Southfield mom Robin Kinnie and Oak Park mom Jessica McCall-Kailimi are passionate about protecting their families.
MICHIGAN — Southfield resident Robin Kinnie’s grandparents moved up north during the Great Migration from Alabama. Like many Black families generations ago, they sought a better quality of life for their children.
“I have the typical story of a Black family in Detroit,” Kinnie said. “My grandfather worked for Ford Motor Company and took pride in being able to provide for his family.”
A Woman on the Move
Kinnie, a working wife and mother of three (10 and under), takes pride in helping provide for her family, too, and makes great strides doing so. She is the president of Motor City Woman, a uniquely-built broadcast studio with services in digital radio, podcast production, voiceover and audiobook recordings.
“I created Motor City Woman Studios to counteract the disparity of women in the broadcasting and podcasting industries,” Kinnie said.
She is also president of Audio Engineers of Detroit, an audio engineering trade school and involved in a plethora of other projects that uplift women and the underrepresented in broadcasting and beyond.
The Reason Why
Her family is why she also takes politics to heart.
“I can recall when my childcare costs were higher than my mortgage,” she said. “This is outrageous and poses a threat to finding affordable childcare. Healthcare is always important to me and my family. Lastly, I try to be an example for my kids in caring for the environment. We talk about the importance of recycling and climate change. I believe that kids are more likely to mimic you than listen to what you’re saying.”
“From early on, I can remember (my grandfather) insisting on being engaged in politics. He would ask us what we thought about certain issues and encouraged us to speak up for others.”
Although her professional career did not lead to politics, she is still engaged and motivates others to do so, too.
“I have learned that we, as citizens, have more power than we believe. It is our responsibility to educate ourselves on the issues and those running for elected offices. When I think of the blood, sweat, and tears experienced by my ancestors in order to vote; I can do nothing but my part to be involved and make them proud.”
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As a working mother, her top three political issues she is looking at in this general election are healthcare, childcare, and the environment. She believes Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden cares about these issues too and could make an impact as president if he wins.
Motherhood Was the Game Changer
McCall-Kailimai, who is a masters-level social worker, said that she temporarily put her career on hold to care for her children. This wasn’t an easy choice.
“I worked very hard to build my career and build a name for myself in my field. Since having children I have found that I have been in the position where I’ve had to choose between my career and being able to have my children in quality childcare.”
With having them both in daycare five days a week it was almost $800 a week — her salary plus a little bit more. They tried a part-time option, which was not working either at around $400 a week.
“It was just unfeasible for my family to maintain that,” she said, adding that she and her husband made the tough decision for her to take a break from work at least until their nearly three-year-old is in preschool. Then she would gradually go back into the workforce.
McCall-Kailimi said that shifting her life and career around for her family is why she is looking at voting the Democratic ticket this general election — because they are invested in helping families like hers.
“This has meant putting a career on hold that I really am passionate about and I love and for this reason, I support Biden and his views on helping to navigate women and families and their work and making sure that we have access to affordable quality childcare,” she said.