Melvin W. Carter III was appointed Director of the Office of Early Learning at the Minnesota Department of Education in July 2013. Prior to joining the department, Carter served on the Saint Paul City Council from 2008 to 2013. In that capacity, he sponsored legislation to address some of the city’s most pressing issues, including: forming the city’s Department of Human Rights & Equal Economic Opportunity (HREEO); “Banning the Box” to eliminate employment discrimination against people with criminal backgrounds, requiring landlords to notify tenants of a pending foreclosure on their property; and prohibiting the sale of candy cigarettes and toy lighters to reduce “practice smoking” among children.
In addition to crafting policy, Council Member Carter was a constant advocate on social justice issues, primarily education and transit. In 2009, he created a partnership between City, County, School and grassroots leaders to support high quality education outcomes which later became the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood. As part of a broad community movement, Carter also worked as part of a broad community movement to secure additional stations; support local businesses; and train residents for jobs along Saint Paul’s new “Green Line” Light Rail Corridor.
Having become engaged in electoral politics after his brother was turned away from a Florida polling precinct during Election 2000, Melvin is passionate about helping others engage. He has trained political candidates, community organizers and campaign workers in over 30 states with several national organizations, including Wellstone Action, People for the American Way Foundation, Black Organizing for Leadership & Dignity (BOLD) and Progressive Majority, and is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Minnesota –Duluth, where he teaches a graduate level course on campaigns and elections.
For his committed service to community, Carter received the 2011 Barbara Jordan Leadership Award from the National Young Elected Officials Network and was recognized in Ebony Magazine’s “30 Under 30” issue in 2008.
Carter holds a Bachelor’s Degree in business administration from Florida A&M University and a Master of Public Policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. In his free time, Melvin enjoys tennis, running and spending time with his two daughters, Maylena (7) and Naomi (5).