UM-Flint Student Runs for Flint City Council

Student, friend, brother, and politician are all labels Sophomore Santino Guerra has been called. However, he feels a different adjective better describes him. That word? Hopeful.

“Hopeful for the future, for the county, and most importantly, the city of Flint,” said Guerra.

Guerra, who is majoring in criminal justice and sociology, feels political involvement represents the ability to create change. And this year, he is tired of sitting on the sidelines. Currently, he is running to secure a spot as the youngest Flint City Councilman in the city’s history and is hopeful that, if given this position, he will be a key player to Flint’s rebuilding.

“I’ve known politics was my calling since I was a kid,” said Guerra. “I would always love talking and leading the class, even in elementary school. Public speaking was always my favorite class. I also would always try to make bargains or deals, the sign of a true politician.”

Guerra, a Flint native, lives in an apartment located on the northeast side of Flint and hopes to represent the city’s Third Ward after this November’s upcoming election.

“I grew up in Flint, and have gone through the hardships and tribulations this city has seen. We work, live, and play together, I love this city. I want to make a positive difference in my community and believe this position would be a great way to start,” Guerra said.

During high school, Guerra spent one summer working as a senate page in Washington, D.C., trying to get involved in political life as early as possible. This experience with the 113th Congress had him working along side with some of the most prominent U.S senators. Guerra was able to stay at the Daniel Webster Senate Page Residence, integrating him with what he calls, “one of the main arteries of Washington D.C.” This experience of working with all sorts of legislative material, including filibusters, motives Guerra to help improve the political aspect of Flint.

As a student, Guerra is a member of Theta Chi Fraternity and has worked as a campus patrol officer. He also enjoys attending sporting events, both local and professional. Guerra believes that these experiences, as well as what he has learned at the university, have taught him invaluable life skills that will help him as a councilman, if elected.

After going door-to-door to speak to voters, Guerra secured himself a win during the primary election last August. He received 281 votes, compared to 181 votes received by the runner-up and incumbent, Kerry Nelson, according to Detroit’s Channel 4 WDIV News. However, this win has not been without political adversity.

“It’s unfortunate that Kerry Nelson, who I’m running against, would try to ruin my reputation,” said Guerra. “He mailed out letters which I have seen, saying I was a Republican and a Trump supporter. I cannot say I am on the same page as the president. Furthermore, while I identify with more democratic views, the election is non-partisan. The only political views that matter are the ones that further the well-being of Flint.”

He credits his friends and family with his success in both politics, education, and life. “I couldn’t have done any of this without my amazing friends and family,” said Guerra. “They were with me and supported me through the whole process. I had friends who trekked out in the freezing cold to help me get signatures in January. Not only do they physically support me, but they energize me, as well.”

Guerra believes his family is full of his strongest supporters. “I’m not only lucky to have family older than me, but younger, as well. I hope to set a great example to my niece, Stacia, who is a toddler, and my 3-month-old nephew, Ace. I want them to grow up in a city where they have the same opportunities and education as the rest of the state.”

After graduation, Guerra would either like to head out of state to law school or go into law enforcement. As to where, that is unclear.

“It’s all up in the air right now, I currently need to focus on my bachelor’s and doing the best that I can in school right now,” said Guerra. “It all depends on how my political career is at that moment, but I know for sure I will be doing some sort of public service work to improve whatever community I am then living in.”

To support Guerra or Nelson in the election this November, voters must live and be registered to vote in Flint’s Third Ward. You can like his Facebook page or email him at [email protected].