Black History Month: New Hope Council Member Rises from Humble Beginnings
With family by his side, Cedrick Frazier took the oath of office last September. He was sworn in to fill a vacant seat. His appointment made him the first African-American ever to serve on the New Hope City Council.
Rising from Humble Beginnings
Frazier rose from humble beginnings. He is the oldest of seven kids who grew up on Chicago’s Southside.
“It is one of the areas of Chicago, one of the toughest areas, a lot of gun and gang violence,” Frazier recounted.
He was determined not to succumb to his environment. His mother encouraged him to do better.
“Very fortunate, had a strong parent, that told me education was important, from day one,” said Frazier.
The council member earned a law degree from William Mitchell (the name changed to Mitchell Hamline School of Law) and works for the Minnesota Department of Education.
The council member has lived in New Hope for about four years. He and his wife, Stephanie, have three children.
Decision to Serve
Part of doing better also includes serving the community.
“It’s necessary that we have folks that look like me in positions,” said Graves.
He says past and present elected bodies do not look like the demographics of New Hope.
“You’ve got almost 30 percent people of color, a large part who are African-American,” Frazier said. “But when you look around the city, when you look at elected officials, when you look at commissions, when you look at the staff, you do not see any of that reflected.”
Frazier wants to change that by being more inclusive. He recently suggested the city survey include questions that focus around representation. Based on survey answers, he wants to find more ways to be more engaging and welcoming.
“I’m here to make New Hope the best city you’ve ever lived in and the most inclusive community you can be a part of,” he said.