By Oyintari Ben
The youngest black Mayor to be elected in the US is reportedly an 18-year-old college student from the state of Arkansas.
In May, Jaylen Smith recently finished high school. He was elected to serve as the mayor of Earle, a small town, 48 kilometres (30 miles) west of Memphis, Tennessee, on Tuesday.
The American state of Arkansas includes Earle as a city in Crittenden County. There were 1,831 people there as of the 2020 census.
It’s time to create a better chapter for Earle, Arkansas, he said as he posted the news on social media.
As a newcomer, “I have what it takes,” Smith told Action News 5 in August. “At this point in time, I want to do a lot. I wish to make all the necessary improvements to Earle, Arkansas.”
According to a count from the Crittenden County Clerk’s office, the vote was cast 235 to 185.
The incoming mayor ran on a programme that included strengthening the local police force, fixing the drainage system, dealing with vacant homes, and increasing community involvement.
The lone grocery store in town closed years ago, therefore as mayor, he also has plans to open a sizable food store in the neighbourhood.
He held executive positions in school groups while in high school and served as president of the student government association.
You really do need to start someplace, he told the Washington Post. “When I could become mayor straight away, I preferred not to wait until I was 30 or 40.”
Smith intends to one day practice law and has plans to balance his studies at Arkansas State University Mid-South with his obligations as mayor.
Before completing his high school education, 18-year-old Michael Sessions won the 2005 election for mayor of Hillsdale, Michigan.
The principal of his school was quoted as having said: “I warned him that if he wins, he’ll still need to fulfill his homework. It would be terrible to have to suspend a city official.”