Southfield (CW50) – Born and raised on the east side of Detroit, Garlin Gilchrist II started his life with a love for computers and technology when his grandmother bought him his first computer when he was five years old. So, what happened through his life that led him to becoming our state’s Lt. Governor?

Michigan Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II (Courtesy of the State of Michigan Government)

Gilchrist’s mother spent 32 years at General Motors, while his father had a 32-year career at the Department of Defense. Both of ​his parents were involved in their community, as the President and Vice President of the neighborhood’s block club. They surrounded Gilchrist with activism, along with constantly watching C-Span or CNN. Gilchrist may have taken several years of a different career path before ending up in politics, but he was raised in a family where community involvement and caring about what was happening in the world was important.

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While earning a degree in engineering from the University of Michigan, Gilchrist had been offered to intern with Microsoft three times. Eventually he accepted a position within the tech company for four years. During his time at Microsoft, he was part of the software engineering team that developed the popular Microsoft service SharePoint. After his time at Microsoft, Gilchrist moved closer to politics as a community organizer and became the director of new media for the Center for Community Change. His life in politics truly began when he moved to Washington, D.C. to be the national campaign director for MoveOn.org.

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In 2018, Gretchen Whitmer selected Gilchrist to be her running mate in Michigan’s gubernatorial election, eventually leading them to a win against the ticket of Bill Schuette and Lisa Posthumus Lyons. The win solidified Gilchrist in history as Michigan’s first African-American Lt. Governor. Being Michigan’s Lt. Governor led Gilchrist to a place where he can retain his problem-solving engineering mind and implement it into helping the people of Michigan.

Community Connect Host Lisa Germani, with Michigan Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist

Gilchrist joins Lisa Germani on Community Connect to discuss his life before he became the state’s Lt. Governor and what his historic win has meant for him and the black community.

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