About the Mayor
Mayor Dobies was elected in November 2017, after serving on the City Council for Jackson's 6th Ward since 2011. While on City Council, Derek served on the city’s Planning Commission, the Ella Sharp Park Board of Trustees, the Parks & Recreation Commission, the Public Arts Commission, the Police & Fire Pension Board, and the Downtown Development Authority. He also served as Vice President to the Jackson Housing Commission and Secretary to the Jackson Human Relations Commission.
Professionally, Mayor Dobies serves as Chief of Staff to the Michigan AFL-CIO - a nonprofit that advocates on behalf of working people across Michigan. He also owns and operates a small graphic design and strategic communications company in Jackson.
Mayor Dobies earned a degree in Political Theory & Constitutional Democracy from James Madison College at Michigan State University, where he minored in Middle Eastern Studies and received a certification in Homeland Security.
Active in the community while holding office, Mayor Dobies has served on the Board of Directors for the Jackson Eyeopeners Lions Club, the Jackson Friendly Home, and the John George Home.
Mayor Dobies is a proud Eagle Scout and married his high school sweetheart, Danielle. Together they have a daughter, Novalee, a pug dog and a siamese cat.
Jackson's Recreational Opportunities
Our city is also full of wonderful recreational opportunities. The city’s parks system is second to none. Numerous neighborhood parks and 2 large, multipurpose parks beckon residents and visitors to come enjoy the great outdoors. Ella Sharp Park, a 475-acre jewel, is home to an 18-hole golf course, golf learning center, ball fields, swimming pool, soccer fields and the Ella Sharp Museum of Art and History. Nixon Park features athletic fields, a swimming pool / water park, and a skateboard / inline skating facility. The Jackson Parks and Recreation Department organizes sports leagues and activities for people of all ages. and we have an extensive trails system for walkers, joggers, and bikers.
Jackson's Cultural Features
For your cultural enjoyment, the city has an enticing art community. Armory Arts Village offers a unique live / work environment for artists. The village is frequently open to the public for tours of the artists’ studios and the rest of the complex. At nearby ART 634, local artists of all types gather to create and sell their works. The new Grand River Arts Walk connects this area to downtown Jackson.
So, whether you are a visitor, resident or prospective new business, we hope you find this website to be a useful and easy-to-navigate resource. We have links to all of our departments and helpful information on a variety of topics. Explore the site and find out for yourself what makes Jackson an official “cool city”.
The State of the City Address
Every year, the Mayor delivers a State of the City Address. If often features other speakers from the community. Full recordings of the 2020 & 2021 addresses are available on this page.