Charlie Cavell on thinking like a global citizen in local government

3rd Act

11-05-2021 • 36 mins

Charlie brings his background as a social worker and international work. He founded an innovative nonprofit called Pay It Forward Initiative while at Wayne State University and working with New Detroit, and a nonprofit focused on racial justice.

We talk more about Charlie's background and his inspiration for his social-minded work.

My chosen purpose in life is to empower people to recognize their potential and then help them fulfill it. ~ Charlie

This passion came from his personal experiences.  His mom passed away when he was two, and his dad went to jail when he was ten, so he spent time in the foster system that taught him empathy and curiosity to question why the world is the way it is.  This led him to become a global citizen.

Charlie talks about the Pay it Forward Initiative and how it got started, and what's going on today.

Not having access to between $400-800 is when most Americans fall into poverty. So the Initiative set up a fund that allowed participants access to a $500 savings account that they could access if needed.

Charlie spent time working on a startup incubator for a triple bottom line business. The three bottom lines are people, planet, then profit. He also spent time in Uganda working with a company that was working on a model to sell charcoal door to door to allow women to start their own company with a low-interest loan to buy their first lot of charcoal to resell. Then he worked on rural employment in Egypt.

Charlie also spent time in the room during Detroit's economic problems including the water crisis. After his experiences, he decided to run for County Commissioner. If you're not at the table, you're on the menu. So he wanted to be at the table.

County Commissioner Cavell feels
1. We need to return to a time when we realized that government was an integral part of your life, whether you like it or not so you might as well participate.
2. They are taking a third of your paycheck so you should care to become involved.

We talk about the fair housing initiative in Oakland County and the source of income discrimination that comes into play when some landlords don't accept vouchers. Landlords don' like the extra paperwork associated with vouchers. They are trying to cut down on paperwork and provide assistance for landlords. They are also setting up a fund to defray the cost of getting up to code. And finally, trying to break the stereotype that people who pay with vouchers will mess up my property. So tenants who receive a complaint from landlords will lose their voucher for life, and landlords have access to additional funds to mitigate the risk.

"And it's not that this is a bad deal for landlords. It's not that this is a bad deal for tenants. This is a good deal for everybody is just making sure people's fears are overcome with people's hopes." ~ Charlie Cavell

You can find out more and donate to Habitat for Humanity by visiting the website.

Ways to get involved:

1) Call Charlie to ask questions!

248-807-4347

cavellc@oakgov.com

2) Saturday Zoom call 10m:

Join Zoom Meeting

https://bloomfield-org.zoom.us/j/96835207420

Meeting ID: 968 3520 7420

Passcode: 339718

Meeting ID: 968 3520 7420

Find your local number: https://bloomfield-org.zoom.us/u/acBf4ApB3w

3) Come to County meetings and be heard. More info here:

https://www.oakgov.com/boc/Committees/Pages/resources.aspx

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