Candidates race for a Lansing City Council seat

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We continue our election previews with a look at the race in ward 1 for the Lansing City Council.

“I’m passionate and I’m going to fight for my ward,” said Jody Washington. Washington is the incumbent of the Lansing City Council 1st Ward and she prides herself on bringing her community together.

Washington said, “To me a house divided falls quickly.”

She has held this seat for 7.5 years and now wants to work on building a mental health task force.

“We have a homeless issue and we have addiction issues, but so much of that us caused by our mental health crisis,” said Washington

But she has four challengers who wants to see a change.

Brandon Betz is an economist with an understanding of the impact economic policy has on people.

“I have a bunch of policy ideas,” said Betz. “But the one thing I can promise is no matter what policy I write, no matter what ordinance I pass, it’s gonna be for us, the people of this city.”

Scott Hughes said he would like to expand the Lansing Promise Program. He said he has seen kids and young adults in the criminal justice system by with with the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office.

He want to make sure, “That every kid in the city has the chance to get two years of community college paid for so they can then enter the skilled workforce or continue their education without going into debt.”

Farhan Sheik-Omar’s priorities would be to keep the young safe, building community relationships and making sure there’s affordable housing, safe neighborhoods and strong schools.

James Pyle says some of his neighbors have lost their pride in their homes and communities.

“There are so many people that have energy and want to help do these things, but they feel that the city’s not working with them that it’s a constant fight and I want to change that,” Pyle said.

But Washington said you have to get to the polls.

“Democracy is about the people getting out and voting, So I think it’s really important, but I think what people need to understand is do your research.”

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