A unique nonpartisan campaign of “kindness and getting people together to have fun” was proclaimed by the 2023 Toledo Kid Mayor Gabrielle Mukiira. Gabrielle, 10, and her assembly of Kid Council members were welcomed by Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz and members of Toledo City Council on March 21, 2023, on the 22nd floor of One Government Center. Dr. Romules Durant, CEO/Superintendent of Toledo Public Schools and Dr. Kadee Anstadt, Superintendent of Washington Local Schools, were guests.
Gabrielle’s path to mini-mayor fame began when her mother, Meghan, encouraged her to apply to be a member of the Kid Council. Hundreds of kids from Toledo Public and Washington Local Schools applied for the honor. The top thirteen applicants were chosen by their schools, interviewed by a team of community leaders, and then the same community leaders selected the next Kid Mayor, Gabrielle (aka Gabby).
The passionate and optimistic Kid Mayor Mukiira said, “I am happy to serve as Kid Mayor for 2023 and to lead my City toward a positive light. My fellow Kid Council Members and I are dedicated to working with Mayor Kapszukiewicz to spread love, peace and to reduce violence throughout the City of Toledo.”
Along with correctly and easily spelling the grownup Mayor’s name, “K-A-P-S-Z-U-K-I-E-W-I-C-Z”, Gabby boasted that her mini desk is right next to the mayor’s large desk. When asked her opinion of Mayor Kapszukiewicz she said, “He has a good sense of humor and is my best friend.” And though the Kid Council meets infrequently, “When we have events with the Kid Council, I’m always with the Mayor.”
Out of the mouths of babes
Gabby is an articulate and intelligent fifth grader at Grove Patterson Academy. When asked what she wants to be when she grows up, she explained, “I want to be a daycare teacher and I want to teach people to be veterinarians.” Her compassion, love and kindness for all creatures, big and small, is profoundly astute as she wants “everyone to get along and I want peace in the world.”
Gabby’s mother revealed that the “Successful selection process for Toledo Kid Mayor has boosted Gabby’s self-confidence so she could be more self-aware and understand that it’s okay for her to like herself.”
Gabby’s favorite school subject is science, and her innate curiosity often drives her to try kid-friendly science experiments at home. She especially enjoys creating elephant toothpaste and slime. Another activity she likes is reading books of any genre.
For fun, Gabby plays outside with her friends and relaxes indoors by playing games and watching TV. She said her favorite TV show is “One Day at a Time, about a Cuban family that moves to America. It’s really funny.”
The loving and supportive Mukiira family is made up of Dad, David: Mom, Meghan and four daughters: Jaiden, 23, Grace, 9, Imani, 4 and Gabrielle, 10.
Getting to Know Gabby
Why did you want to be Toledo kid mayor? I want more peace, love and kindness in the world.
Did you have to give a speech when you were selected as Kid Mayor? At my first meeting, I had talking points and turned it into a speech, then I said it out loud to a whole bunch of people, like Dr. Durant.
Have you worked on any big events so far as Kid Mayor? I threw a Kindness Block Party on August 13 at Ottawa Park. The Kid Council made a Kindness Pledge to say at the Kindness Block Party.
Now that you have served as Toledo’s Kid Mayor, do you want to go into politics? No.
Pam Crabtree is a nationally published freelance writer and the author of a nonfiction book entitled The Gift of Hurt. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.