Representative Charles Potter Jr. (D)
Charles was born and raised in Wilmington. He is the son of Marie (Bullock) and Charles Potter, Sr. (pictured on the right). He attended local schools including Harlan Elementary School, Elbert-Palmer Intermediate School, and in 1973 he graduated from P.S. duPont High School in Wilmington, Delaware.
After high school, Charles followed his father’s occupation working at a local yarn and string factory. Not satisfied with factory work or its poor conditions, Charles furthered his education at Delaware Technical and Community College and completed his undergraduate degree at Wilmington College in 1982. It was during this time he married his high school sweetheart, Velda Jones.
The newly-weds relocated to Indiana, during which time Velda earned her Master's Degree. The Potters then moved to Rochester, New York, where Charles became associated with Allstate Insurance Company. New employment opportunities brought Charles and Velda back to Wilmington. Velda went to work for a major corporation, while Charles opened his own agency, which he currently owns today. The Potters then started their family to become the proud parents of sons, Charles III and Brandon.
Charles Potter has always been active in his community, church, with voter registration, keeping a watchful eye on our environmental problems and other civic initiatives, which prompted him to run for Wilmington City Council.
Serving the community is a tradition in the Potter family that was instilled from an early age. What Charles calls the 'Potter Private Philanthropies' include: feeding the homeless, paying for needed medications, assisting with funeral costs, sponsoring and coaching stepper and sports teams, supporting the North Market Street Library and the Police Athletic League of Wilmington. He is a member of the NAACP, the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League, The Monday Club and Lions Club. For more than 20 years Charles has been helping people establish themselves in mortuary, bail bond, clothing apparel, restaurant and insurance business sectors.
Charles Potter, Jr. believes that Education is the Great Equalizer. He speaks at Civic Organization meetings, schools, community centers, churches, and with other groups about the importance of education. He has provided over 80 college scholarships, mentors youth and helps them go to college. He sponsors an annual community day in Wilmington's First District. He regularly donates school supplies. He helped to bring a public library to 34th & Market Streets and a PAL Center to 37th & Market Streets. Charles also presented a school plan for the City of Wilmington school system and the Brandywine school plan. He has maintained a school seat in the First District through re-districting.
Potter believes in a Clean Environment for All. He led the effort to stop the Cherry Island expansion in height and to stop the pollution. He also worked with the Green Delaware River City Committee, Let My People Know Coalition, Sienna Club, Delaware Watch, and the community on many environmental issues to keep our environment clean.
Charles Potter, Jr. is much different than the everyday elected official. He is well-informed and very accessible with his weekly open-door sessions for the community at the Fox Point Diner. He regularly appears on public access channel 28 with his cousin, State Representative Dennis P. Williams, to host his television show called 'Straight Talk'. This poignant bi-weekly broadcast, which airs every 2nd & 4th Sunday 3-4 p.m., provides helpful and important information about the local community.
He is about Action and Not Just Talk. One of his best and most heart-felt accomplishments was whe he coordinated the largest Katrina effort in the state of Delaware to assist flood victims. With help from State Representative Dennis P. Williams, volunteers from Teamsters Local 326 and the surrounding community at the Police Athletic League of Wilmington, they were able to send a 53-foot tractor-trailer packed with food, water, clothes, toiletries and other needed supplies to a large distribution warehouse in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Not only has Charles worked hard for his constituents in the First District, but he has addressed issues that affect all City of Wilmington residents. Listed below are just a few legislation and ordinances sponsored by Charles Potter, Jr.
· Stood alone against Eminent Domain proposals
· Prevent Cherry Island Dump expansion
· Annexed land into the City of Wilmington
· Re-zoned Spearman site for 78 residential homes
· Re-zoned Del Steel site for 40 residential homes
· Re-zoned Enterprise St. for 20+ residential homes
· Helped to get Sunday Bus Service in Wilmington
· Increased Police patrol in targeted "hot spots" to reduce crime
· Awarded 200+ college scholarships and $270,000 for the PAL Center
· Successfully lobbied Governor and Lt. Governor to conduct Cancer Cluster studies
· Named street after Rosa Parks
· Anti-Patriot Act to maintain our Civil Rights
· Street cut legislation to have quality streets
· Anti-Metropolitan City Legislation
· Standardized placement of TV dishes on houses