A lifelong resident of East Chicago, Anthony Copeland is known as a community activist and a leader. “I love my City. I live, breathe, and bleed East Chicago. My heart is here. My family is here. I want to make this City a better place to live for your family and mine.
The seventh child of eleven born to George and Annie M. Copeland in 1955, Copeland has been married to Carolyn West Copeland for 34 years. He is the father of four wonderful children and eight grandchildren
A martial artist and former teacher with a second degree black belt in Karate, Copeland co-owned and operated Ali Kai Karate School at the Roberto Clemente Center in East Chicago for over 8 years. An accomplished photographer, he also owned and operated Copeland Photography Studio in East Chicago for twelve years.
Education & Employment
After graduating from East Chicago Washington High School in 1973, Copeland studied at Columbia and Calumet Colleges. He worked at Inland Steel Company (now ArcelorMittal) in East Chicago for twelve years as a journeyman pipe fitter and welder, during which time he completed a four-year apprenticeship program as a pipe fitter and welder, and was certified by the state of Indiana. A licensed plumber, Copeland is also a former of A.C.A. Construction Company in East Chicago.
Former City Democratic Party Chairman, Councilman at Large and Finance Committee Chair of the East Chicago Common Council, Anthony Copeland has served as an East Chicago firefighter for 26 years, rising to the ranks of District Chief before moving into the Inspection Bureau.
In his long career as a community activist, Anthony Copeland has served as a member and leader of local organizations to improve the community; Copeland is a member of Citizens in Action and former President of the East Chicago branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP
). Anthony served as a member of Citizens in Action for 16 years and as its President for five.
Citizens in Action’s mission are to inform the public, bring forward solutions, and make city government accountable to the people. During Anthony’s tenure with Citizens in Action, the organization successfully fought on behalf of the residents of East Chicago to reduce the cost of the new East Chicago Public Safety building, located on Columbus Drive, from $55 million down to $28 million. Citizens in Action has also actively worked to address environmental problems in the City, as well as the issue of crime, and worked against bloated city spending.
Long known for his fight for an elected school board in East Chicago, accountability and fairness, Copeland vows to continue that fight. “I started out as a community activist, and in many years of fighting for reform in East Chicago, there hasn’t been transparency in City financing or fairness in taxation."
During a Caucus held on October 16, 2010 East Chicago entered into a new era in City Government and history was made by electing the first African American Mayor in the City of East Chicago.