Former U.S. House Speaker Tip O’Neil coined the phrase “all politics is local” and how true it is. In most cases, our legislators and members of congress typically start out serving on the local city council or board of alderman. For our latest Q&A segment we decided to look at municipal officials who are making a difference and who are relative newcomers with bright futures ahead of them.
Alderwoman Diandra Hosey, who represents Byram’s Ward 2, was elected to office this past June. Diandra decided to run for the post because in her words “Ward 2 was unrepresented on the Board of Aldermen and thus had no voice.” Her platform was simple: she wanted ensure safe families, safe property and economic development for the city.
Hosey holds a law degree from Mississippi College School of Law and a Masters degree in Political Science Public Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi. Diandra’s impressive credentials along with her keen understanding of the issues enables her to be a very effective member of the board of alderman.
Check out our 7 Questions Series with Alderwoman Diandra Hosey
1) MSPOLITICALPULSE: What prompted you to run for the board of alderman?
Alderwoman Hosey: I ran for the Board of Alderman because there was a need for new ideas and new energy in our city. The city was newly reincorporated, but with the incorporation, it was also stagnant.
The prior Board was appointed, and in my opinion the city was being operated with no accountability, as most of the residents didn’t even know who was on the Board of Alderman. Furthermore, not a single member of the prior appointed Board of Aldermen lived in Ward 2. My ward was virtually unrepresented.
2) MSPOLITICALPULSE: What would you say are the top 3 priorities for your Ward?
Alderwoman Hosey: My top three priorities are the issues that are important to my constituents: fair water rates, street repairs and bringing quality businesses to the city.
3) MSPOLITICALPULSE: Who is your political role model? And why?
Alderwoman Hosey: I actually do not have a particular political role model, but being one of 2 African-American women elected to the Board of Alderman, my fellow-Alderman Tereasa Mack and I, in some ways, broke barriers. Prior to our election there were no African-Americans serving on the board.
Needless to say, I aim to represent my ward with the common sense that brought us legislation such as the Affordable Care Act, the New Deal and the Civil Rights Acts, with the courage of Dr. Martin Luther King, the gusto of Jennifer Granholm, combined with the grace and poise of First Lady Michelle Obama.
4) MSPOLITICALPULSE: How will you work across the aisle to gain support for your initiatives?
Alderwoman Hosey:In a position on the local level, such as the Byram Board of Alderman, party preferences should never be an issue. It’s all about the people who elect us. What is in the best interest of my constituents is the main question I ask myself. I seek to govern with that philosophy in mind.
5) MSPOLITICALPULSE: In what way(s) will you take the lead in working to bring economic development and jobs to your Ward?
Alderwoman Hosey:I’ve sought advice from notable individuals with experience in bringing major businesses to cities. They advised me to first develop committees within the Board of Alderman for that purpose. Hence, on my motion, the Byram Board of Alderman recently implemented legislative and economic development committees, where we will work towards the goal of bringing businesses to the city.
6) MSPOLITICALPULSE: Were you satisfied with this past legislative session as it related to the needs of the City of Byram? What would you like to see accomplished next session?
Alderwoman Hosey:In this past legislative session, Senator David Blount fought very hard for legislation that would have brought relief to the people in my ward in terms of the water rates. I would have loved for him to have been successful at that. Next year, I would like to legislation that encourages economic growth for small cities like Byram.
7) MSPOLITICALPULSE: Tell the PULSE readers something unique about Ward 2.
Alderwoman Hosey: My ward is very diverse and family-oriented. Ward 2 also contains the only public lake in the southern part of Hinds County.
Alderwoman Diandra Hosey currently represents Ward 2 in Byram, Mississippi. She is a licensed attorney and member of the Magnolia Bar Association.