Councilmember and Community-Leader
WHERE I COME FROM
In 2005, I won my first city-wide election with only $4,000 in donations and two pairs of Birkenstocks, beating a candidate from City Hall who spent eight times as much. I was elected then, and three times since, because people trust in their gut that I genuinely care about them and our community. I still have those sandals, and I still care.
SERVICE IN MY BLOOD
After 16 years on the Lansing City Council and 18 years running the South Lansing Community Development Association (SLCDA), I am the only candidate who brings the unique combination of municipal experience and grassroots perspective to the Mayor’s office.
As a trained facilitator, I’ve worked with hundreds of my Lansing neighbors and small business owners to find collaborative solutions that address community-identified needs.
SLCDA has participated in the Lansing community in many ways:
Started the South Lansing Farmers Market to support local growers/entrepreneurs and increase neighbors’ access to healthy foods.
Started the Hawk Island Triathlon to promote local recreational amenities that folks can use to get active.
Started South Lansing Urban Gardens to grow thousands of pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables for donation to local food pantries.
Host a 24-hour food pantry and coordinate with Advent House to provide food for their homeless clients and newly housed individuals and families.
These experiences collaborating with my neighbors help shape my priorities on the City Council, and they will continue to influence my decisions as Mayor. In both realms of service, I am committed to amplifying the voices of our marginalized and underserved residents for healthier outcomes and concrete results.
LANSING CITY COUNCIL
Serving the City
As a Councilmember, I’ve spent years cultivating solid working relationships with staff in all city departments. This type of investment in relationships is critical to enacting policy as the Mayor.
I’m well-acquainted with city operations and the city budget.
Some of the accomplishments I'm most proud of include:
Restructuring the Lansing Lugnuts contract renewal, and saving taxpayers two million dollars in the process.
Working with members of our LGBTQ community to write Lansing’s Human Rights Ordinance to combat discrimination in housing and employment.
Making the case to install stormwater filtration systems along Michigan Avenue to clean toxic runoff before it reaches the river.
Partnering with our Parks department to write the MDNRTF grant used to purchase the largest remaining riverfront parcel of land in the city. Those 28 acres of wilderness became Hunters Ridge Park, which is now full of mountain bike trails connecting three parks along the Grand River.
Facilitating a year-long community engagement process with residents and small business owners that ultimately transformed the South Washington streetscape and fueled revitalization of the REO Town commercial district.
Working with residents, business owners, and the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) to recruit a Spartan Valuland grocery store.
Collaborating with members of our Latinx and immigrant communities to make Lansing a sanctuary city (if only temporarily, and adopting policies to guarantee due process for our non-citizen residents.
Working with city finance staff and UAW leadership to study the financial impact of privatizing the parts supplier at the city garage. We determined that costs were higher and efficiency was lower, and based on our findings, the contract was terminated.