Meet Melanie

I fell in love with Royal Oak in 2004, when my husband, Ned, and I bought our home here. I had just accepted an International Management Associate position at DaimlerChrysler in Auburn Hills, and we were looking for the right city for us. We loved Royal Oak’s gorgeous and lively downtown, its seemingly endless number of parks, beautiful mix of homes, and easy access to, well, everything. I thought: this is a good place to plant roots and raise a family. Seventeen years later, I know I was right, and we are proud to call Royal Oak our home.

My background is as an attorney working in public interest and counseling law students interested in public interest and government careers. I have found through that work and my community involvement that I love working with people to creatively solve real-world problems. And for the past fourteen years, I am mostly a child chauffeur /cook/ sports cheerleader/event planner/ healer / PTA chair (aka, “Mom”). I spend my days and nights racing all over Royal Oak, at events and meetings talking to residents and working on our common goal: a safe, inclusive, healthy, and connected commmunity.  I love it, and I think we have accomplished quite a bit together. That’s why I am running for re-election as your City Commissioner.

Most of my professional experience is in public service:

After graduating from University of Michigan Law School in 2008, I worked as a staff attorney for the Detroit Center for Family Advocacy, where I worked with families involved in the foster care system to resolve a wide variety of legal and practical issues. Following that, I provided legal help to low-income clients across Michigan through the Counsel and Advocacy Law Line. In 2015, I joined Michigan Law’s Office of Career Planning, where I advised law students on career paths in public service and government.

Other fun facts about me:

  • I have an M.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. (Go Blue!)

  • I am a Board Member for the Royal Oak Public Library and have overseen so many changes in my time on the Board: Sunday hours during the school year, fine-free borrowing, renovation upstairs and down, new Library of Things, a makerspace, and a major outside overhaul! All credit to the hardworking librarians and library staff who will make the magic happen!

  • I have three children who all play sports, which means I spend approximately 35% of my waking hours on various playing fields, courts, and tracks.

  • My husband is my high school sweetheart. We were both born and raised in Indianapolis.

  • My family belongs to St. John’s Episcopal Church (at Woodward & 11 Mile), where I bring fun and games to my turns as Godly Play teacher.

  • We live with an adorable Goldendoodle, Moby; a cat, Katara; and about one million Star Wars and Harry Potter decorations.

  • I am currently reading:

    • Winds of War (with my 14-year-old)

    • Clan of the Cave Bear (edited, to my 12-year-old)

    • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (to my 8-year-old)

    • Jesus and the Disinherited (for a discussion group)