Meet Janeé

Energy. Fresh Ideas. No-Nonsense Leadership

Councilwoman Janeé Ayers was elected in a sweeping victory last November to her At-Large seat on city council.  During that campaign, she was endorsed by a broad coalition of local elected, labor, business and community leaders. Garnering 60% of the vote, she won over 100,000 votes city-wide – the most of any single city-wide candidate in over a decade.

Janeé’s priorities in her service to Detroit’s citizens are rooted in her own personal history. Growing up in Detroit, Janeé’s early life story is all too familiar. 

Born to loving and productive parents, her childhood was turned upside-down when her father fell into the vicious cycle of drug abuse and repeated incarceration. Her mother, a retired Detroit Public School teacher, was her rock and her role model.  Her younger sister, who overcame a rare and serious childhood illness, was her inspiration; and her grandparents were her best friends.

Amid the pain and devastation visited on her young life, Janeé learned powerful lessons.  She learned that the greatest disservice to one’s self, community and society, is to waste human potential. With the example of her mother and the encouragement of her grandparents, that important lesson shaped her young life and her professional career.

After graduating from Renaissance High School, Janeé won a full academic scholarship to Bowling Green State University where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Policy. Wher mother fell ill, Janeé returned home to Detroit after college. Like her mother, Janeé worked to make the most of her energies and to make ends meet.

Janeé’s passion was working with young people. She kept hundreds of young people busy and productive year-round at Detroit’s youth recreation programs; and she inspired and nurtured many more as a substitute teacher at a DPS school for alternative education.

She took every opportunity to get ahead.  She worked as a mortgage banker at Quicken Loans and a hospitality worker at MGM Casino.  It was there she took the initiative to exercise her natural leadership skills and began to fulfill her true potential.

Janeé got involved in her union, UNITE HERE! and became the youngest member of their contract bargaining team, negotiating on behalf of thousands of hospitality workers with some of the region’s largest employers.

At the negotiating table Janeé learned the art and necessity of compromise and pragmatic advocacy; she developed an appreciation for the symbiotic relationship between business and labor; she exercised her keen intelligence and problem-solving skills. Her motivation to succeed was the weight of responsibility to the families of the workers she represented.

Janeé brings that same sense of responsibility for others, work ethic, and pragmatism to Detroit City Council. Janeé has played an important role in building coalitions between government, labor and the private sector to help citizens returning from incarceration; ensuring that our neighborhoods are not left behind in the rebirth of the City; and to make sure seniors get the services they need like reliable para-transit and affordability programs for water services and trash collection. 

Janeé serves on four committees, more than any other council member. She is Vice Chair of Public Health and Safety Committee; Vice Chair of Budget, Finance and Audit; Internal Operations; and the Rules Committees.

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© 2021

Paid for by Janeé L. Ayers For Detroit, P.O Box 44562, Detroit, MI 48244