By Hamil R. Harris, Special to the AFRO

For more than two decades Phelecia Nembhard has driven around New Carrollton and other communities in the country to drop off food and to raise money for school children in a half dozen schools.

But while Nembhard, 48, was trolling around New Carrollton on the first Tuesday in May she had no idea that enough people had written her name on the ballot to elect her as the newest member of the New Carrollton City Council.

Phelecia Nembhard was recently elected to the New Carrolton City Council. (Courtesy Photo)

Andy Hanko served as mayor of New Carrollton for more than three decades but last month he didn’t run for re-election and a few days after an election where Duane Rosenberg received 206 votes to defeat Katrina Dodro, who received 192 votes, to become mayor. Even though New Carrollton has more than 12,400 residents few people vote in the local elections.

Roy Peterson, who was actually on the ballot, won a seat on the New Carrolton City Council with 386 votes but the second leading vote getter was Nembhard with 55 votes. While Nembhard can’t believe that she won, she has now vowed to run for mayor in two years and has a platform.

“I am trying to stamp out hunger. If children are hungry how can they learn,” asked Nembhard, a licensed realtor who has to sell homes at night because she spends 40 hours during the week volunteering in the area schools. She was the President of PTA at Lamont Elementary and she currently serves at Charles Carroll Middle School and is a member of the PTA at Parkdale High School.

Nembhard, who has three children and two nieces, has many admirers.

Susan Johnson said she voted for Nembhard because, “She is a people person. She works with the kids and people of different cultures.”