Surrounded by loved ones and three young representatives of the future of the city, Councilmember Malik Davis was officially sworn in as Dist. 2’s new representative Wednesday night, making him the youngest member of the Fayetteville City Council.
Davis, 28, was sworn in by Chief District Court Judge Toni King, who praised Davis for his community work.
“You serve citizens in the most difficult position with compassion and professionalism,” King said.
Three young men stood by Davis’ side as he gave his inaugural remarks — his nephew, Hakim Madyun Jr., 5, a student at Eastover Central Elementary School; K'Marii Campbell, 9, a fourth-grader at Ferguson-Easley Elementary School; and Dillon Cromartie, 17, a junior at Terry Sanford High School. Davis said he brought the trio with him to foster their passions and serve as an example of success for young Black men in Fayetteville.
“The reason I have them standing here is because, if you followed my campaign, you heard me talking about making a positive impact and being a positive influence for the next generation,” Davis said. “So today, I’m here to show you what that actually looks like.”
Davis said Wednesday that he invited Campbell and Cromartie to join him on stage because they are both interested in politics. He met Campbell and Campbell’s grandmother at an early-voting site during the primaries, he said.
Davis recounted that first meeting with Campbell to swearing-in attendees, recalling how his grandmother cast her ballot, Campbell ran out to tell Davis that she voted for him.
“He pulled me to the side and said, ‘Don’t be mad,’” Davis said. “And I said, ‘Why would I be mad?’ He said, ‘Because when I turn 18, I’m going to run for office, just like you.’”
During his remarks, Davis shared words of inspiration with the three young men, telling them not to let others discourage them from their dreams.
“Remember that you can do anything and everything,” he said. “And don’t ever let no one tell you that you three young Black boys will not be successful, because you will.”
Speaking after the inauguration, Davis said that he plans to start his term by reaching out to the residents of his district.
“One of my first goals is to make sure that I’m engaging my community,” he said.
Part of that goal, he said, was to host community sessions with county and city officials so his constituents can learn the respective roles that Fayetteville and Cumberland County play in local government.
That theme of community engagement ran throughout Davis’ campaign and his inaugural remarks, which he concluded by asking residents for their trust.
“If you just give me 1% of your trust, I promise you, I will earn the 99% and bring the results to District 2,” he said. “Because your fresh voice has officially made it to the table.”
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the inauguration was Tuesday night. It was Wednesday night. CityView Today apologizes for this error.
Contact Lexi Solomon at email@example.com.