Together. Forward. Now.
Tomecca “Mecca” Keyes is an indigenous Newarker residing in the Vailsburg neighborhood of the West Ward. For the past seventeen years, Keyes has worked in the information technology field as a network circuit designer. She also served as a union rep for two years as part of Local IBEW 827, and is a member of the Essex Labor Council. Keyes continues to advocate for workers’ rights presently through the AFL-CIO, participating in trainings and organizing efforts.
“America was built on organized labor. We need to continue to organize in order to reap the full measure of our efforts. Livable wages and comprehensive benefits are just the beginning,” explained Keyes. The need to fight for medical insurance and services on behalf of her disabled mother reaffirmed Keyes’ appreciation for advocacy groups and public officials develop policy that have marginalized groups’ interests at heart.
Keyes has served as a Volunteer Project Coordinator at Jersey Cares, where she has been assigned to the Food Bank of New Jersey for the last four years. She is currently the community liaison for the UVSO-Heart of Vailsburg Block Club Coalition, a network of residents who take action to improve the quality of life in the Vailsburg community.
At the behest of a labor union colleague who recognized public office as a natural progression of her community engagement background, Mecca applied to Emerge New Jersey. She hopes to learn how to incorporate her experiences and skillset into a political strategy that will help her run and win a political seat. Mecca’s philosophy: “Expect nothing, and appreciate everything.”