The city councilor’s passion for serving others brought him home
Editor’s Note: During Black History Month, PennLive honors the people who help shape what will one day be the history of the black community of central Pennsylvania.
These are people who are examples of excellence, that inspire those around them for the work they do, the art they create or the causes they fight for.
This is one of a series of ongoing profiles that will be featured this month on PennLive and in The Patriot-News.
Harrisburg City Councilor Westburn Majors said he knew from a very young age his calling was in public service.
Growing up on Market Street in Harrisburg, his parents, Gary and Merry-Grace, instilled in him and his three younger brothers the value of education and service to their community. He remembers a particular saying he heard from his father and grandfather:
“Service is the price we pay for the space we occupy in the universe.”
Today, Majors works as a liaison for the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. And as part of his work at city council, he was entrusted with the role of chairman of the public works committee. It is therefore his job to create an attractive environment in the city by taking care of sanitation and improving the living conditions of the inhabitants, he said.
He said his love for helping others began while he was in Benjamin Franklin Elementary School.
“The teachers there cared a lot for the students and helped them realize how rewarding working with the community can be,” said Majors.
The majors earned a degree in sociology from Lincoln University. He was studying for a Masters of Public Administration from Penn State when his father passed away in 2008, and he retired from school to help care for his family.
“There were some tough times there,” says Majors. “But you know we all kept working on the path he set out for us so that we could achieve our goals.”
He and his brothers decided to honor their father by creating a non-profit organization based on the values they were taught as children. “Major Preparation LLC” was created as a youth program integrating sport and mentoring.
When Majors returned to complete his master’s degree, former mayor Linda Thompson appointed him to the Harrisburg Authority board of directors. His goal as a board member was to understand how to deal with the financial crisis that had brought the city to the brink of bankruptcy.
He cites as one of his greatest accomplishments for Harrisburg the fact that he worked with Capitol Region Water through the Harrisburg Authority to perform a forensic audit. of the water and sewer network.
The key to his job as a city councilor is to maintain a connection with people in the community, he said.
“I think a lot of times residents feel like the municipal government or the government in general is not meeting their needs,” says Majors. “Hearing them, work to resolve issues where we can, and if we can resolve them to their satisfaction or at least get them a response so they know they know the government is working.”
As the husband and father of a 15-month-old boy, he said he wanted to continue working to improve the community.
“I want my son to have as many opportunities as I do and to make this journey a little easier, not just for him but for all the kids in the town of Harrisburg.”
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