Rosalynn Bliss

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Rosalynn Bliss
Mayor of Grand Rapids, Michigan
Assumed office
January 1, 2016
Preceded by George Heartwell
Personal details
Born (1975-08-03) August 3, 1975 (ageĀ 43)
Political party Democratic
Alma mater University of South Alabama

Rosalynn Bliss (born August 3, 1975) is an American politician, social worker, and mayor of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The first woman to be elected Mayor of Michigan's second-largest city, Bliss took office on January 1, 2016. Bliss has served on the Grand Rapids City Commission since 2006.


Bliss earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in psychology and criminal justice from the University of South Alabama. She later attained a Masters in Social Work from Michigan State University.[1]


Bliss formerly served as Director of Residential Services at DA Blodgett-St. John's, which provides emergency shelter and residential services for abused and neglected children. She also serves as adjunct professor of social work at Grand Valley State University. Bliss has served on the boards of the Dyer-Ives Foundation and the YMCA of West Michigan and the Michigan Municipal League.[1]

Political history

Bliss was first elected to the Grand Rapids City Commission in 2005. She was re-elected in 2009 and 2013.[1]

In 2015, Mayor George Heartwell was prohibited from seeking a fourth term. Bliss was one of four candidates who entered the race to succeed Heartwell; the others were Robert Dean, John George, and Willard Lee. A primary election was held on August 4, 2015; Bliss received 66% of the vote. Because she won a majority of the vote, Bliss was elected in the primary election without a need for a runoff election.[2]

Bliss became the 59th Mayor of Grand Rapids on January 1, 2016. She is the first woman to hold that role, as well as the youngest mayor in 130 years.[3]


  1. ^ a b c "Commissioner Rosalynn Bliss: Biography". City of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Archived from the original on August 7, 2015. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  2. ^ McVicar, Brian (August 5, 2015). "Interactive Maps Show How Rosalynn Bliss Won Grand Rapids Mayoral Race". MLive. Booth Newspapers. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  3. ^ Vande Bunte, Matt (August 5, 2015). "A Woman, Yes, but Mayor-Elect Rosalynn Bliss Also Leads Another New Wave". MLive. Booth Newspapers. Retrieved August 5, 2015.

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