Atlantic City Councilman Connects Hip-Hop with Politics, Plans Upscale Ball


can expect a "upscale" and "classy" atmosphere when they attend

the Palladium Ballroom at Caesars Atlantic City for this year’s "Marty

Small Ball."The

fourth annual event, named after second ward Atlantic City Councilman Marty Small,

kicks off at 10 p.m. Sunday (Jan. 14), with music by DJ Clue. For

Small, the Ball represents an opportunity to focus on the local residents of the

popular tourist destination. "Atlantic

City is a growing town and we’re marketing to a lot of tourists, but people

seem to forget about the locals," Small told "And the

locals in my generation were starving for something to look forward to. You got

your traditional clubs and other people putting on activities, but the community

needed something to look forward to on an entertainment level." Since

it’s inception, the Ball has drawn over 2,000 people and has featured revered

DJs such as Biz Markie, Kid Capri, S&S and DJ Self. The

parties are one way Small has maintained his connection with the community since

becoming the youngest person to serve on the Atlantic City Council in 2004 at

the age of 29. "I’m

a councilman in a major city in the East Coast and still able to maintain my connections

to the hood, to the kids and put events together. You can never forget where you

come from," the 32-year-old politician told "I look at

it like this. I’m in a position of power and you want to reach down and try

to empower people and make their situation better, just as you made it better

for yourself." Prior

to serving on the council, he maintained a position as vice president of the Atlantic

City Board of Education for two years and helped run the local Boys and Girls

Club for four and a half years as a youth program manager. In

addition to being a coordinator of elementary extracurricular activities for Atlantic

City Public Schools, Small started a men’s midnight basketball league. With

his knack for promoting fun events and being visible in the community, Small has

become a noticeable fixture and is sometimes jokingly referred to as the "Hip-Hop


embrace the Hip-Hop culture," Small said. "Some people may look at it

and frown upon it because of my political position…but people have to realize

this is who I am. This is what got me where I’m at today and I don’t

forget that."I’m

a very, very goal oriented person. That is no secret," he stated. "My

political goal is to become Mayor of the city of Atlantic City and I think I’m

on the right track. I’m only 32-years-old."

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