual homeowners were having to pay to get their roads repaved,” said Burns.
Additionally, Burns would like to see the auto insurance rates decrease.
“I believe our insurance rates should be based on how well our residents drive in the area… as opposed to the incidents that occur on the highways, for example, I-696 and I-275. Those incidents and accidents impact our costs as residents,” said Burns.
Although this is Burns first foray into running for city government, it is by no means his first venture into politics. He has worked on previous campaigns for community and political organizations and has acquired more than 40 years of volunteer service as a community-based lay health educator, organizer, and public speaker.
He served as Chairperson of the Membership Committee for the Multi-Cultural/Multi-Racial Community Council of Farmington and remains an active member in such organizations as the Farmington Area Interfaith Association, Michigan Faith in Action, People Power and the Farmington Hills Democratic Club.
Burns, who moved to Farmington Hills 5 years ago, has brought to the community a pioneering spirit. As an ordained Pastor, both he and his wife, Dr. Patricia Coleman-Burns, established the First African Methodist Episcopal Church (F.A.M.E) on W. 11 Mile Road in Farmington Hills in 2015. Both preside over Sunday services that are open to the public.
Dr. Coleman-Burns says she is excited that Burns is throwing his hat into the local political ring. She believes he brings a lot of qualities to the table that distinguishes him from other candidates.
“Having been married for 41 years, I have been the beneficiary of so many of his creative ideas…his ability to identify issues that emerge out of the community. He has the ability to not just listen, but take those issues… turn them into action and respond to a vision,” said Coleman-Burns
Burns’ vision these days is to continue to build roots in the area and provide top-notch service to residents in the Farmington Hills community…a community he characterizes as having a tremendous amount to offer.
“There is a richness in the community, not only in terms of money but in the values of the people.
“Farmington Hills is a beautiful and diverse community. People move here because they like the public services ….the beautiful parks, the libraries. We need to be able to continue that and expand that,” said Burns.
The Rev. John Burns will be hosting a Campaign Breakfast on May 4, 2019, from 10 a.m. to noon, at Nardin Park United Methodist Church (UMC), located at 29887 W. 11 Mile Road in Farmington Hills.