Kimberly Hill Knott, a Democrat, is running for Congress in the 13th Congressional District of Michigan. For over two decades, Kimberly has served the people of the great state of Michigan as a dedicated congressional staffer, a relentless community organizer and a successful small business owner. She wants to take her knowledge of the district, coalition building skills, and collaborative leadership style to the US House of Representatives to represent Michigan’s 13th Congressional District.
The daughter of a successful small-business entrepreneur, Kimberly’s early experiences of watching her father give employment opportunities to ex-offenders and the chronically unemployed gave her insight into the importance of small businesses and giving people a helping hand to better themselves and their families during tough times. Watching her father’s kindness taught her that compassion is free, and thoughtful leadership can create brilliant opportunities for a brighter future.
While working on Capitol Hill as an intern, under the leadership of Rep. Bill Goodling, former Chairman, House Committee on Education and Labor (then called the Committee on Education and the Workforce), Kimberly became intrigued with the political process. It was there she learned the importance of coalition building and the delicate process ideas endure to become actual laws. After graduating from Temple University, Kimberly began her career as a congressional staffer for Rep. John Conyers. It was there she learned about the 13th District’s greatest issues and was able to facilitate solutions for Rep. Conyers’ constituents.
As a congressional staffer, Kimberly was able to help prisoners transition back into society, much like her father did with his business. She helped craft federal legislation that supported ex-offenders and prevented them from falling into conditions of homelessness. She also convened federal and state probation officers and workforce development specialists to develop a pilot job training program for ex-offenders, as well as a job fair, held at Cobo Hall. Additionally, she co-led With Ownership Wealth (WOW), an initiative of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, with former Rep. Carolyn Cheeks-Kilpatrick’s office. WOW was a homeownership program, housing over 500 first-time homebuyers, that reduced home foreclosure rates in Michigan’s 13th and 14th Congressional Districts. One of her most memorable moments was receiving a call from a constituent that needed help rescuing a loved one trapped in a dorm at New Orleans’s Xavier University during Hurricane Katrina. Kimberly worked closely with the National Guard to facilitate the rescue of 300 students.
After spending over a decade working under the leadership of Rep. Conyers, Kimberly was inspired to get involved in the emerging fight for environmental justice. She furthered her interest in the political arena by joining the staff of Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice (DWEJ), as Policy Director. DWEJ is an award-winning social enterprise, dedicated to Detroit becoming the global model of a vibrant urban center, with an emphasis on promoting sustainable redevelopment and environmental justice.
As a community organizer, Kimberly arranged a “Toxic Tour” for government officials, to raise awareness of the environmental issues impacting Detroit’s neighborhoods. Due to her successful advocacy efforts, she was invited to speak to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Rule Writers. Most notably, she spearheaded the Detroit Climate Action Collaborative (DCAC), which led to the development of the city of Detroit’s first Climate Action Plan, released last fall. In 2014, she was invited by The Kresge Foundation and the University of Notre Dame to serve as an Adaptation Assessment Advisor, which created a reference set of national measures for urban adaptation.
As an accomplished speaker, Kimberly has been an advocate for environmental issues. She has lectured on the Clean Air Act and its impact on low-income and minority communities, and how urban centers can prepare for climate change. Some of Kimberly’s most notable speaking engagements include: The World Bank, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Legislative Conference, Center for American Progress, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and the National Adaptation Forum, among many others.
As a collaborative leader, in 2009, Kimberly attended the United Nations Framework on Climate Change 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) International Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, where she facilitated a meeting between the White House, EPA, and U.S. environmental justice delegates to discuss the importance of passing a binding agreement that protects low-income and minority communities from the adverse impacts of climate change. She also attended the COP Conventions in Paris (2015) and Morocco (2016). In 2013, she was one of only 12 people selected for the White House Champions of Change Award for Community Resilient Leaders. In 2014, she received a full scholarship and completed the Harvard University’s Executive Education Training—Women and Power: Leadership in a New World.
As a small business owner, Kimberly continues to serve the public by helping companies to implement smart environmental decisions that impact the lives of people in Michigan. As the founder and CEO of Future Insight Consulting, LLC (FIC), a consultancy firm focusing on climate change, environmental justice and workforce development, Kimberly understands that bad environmental policy hurts families, and the environment cannot be ignored.
Kimberly graduated with a bachelor’s in education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and holds a master’s in educational administration from Temple University in Philadelphia. She serves on the External Advisory Board of the University of Michigan Erb Institute and is a board member of Jeremiah’s House, an adoption resource center. She is a member of the Perfecting Church and resides in Detroit, MI, with her husband.