Biography of State Representative Charles Potter Jr.
Charles Potter, Jr. was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware. His father, a blue collar worker, his mother a homemaker and each of his eight siblings made an impressionable mark on his life. Charles attended local public schools, including Harlan Elementary, Elbert-Palmer Intermediate, and in 1973, he graduated from P.S. DuPont High School in Wilmington, Delaware.
After high school, Charles followed his father’s occupation working at a local yarn and string factory. Not satisfied with the future he saw ahead, Charles furthered his education at Delaware Technical and Community College, and received an Associate Degree in Computer Programming. It was during this time he married his high school sweetheart, Velda Jones. He completed his undergraduate degree at Wilmington College, graduating Cum Laude with a BS in Business Administration in 1982. The newly-weds relocated to Indiana, during which time Velda earned her Master’s Degree. The Potters then moved to Rochester, New York, where Charles became associated with a major Insurance Company. New employment opportunities and a desire to live among family and friends brought Charles and Velda back to Wilmington. Velda went to work for a major corporation, while Charles opened his own insurance agency, which he currently owns today. The Potters are the proud parents of two sons. They chose Wilmington as their home and care deeply for the community.
Charles’ advocacy and civic engagement began during college. His on-going community involvement as President of the Brandywine Hills Civic Association, a leader in the Ninth Ward Federation, confronting issues such as voter registration and environmental problems, and his passion to help people prompted Charles to seek public office. Elected to Wilmington City Council in 2002, Charles represented residents of the 1st District for twelve years where he championed critical issues – protecting the rights of property owners from abuse of ‘eminent domain’; and advocating for environmental stewardship through cancer cluster studies and measures to reduce dumping at the Cherry Island Landfill, preventing the transportation of toxic VX gas on the state’s waterways and increasing recycling.
Charles was elected to the Delaware House of Representatives in 2012, where he currently serves as State Representative for the First Representative District.
Representative Potter is the Chair of the Gaming and Pari-mutuels Committee in the Delaware House of Representatives. He also serves as a member on the Capital Infrastructure (Bond Bill) Committee, the Education Committee, the Judiciary Committee and the Revenue and Finance Committee in the House of Representatives. Notwithstanding his recent election to state office, Representative Potter’s impact is already being felt, as he has championed legislation to place a moratorium on adding new charter schools in Wilmington until a strategic plan is developed that strengthens our education system and clearly defines the role of charter schools, gives Wilmington law makers and parents of City children greater control over our children’s education, and challenges state education professionals to re-think the role and effect of excessive standardized testing on Delaware’s school age children.
During his first term in office, Representative Potter introduced House Bill 343 – the Delaware Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation Act – “Game Changer” legislation that will transform our criminal justice system and provide treatment for substance abuse and mental illness, rehabilitation, and restoration of nonviolent offenders as useful law-abiding citizens within the community. As the prime sponsor of HB343, Representative Potter is committed to this life saving legislation which provides an alternative to incarceration, helps restore offenders as productive citizens and saves taxpayer dollars.
A champion for the rights and well-being of all people, Representative Potter is a strong voice in Dover – having a positive impact.