Alisha Bell (Dist. 7)
Biography of Wayne County Commission Chair Alisha Bell
Alisha Bell is Chair of the Wayne County Commission. She was first elected to the Commission in November 2002 as the youngest African-American woman to serve on a county commission in the country, and is serving her ninth two-year term. She also served for nine months in 2000, succeeding her mother, who had served since 1991.
As an active member of the community, Commissioner Bell has served as chair of the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence and the Detroit Recovery Project. She currently serves as the Chair of Wayne County Zoological Authority and Wayne County HealthChoice. She is a member of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and Jack and Jill of America Inc and a past member of the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority. She volunteered with Junior Achievement and was founder and charter president the Metro Detroit Optimist Club, a young adult chapter of the Optimist Club International. She is also a former precinct delegate.
On a national level, Commissioner Bell is very active with the National Association of Counties (NACo) where she was a presidential appointee for three consecutive NACo Presidents. She is the Immediate Past Chair of the Justice and Public Safety Committee, immediate Past President of the National Association of Black County Officials, Past President of Women of NACo and founding member and former Executive Board member of NextGen NACo.
Commissioner Bell initiated a resolution denouncing the practice of racial profiling in Wayne County. She also introduced several school officials to the Wayne County Reality Tour Program, which helps deter youth from criminal behavior. She has secured more than $1 million for parks in her district and introduced an ordinance enabling the Wayne County Public Health Department to establish a youth lead testing and screening program.
In recent years, Chair Bell has been extremely involved in criminal justice reform. She initiated the Stepping Up resolution which diverts people with mental illness and substance abuse from jails and into treatment. In 2019 she introduced a Cash Bail Bond reform resolution which addresses the inequity of poor persons who go to jail because they can't afford bail.
Commissioner Bell grew up in the Wayne County Commission's 7th District, which covers part of Detroit's far west side. She is a graduate of Cass Technical High School and received her bachelor's degree in business administration from Florida A&M University, graduating cum laude. She also earned a master's degree in education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
She and her husband, Kranston Young, have a son, Kranston II, and a daughter, Morgan. She is the daughter of James and Edna Bell and has a younger sister, Sonja Johnson.
Representing: Detroit (part)
Staff: Michelle Joyner (313) 224-0936, Beverly King (313) 224-0937
Fax: (313) 967-1233
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