Mayor Sheldon Neeley
Sheldon Neeley is a lifelong resident of Flint. He is a father, small business owner, and a man of God with an enduring commitment to serving his neighbors and his community.
Born September 20, 1969, at Hurley Medical Center, Neeley is the son of Marva Neeley and Sam Neeley. He attended Bunche Elementary School and graduated from Flint Northern High School in 1986. He went on to earn an associate’s degree from Delta Community College and a bachelor’s degree in communications from Saginaw Valley State University.
He spent 27 years working as an engineer for WJRT-12 in Flint, and remained the local union president for the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians-Communication Workers of America until 2020.
He also worked as a counselor in Flint Community Schools for 10 years and served as voluntary CEO of the Flint Inner City Junior Golf League, founded by his father.
His commitment to public service started in 2002 when he joined the Flint Civil Service Commission, a board that investigates claims of wrongdoing at City Hall. In 2005, he was elected to the City Council, the first African-American councilperson elected from the 6th Ward, a racially diverse area serving Flint’s central west side. Re-elected in 2009 and 2013, Neeley successfully passed ordinances to curb truancy and establish University Avenue by renaming the main corridor between the University of Michigan-Flint and Kettering University.
In 2014, the residents of Flint elected Neeley to the state House of Representatives serving the city’s 34th District. Neeley won nearly 50 percent of the vote against a pool of eight Democratic primary candidates and went on to nab 91 percent of the vote in the general election. He went on landslide re-election victories in 2016 and 2018.
In the state House, Neeley fought on behalf of the residents of Flint during the Flint Water Crisis — helping to bring millions of dollars in aid to the city and changing state law to require residents be informed whenever harmful elements are present in their drinking water.
On Nov. 5, 2019, the residents of Flint elected him mayor based on his pledge to bring transparency and fiscal responsibility to Flint City Hall. Within just a few months, Mayor Neeley spearheaded an operational audit to ensure City Hall operates better and more efficiently, successfully led the city’s proactive response to limit the spread of COVID-19, launched a major initiative to Fight Blight, and continued his lifelong fight for equity with multiple local reforms.
Neeley married Cynthia Renay in 1992. Together, they have two children, Taylor and Morgan. The couple also co-own a small business called Make Me Over Salon, located on East Court Street in Flint.
He is a member of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, an avid golfer who rarely has time to hit the links, and a relentless champion of Flint who regularly sums up his life simply by saying: “I’m blessed.”