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Clockwise from top left: Ned, Melanie, Katie, Lizzie &

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. The Royal Oak community has proven to be everything I hoped for, and I am proud to call it my home.

By day, I am an attorney-counselor at the University of Michigan Law School, helping law students find public service-oriented jobs in government or with non-profits. By night, I am a child chauffeur /cook/ sports cheerleader/event planner/ healer / PTA chair (aka, “Mom”). I have grown to care deeply about Royal Oak and its future, and I think I have something to offer: that’s why I am running for 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 still work part-time.

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 have three children who all play sports, which means I spend approximately 35% of my waking hours on various playing fields.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 11 Mile & Woodward), where I bring a little drama to my turns as Godly Play teacher.

  • We live with an adorable Goldendoodle, Moby; a cat, Katara; and about one million children’s toys.

  • I am currently reading:

    • The War That Saved My Life (to my 9-year-old)

    • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (to my 7-year-old)

    • Busytown Mysteries (to my 4-year-old)

    • The World According to Star Wars (to, uh, my R2D2 figurine?)