State Rep. Brenda Carter is serving her third term representing the 53rd House District, which encompasses Pontiac and parts of Waterford and Auburn Hills. Carter is the fifth of 13 children. Her parents were John H. Canty and Mary S. Wallace. She graduated from high school in Detroit and attended Michigan State University, Spring Arbor College, and Oakland University. Carter holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in organizational design as well as a Master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in local government. She is a graduate fellow of the Michigan Political Leadership Program and a certified grant writer and fiscal consultant.
Carter joined the Improved Benevolent Protective Order of Elks in 1975, where she held various local and state positions, including state director of education and national areas, grand trustee, grand auditor, and grand directress of public relations. Carter is one of the founding members of the Million Woman March. Her involvement with the Million Woman March and the Elks spurred her on a speaking tour around the globe. Carter traveled around the U.S. She also went to northeastern Africa, Israel, Egypt, and extensively in the Caribbean before returning to the United States. It was at one such speaking engagement that she opened for then-Senator, Barack Obama.
When Carter moved to Pontiac, she immediately began working in her community, starting with the Pontiac Community School Improvement team. Later she assisted with the programming of Pontiac Northern’s Huskie Brigade Robotics Team the year the team won F.I.R.S.T’s International Championship.
Carter is currently a member of several organizations, including the Council of Urban Boards of Education, National School Board Association, Oakland County School Board Association, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and New Mount Moriah International Church. She is also on the board of directors or the executive committees of several organizations including the Michigan-Shiga Sister State Board of Directors.
Carter was the first woman to hold the seat of state representative for District 53. She founded five district task force groups that focus on the areas of education, veteran’s services, poverty and homelessness, minority maternal health, and criminal justice reform. She is the chair and co-founder of the poverty and homelessness caucus, which is bi-partisan and bi-cameral.
Carter and her husband, Randy, live in Pontiac, Michigan. She has six children and five grandchildren.