HI, MY NAME IS… Berdetta Hodge.

I’VE LIVED IN TEMPE FOR NEARLY MY ENTIRE LIFE AND I LOVE IT BECAUSE… the city of Tempe has the strongest sense of community of any city in Arizona. Every resident is devoted to bettering Tempe and is involved in improving the city’s quality of life for all. I am happy to give my time and energy to a city that has given me so much in my lifetime.

A TYPICAL DAY IN MY LIFE INCLUDES… starting the day nice and early by walking my dogs, Mariah, Jackson, and Bentley, through my neighborhood in Tempe. I then read the newspaper while drinking a cup of coffee. The rest of the day will be spent at the district offices for the Tempe Union High School District, where I am a governing board member, and the Tempe Municipal Building in Downtown Tempe. There, I meet with Tempe residents, business owners, and city staff to discuss matters that impact our city. On my way back home, I stop by my parents’ house in west Tempe to catch up with them. Before heading to bed, I always call my two sons to ask how their days were and to let them know I love them.

MY FAMILY IS… my everything. I visit my mother and father daily. Both of my brothers also live in Tempe. My two sons, Jevin and Jazin, both of whom are McClintock High School alums, live near me and make me proud with their many accomplishments.

ONE THING I CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT IS… my phone. It’s an organizer, a research tool, and last, but not least, an important apparatus for communicating with friends, family members, and residents.

MY FAVORITE MOVIE I COULD NEVER GET TIRED OF WATCHING AND WHY IS… “Ghostbusters.” It’s a movie that reminds me of my childhood and one that always makes me laugh. You can never have a bad day after hearing Ray Parker Jr.’s theme song and watching Ivan Reitman work his cinematic magic.
WHEN I WAS YOUNGER, I WANTED TO BE… a civil rights advocate. When I was a 16-year old student at Tempe High School (Go Buffaloes!), I met Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King, and Maya Angelou at an event. They inspired me to make a difference in my community. They inspired me to lead the change I sought to see in the world.

THE SONG I WOULD SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT IS… “No Scrubs” by TLC. The song’s message is applicable in life’s many facets!

THE ONE PERSON WHO MOTIVATES ME IS… it’s a tie between my two sons, Jevin and Jazin. I speak with them every single day. I get reenergized when I hear about all the great things they are doing and the positive impacts they have on those around them.

THE LAST THING THAT MADE ME LAUGH OUT LOUD WAS… slipping and nearly falling off the escalator at Sky Harbor International Airport. Hey, it was 5 a.m.! Cut me some slack!
THE PERFECT DAY IS… having an opportunity to stay at home with my puppies in tow, watching movies and television shows. That’s the best way to unwind!

MY FAVORITE LOCAL NONPROFIT IS… the Booker T. Washington Child Development Center in Phoenix. Founded in 1967, it is the oldest active Head Start in the area, serving low-income families who live in, and around, Downtown Phoenix.

MY LIFE IS… hectic, but a dream come true. Growing up in Tempe, I never could have imagined one day being a leader, guiding it towards a more flourishing future. Here I am now!

THE BEST GIFT I’VE EVER RECEIVED WAS… it’s a tie! My health, my two sons, and my three puppies!

MY DREAM VACATION WOULD BE… backpacking across Europe for a few weeks. My passport is renewed and ready to go!

THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE I’VE EVER RECEIVED IS… our fingerprints never fade from the lives we’ve touched.