Forward Thinker Joyce Cooksey-James connects community members

150 150 Cheryl Getuiza

At age 14, Joyce Cooksey-James had her first experience with politics. In Detroit at the time, she helped a during an election campaign. Then at 22, she began helping neighborhood housing complexes.

Then, in June 2011, when she was randomly chosen for California’s historic statewide deliberative poll. At “What’s Next CA,” she says she become more focused on what she needed to do.

Next CA “caused me to reevaluate what we’re telling our young people about the process of being involved in government,” Cooksey-James said.

Right now, she’s working on two major projects.  One of them is educating young people about the importance of voting. Project number two?  Helping her friend extend a current program in low income areas of Sacramento.

It’s a lot of work, but Cooksey-James is up to the challenge.

“I’ve got seven grandkids, five kids and a whole host of other people I’m connected to. I see gaps in the community, and I want to leave a legacy for these folks—this is what motivates me to bring everyone together.”

To read Joyce’s full profile, click here. You can also learn about all of our Forward Thinkers, helping fill a void in their community and move California forward.


Cheryl Getuiza

All stories by: Cheryl Getuiza