Get to Know Emily

Emily is originally from the Greater Lansing area, where her family still lives today. Now, she is a proud Kentwood resident and has been giving back to our city for over ten years. Her community engagement includes being: a member of Kent County’s City/County Building Authority, Kentwood Arts Commission Member, Vice-Chair of Kalamazoo County’s Solid Waste Committee, Former Humane Society of West Michigan Board Member, and Former Parks and Recreation and Planning Commissioner. Currently, she is working in a patient services capacity at Spectrum Health in our vaccine clinics, helping our community successfully move past the pandemic. As an animal lover and advocate for animal welfare, you will find two rescue cats at Emily’s home – Lennon and Harry.

A graduate of the University of Central Florida (BA), Michigan State (MS), and Northwood University (MBA), Emily considers herself a lifelong learner and believes access to education is a critical component to self-growth and success. As a fellow of the Michigan Political Leadership Program, she learned about public policy and engaging with communities in a meaningful way and added her grassroots experience and approach to actively listen to Kentwood residents.

Emily’s managerial and active leadership experience has formed through her work in both the private and public sectors. Having served in operations management, sustainability, recycling, sales, and non-profit development capacities has contributed to her success in serving Kentwood residents.

“My decision to run for mayor is a personal one. I believe that decisions are not always black and white, and leadership requires more than balancing budgets and managing resources. Leadership is about leading the city with a vision while promoting empathy and kindness for all of us – including our New American and refugee neighbors. As your mayor, I will encourage our neighbors to get involved in city leadership roles to grow more equitable representation and build a stronger Kentwood together.”
— Emily Bridson

Building a Stronger Kentwood

Emily’s concern for her community drove her to attend her first Kentwood City Commission meeting in 2014. She stood up during the general comments to inquire about the level of crime occurring in her neighborhood. Her attendance became regular, and she became a vocal and engaged participant, which led to her appointment on Parks and Recreation and the Planning Commissions. After further educating herself on how local government works and accumulating a “to-do” list of the changes she wanted to see, Emily decided to put her knowledge and passion to work for the people of Kentwood by running to become a City Commissioner.
As a City Commissioner, Emily has advocated for a stronger Kentwood on issues important to all of us, such as implementing sustainable methods and strengthening public safety measures through adding three firefighters to meet the needs of our growing city. She speaks up for all of her constituents and does not stray from hard issues and work. Solutions require action, and Emily ran for Commission in 2017 to bring such active leadership to Kentwood. That’s why she makes it a point to engage with residents, which she began doing by going door to door to visit over 7,000 households – so she could listen to you and take action on your concerns.

It is Emily’s active approach, work in Kentwood, and in West Michigan that grew her success as a commissioner. Now, she wants to be your next Mayor of Kentwood and ensure we all have a voice and representation at tables where change and influence occur. Please visit the Issues Tab to further learn about Emily’s platform and vision to build a stronger Kentwood through strengthening and supporting small businesses, implementing a greener and more sustainable city, and creating a sense of community.

To stay connected on Emily’s important journey of becoming the next Mayor of Kentwood, please join our email list. Our list is a great way to stay up to date on campaign and volunteer opportunities. Team Bridson needs your help to ensure that Emily can build a stronger Kentwood. 

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