Chandler Makes History, Elects 2 Black Newcomers to Fill City Council Seats
Watch Video Interview with City Councilman-Elect OD Harris
The City of Chandler made history in early August 2020 when residents elected a Black man and woman to fill two of the three open City Council seats.
With nearly 25,000 votes, Christine Ellis became the first Black woman in history to capture a Chandler City Council seat, and OD Harris, became the third African American male overall to be elected (approximately 22,000 votes). See the Election Results here.
These were the first Chandler City Council campaigns for Ellis and Harris. Incumbent Mark Stewart returns to fill the third open seat.
Councilman-Elect Harris said the election results became official on August 7 and he was gracious enough to talk with PhxSoul.com on video on Friday.
“(Winning the election) was an amazing experience,” said Harris. “I have to say I was in the right place at the right time, doing the right things for our campaign.
“This is the time to celebrate with my people and I intentionally wanted to make sure that Black media got my first thoughts on these election results, so thank you, thank you, thank you!”
On the video, Harris discussed the history of African Americans serving in Chandler elected offices and his goals for his upcoming term.
Harris said the keys to victory should be attributed to his team knocking on 9,300 doors, sending more than 100,000 emails, paying for social media ads and sending 8,000 text messages in the last 30 days before the election.
He got up every morning at 4 AM and did the work until 7 PM despite being sick and enduring the hot Arizona weather.
He was especially grateful for the Latinx vote and the relationships he built with the Latinx community along the way.
“The Latino vote came out in record-breaking numbers,” said Harris. “That vote had been marginalized and kept quiet all this time and I built some powerful allies.”
Harris says he will be a voice for the people, but the Black community’s needs will certainly be a priority for him. He’ll be working with the police department on officer engagement with Black residents and making sure all officers have their body cameras on at all times.
Overall, Harris aims to provide hope for Chandler.
“I will always have our best interests at heart,” said Harris. “I need your support and I will be representing all people.”