Dr. Deirdre Waterman, Pontiac Library Board chairwoman, City Charter commissioner and opthalmologist, won the largest number of votes in the mayoral primary and is poised to finish her race in victory on Tuesday, Nov. 5, in the general election against incumbent Mayor Leon Jukowski.
Dr. Waterman has been endorsed by the Oakland Press, the Metro Detroit AFL-CIO, Michigan National Organization of Women (NOW), UAW Region 1, Michigan AFSCME Council 25, State Representative Tim Greimel, County Commissioner Mattie McKinney Hatchett, the Oakland County Ministerial Fellowship, Pontiac City Council President Lee Jones and Pontiac City Council President Pro Tem Patrice Waterman, among many others.
Virgie Rollins, chair emeritus of the Michigan Women’s Democratic Caucus, vice chair of the 14th Congressional District and chair of the Black Caucus of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), feels that a qualified African-American woman mayor in Pontiac is long overdue.
“Pontiac needs the innovative leadership, seasoned judgment and fiscal administrative experience that Deirdre Waterman demonstrates,” Rollins said. “At the national level, it is a priority to support excellent candidates like Waterman to lead our urban cities.”
If she wins the vote in the Nov. 5 general election, Dr. Waterman becomes the first woman elected mayor of Pontiac.
Political activist and Pontiac resident Anita Delgado has high hopes for Dr. Waterman.
“Dr. Waterman came to Pontiac during the major school busing controversy years ago as the young bride of attorney Bill Waterman who later became an outstanding judge, African-American pioneer, and a civil rights legend in Pontiac. The 50th District Court in Pontiac is named after him.
She fought side-by-side with him on behalf of the community. She is an effective community advocate and is known as a problem solver and bridge builder. Dr. Waterman continues the Waterman family community commitment to public service in Pontiac.”
For Dr. Waterman, the time for change in Pontiac is now.
“Pontiac is ready for a fresh start that embraces business and community,” she said. “I’ve been a business owner for over 30 years. I have also been a decision maker for major Pontiac projects including saving over 700 jobs at North Oakland Medical Center as finance chair during the hospital’s transition, and as chairwoman of the Pontiac Library Board where I negotiated to save and revitalize the library. Pontiac is a great city. We need new leadership for a new, positive direction. I can bring that leadership to the table.”
Meeting with neighborhood residents, civic and business groups and community leaders, this mayoral candidate stresses public safety, jobs/economic development and quality of life concerns with a focus on neighborhoods, senior issues and youth activities as her core commitment.
Dr. Waterman emphasizes the importance of the City Council and mayor working together on city challenges rather than the current hostile environment between her opponent, Leon Jukowski, and the Pontiac City Council. Her professional background as a physician enables her to bring some unique perks to the Mayor’s Office.
A graduate of the University of Chicago with a degree in Biology and Political Science, Meharry Medical College and the Kresge Eye Institue of Wayne State University, Waterman was the first African-American female ophthalmologist in the state of Michigan.