City of Flint names first woman and African American Executive Director of the Downtown Development Authority

FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) – (06/16/2021) – New stores, restaurants, and living spaces have helped build momentum in Downtown Flint for the last five years or so. Now, as restrictions loosen and popular events return, the city is ready to give downtown a much-needed boost.

Now, the city’s newly-appointed executive director is planning on making that happen.

If you’re walking around downtown Flint, there’s a good chance you’ll run into Kiaira May, the city’s first woman and African American Executive Director of the Downtown Development Authority.

“I am committed to stopping into a business, stopping someone on the street, really just trying to get connections and build relationships any way that I can,” May said.

May says building strong relationships with people and organizations was a key component helping revitalize Detroit while working at Quicken Loans and Bedrock Real Estate.

Now, she’s going all-in on connecting with community members here, something people living in Flint feel strongly about.

“If you can’t socialize and mingle with the community, then you’re really not part of the community,” Flint resident, Mary Sanders said.

May added, “I want to connect with community leaders, activists, singers, dancers, everyone because that’s what I want the downtown area to reflect.”

While that’s happening, May will also be trying to find a solution to a complaints that are already popping up in every direction.

“The new meters would be awesome if they got them under control. I’ve experienced probably two tickets now because of some defect in the meters,” Sanders said.

There’s been plenty of frustrations over the metered parking system since its rollout in 2019. May says it’ll be her top priority for the next six months.

Once that’s taken care of, May will be ready to revive Flint’s downtown area, attracting more people and businesses through events showcasing the city’s rich history and identity.

“I really just want to wrap my arms around Flint and give everybody a hug, and I mean that in every aspect way as possible. I want to use all of my expertise that I can to really just give Flint an extra boost,” May said.

May is currently working as the Interim Director, but she’ll appear before Flint City Council, who will be appointing her officially to the position.

Copyright 2021 WJRT. All rights reserved.