Chantel Rhodes - Candidate for City Council Ward 3
Chantel Rhodes was born and raised in Ft. Myers, FL and was privileged to receive her early educational foundation at Mount Hermon Christian School located in the historic Dunbar community. Chantel spent a large part of her childhood in Ward 3 residing with her late grandmother, Bertha W. Eady who introduced her to the concept of service to others. Chantel went on to attend Lee County Public schools and graduated from North Fort Myers High School in 2006.
In 2010, Chantel earned a B.A degree in Criminology at the University of South Florida and a Masters in Social Work at Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies in 2017.
While attending graduate school in Atlanta, GA, Chantel became involved in the ‘Black Lives Matter Movement’ which was birthed to bring awareness to police brutality following the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer in 2013.
The professional experience that Chantel holds includes various roles as a Social Worker with agencies in Florida and Georgia. One of the most rewarding experiences for Chantel was living in Shanghai, China from 2017-2019 where she taught English as a foreign language. Currently Rhodes is employed with the Lee Health System as a Mental Health Navigator, helping communities and families understand mental illness and options for treatment.
Following the brutal slaying of George Floyd in May of 2020, Chantel and two beloved friends, Lisa Shamma and Napa Peacock formed the Peaceful Protest of Lee County group to bring awareness to police brutality and the racial injustice worldwide. Chantel lead Southwest Florida residents into thirteen consecutive days of peaceful yet powerful demonstrations that educated many and empowered others and challenged everyone to serve in the resistance movement.
Chantel has helped to bring awareness to racial disparities locally and highlighted the ever-present tension that exists between law enforcement and the communities that they serve. As an advocate for Human Rights, Chantel believes that it is the difficult conversations that help to educate, translate, and decrease barriers to individuals loving and understanding one another. Chantel has facilitated conversations with the Ft. Myers Police Department as well As the Lee County Sheriff's Department to get a better understanding of the challenges that law enforcement officials are faced with daily.
Some of local work by this candidate includes, voting initiatives for Southwest Florida residents and being selected as a contributor to the Unity Task Force that was created by the Mayor of the City of Fort Myers. Chantel has served as a Board member for the Lee County LGBTQ and wholeheartedly supports organizations designed to protect LGBTQ individuals, especially LGBTQ youth.
Rhodes is affiliated with various organizations, community initiatives, and local charities.
Chantel Rhodes is an active member of the Theta Nu Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Chantel is proud to be connected to such a supportive and evolving sisterhood that has made 'Service to all mankind' it's mission since 1908.
Chantel's passions for service, culture, and social justice have led her to travel to 34 countries throughout both North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. She has helped foster the success of children through education in Kenya, Malaysia and in China.
Chantel Rhodes desires to assist others in finding their voice. Chantel is highly qualified and equipped with resources to uplift and empower the residents of Ward 3 through firm Representation. Rhodes is motivated by what she describes as a 'God given' call to serve and the mission to understand the complex responses of human nature.
Chantel wants to continue to serve as a positive representative for the City of Palms, her forever home. Her vision is to be a part of influencing the right kind of change, community progression, and increase opportunities for families.
As Chantel prepares to embark on the journey of a lifetime, she is grateful to God for the gift of true leadership and to her mother Darlene for the spunk and charisma to navigate through muddy waters. Chantel respects her brother Charlton for guiding her into the field of Social Work and for being a progressive and reliable force in her life. Chantel appreciates the support of those in Ward 3 and beyond for all of the continued support and most importantly, the love.
Why I’m running for Ward 3
I'm running for City Council (Ward 3) because I recognize the need for quality and reliable representation in the city that I call home, the City of Palms, beautiful Fort Myers. Florida.
I played in these streets as a child and now I'm committed to revitalizing those same streets, making them safer and worth taking pride in. As a young adult, I often hear these words from the elders: "you're the future", "so many young people need to hear your voice", "you're going to make a great leader…one day".
Well, that day has arrived! Sometimes I pause and reflect on the fact that so many of our parents and grandparents have passed away, I take a moment to cry and then I examine my own life, my role and my purpose.
As paranormal as this may sound, I hear my grandmother's spirit pounding at the door of my consciousness saying "Chantel, get your butt up and lead!"
I won't make any grand commitments or promises to get votes. I plan to lead with integrity, humility, and boldness. I plan to use the voice that I once despised to raise those growing concerns related to affordable housing, safe environments, homelessness, and low wages. I will use my position and resources to encourage mental health education to families in our area.
I'll encourage people to examine themselves to identify all barriers to their success, whether it be mental, physical, financial, or intellectual. We have so much work to do!
Vote for me and watch things transform for the better!