Detroit’s race for city clerk is now down to two candidates. Voters in last week’s primary election chose incumbent City Clerk Janice Winfrey and candidate Garlin Gilchrist II to appear on the November ballot.
Gilchrist lacks the name recognition of the incumbent, but he’s hoping to make up for that with unrelenting hard work and stellar fundraising skills.
He studied computer engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan.
“It taught me how to solve problems and use technology to work for people,” says Gilchrist. “And solving problems for people is really what the city clerk should be doing.”
After U of M, Gilchrist worked as a software engineer for Microsoft. During that time he also worked with President Obama’s first election campaign, where we used new technology to organize voters.
“Doing that actually inspired me to go actually work in activism,” he continues. “I left Microsoft to go be a community organizer… working all across the country solving and protecting and defending voting rights.”
Winfrey declined to join the program for an interview.
Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation with Gilchrist.