Ferndale Pride Executive Director Julia Music was unanimously appointed to fill a temporary seat on the Ferndale City Council at its meeting Monday night. The seat became vacant when Councilman Dan Martin replaced outgoing Mayor Dave Coulter, who was appointed to the role of Oakland County executive following the death of L. Brooks Patterson. Music will complete Martin’s term on the council and serve until the end of the year.
Music was one of five candidates who submitted their names for consideration. One candidate withdrew before the meeting and another was a no-show. That left three candidates standing.
“Based on everything that I have heard and just based on everything that I know about this person, for this term – even though it’s for the short term that it is, a few months – I believe that my support will go behind somebody that has been just amazing,” said Councilwoman Raylon Leaks-May. “[She is] a good friend, a good leader in many, many ways. I am actually going to throw my support behind Julia Music.”
With that, Leaks-May nominated Music for the post and then Councilman Dennis Whittie and Mayor Pro Tem Greg Pawlica both tried to second the nomination.
“I know Julia’s been in the community for a long time … and I think she is extremely well qualified for this position,” Whittie said.
“I have known Julia longer than she has lived here and we became instant friends,” he said. “She is very aware of the work that we are doing up here. There are many times that she does not agree with me. We get into many heated conversations. But we have great respect for each other.”
The final “yes” vote went to Martin.
“Julia is a great candidate for this,” Martin said. “I’ve known Julia a long time as well. I second everything that Pawlica has said. I can’t think of somebody I would be happier to see in one of these seats.”
Following the meeting and appointment, Music released a statement.
“I am humbled and delighted to serve Ferndale as a city councilperson,” she said. “Historically speaking, this is the first time that the Ferndale City Council has had a queer woman/non-binary person serve and the first time that our council has been majority LGBT. It’s fantastic to see how much our segment of the community is doing to continue moving Ferndale in a progressive direction.”
Ferndale Pride Grants Given to Local Charities
Prior to her appointment to the council, Music spoke at the meeting and disbursed grant monies from Ferndale Pride to five local charities. Ferndale Pride gave $20,000 to the Ferndale Community Foundation and $2,000 each to Affirmations, Gender-identity Network Alliance, Matrix MAC Health, Transgender Detroit and Transgender Michigan.
“Today is the second-best day of Ferndale Pride,” Music said. “We get to celebrate in the streets but the real reason we have this event to give back to our community. Today we’re going to be giving away more money than ever before to some very deserving charities.”
Music also took time to recognize Ferndale Pride’s naming sponsor, the Candle Wick Shoppe.
“Because of the contributions of the Candle Wick Shoppe and many other Ferndale businesses, we’ve been able to expand the Pride festival,” she said. “We’re looking forward to creating an even larger Pride festival next year. [There will be] no more space on the street, but more activities, more things to do and some stage innovations as well.”