KALAMAZOO, MI – Marshall Kilgore, community advocate and advocacy director at Outfront Kalamazoo, on Wednesday announced his intention to run for the Kalamazoo City Commission.

Kilgore, 22, broke the news to a group gathered Wednesday, June 2 at Heritage Hall at Western Michigan University at 625 Oakland Drive.

“I love our town,” Kilgore said, standing in front of the steps of the place which overlooks the Kalamazoo’s Vine district.

“Now is not the time to sit back and wait for change. It’s time to step off the bench and make the change happen, ”said Kilgore.

Kilgore is a community organizer, he said in a statement. He is the former vice-chairman of the Kalamazoo County Democratic Party.

Marshall Kilgore speaks with Mayor David Anderson before a rally at Bronson Park in downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan on Monday, August 24, 2020. The protest was sparked after a police officer in Kenosha, Wis. shot Jacob Blake in the back several times while responding to an incident on Sunday night. Joël Bissell | MLive.com

Kilgore graduated from Western Michigan University, with a bachelor’s degree in political science and communication, he said. The university awarded him the “Tim Hurttgam Memorial Prize” for his work for a sustainable environment, peace and harmony in our world, equal rights and living wages, he said.

Kilgore said he was determined to bring those same ideals to the city commission.

He is a member of the board of directors of “Read and Write Kalamazoo,” where he works to increase literacy and remove barriers to educational resources for young people in the community, Kilgore said in a statement.

Kilgore said he was ready to work with the townspeople, current commissioners and anyone willing to make changes to take “bold and innovative positions” to help Kalamazoo become a place where all residents come together. feel safe, welcomed and for whom they are fighting.

“I think the town of Kalamazoo deserves transparent and honest leadership,” Kilgore said. “I intend to revitalize our city through various forms of community development and outreach. I am mobilizing to provide the more than 76,000 inhabitants of the city with a Kalamazoo for everyone. “

Gun violence awareness lawyer Gwendolyn Hooker introduced Kilgore to a group assembled on Wednesday.

“We have met and talked and met and talked for a very long time, and a lot of things that we have encountered and that we talk about, that just isn’t happening,” said Hooker, speaking with MLive ahead of the event. One of the main reasons she’s supporting Kilgore is because she thinks he’ll push for action, Hooker said.

“He’s not going to back down, he’s going to hold people to account. And he’s going to do it in a transparent way so everyone can see what he’s doing, ”Hooker said.

Kilgore said he received support from State Representative Christine Morse, County Commissioners Tracy Hall and Zac Bauer, Roads Commissioner Keshia Dickason, former City Commissioner Don Cooney and others. local organizers, like Hooker. Some of them attended the event on Wednesday and stood behind Kilgore as he spoke.

Kilgore has been a speaker at recent events including a Black Lives Matter rally and walk at Schoolcraft. He shared the stage with Kalamazoo Town Commissioner Eric Cunningham and addressed the crowd at an anti-hate rally in Kalamazoo last month.

Stop AAPI Kalamazoo Hate Rally

Local activist Marshall Kilgore and Kalamazoo City Commissioner Eric Cunningham turn the crowd up during a Black Lives Matter that supports the AAPI community, over hate rally at Bronson Park in Kalamazoo, Michigan on Sunday 16 May 2021. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)Joël Bissell | MLive.com

Kilgore ran for the Kalamazoo School Board in 2020 from a pool of six candidates vying for three board positions. Kilgore was not elected to the school board. It won 13,992 votes, or 17.2% of the total.

Read more:

Activists gather and march to Schoolcraft for Black Lives Matter

Kalamazoo ‘No More Hate Rally’ Highlights Nationwide Rise in Hate Crimes Against Asian American Community

3 candidates will challenge the incumbents in the race for the Kalamazoo school board

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