Mayor Darren E. Bryant
Photo by Eddy “Precise” Lamarre for rolling out
By Eddy “Precise” Lamarre
Darren E. Bryant, the newest mayor of Robbins, Illinois, holds the distinction of being the youngest Black mayor in state history at 29 years old. On May 12, 2021, Bryant was sworn in to his new position. Robbins is located about 20 minutes from Chicago, is a community focused on family. Bryant’s family is one rooted in the idea of being of service. Bryant spoke to rolling out about leadership, the love for his community and the challenges he will address as mayor.
What do you love about Robbins?
The people. I love the people. They are family-oriented. We have a rich history and a camaraderie that will allow us to build off of one another and truly unite together.
What does Robbins become under your leadership?
It becomes a town with a vision, a town with a future and a clearer direction.
What would you say are some of the biggest challenges and how will you address them?
Commercial-industrial development: We have to sit down with the planning and zoning committee to rezone and establish a business TIF district in our community and opportunity zones.
Residential development: We are going to establish a housing program in which the municipality invests in real estate and buyback private home lots that will create jobs for developers, construction and electricians.
Financial development: We are going to continue to offer financial empowerment courses, credit repair, mortgage understanding, and other tips for creating wealth to build our citizens and offer them jobs.
Educational development: I’m a teacher. I teach at the local community high school district. We must have a Robbins resource center that will offer trade programs and cosmetology school.
What will be one of the first steps you will take as mayor of Robbins?
Examining the financial standings within the village, you have to get the money right before we can properly plan. We want to establish fiscal accountability, organization, and unify the people.
How important was the influence of your parents?
They both are elected officials within the community. My inspiration for everything I do politically and throughout my life starts with what they do and what they have consistently exposed me to my entire life.
What does your generation bring to politics?
New innovative ways of thinking and accomplishing our goals. We bring a renewed sense of energy and a new look to the face of politics. I’d like to believe we also add a layer of love to how we approach our politics. We have been learning from the past in hopes to apply what we’ve learned to our future.
What does it mean to be a leader?
A leader is a servant. A leader knows how to be inclusive and keep an open mind. It means to be accountable. A leader sets a higher standard of excellence and inspires, motivates and encourages their team to be their best. A good leader is understanding and open to ideas.
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This article originally appeared in RollingOut.com.