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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Lansing City Council Member Kathie Dunbar says she did not always want to be an elected official.

“I went to MSU got my degree in humanities, history, and philosophy of law, not with the intention at all of being in politics. It was because I love history,” she said.

She grew up in Detroit and moved to Lansing for college.

Dunbar then briefly lived in California for a year to do comedy, until she came back to mid-Michigan.

“Bought my first house in Lansing, and fell in love with the community.”

While back in Lansing, Dunbar was the director of a community-based nonprofit.

Dunbar says she realized a non-profit could only help so much, and that real change came at the policy-making level.

So, she ran for the city council.

And now 16 years later she’s going a step further. She’s Running for mayor.

“I’m limited as a council member in what I can do to move the city forward. I have to work with 8 people. we have to get a vote of 5.”

Dunbar says she’s doing this because she does not like the direction the city is going.

Some of Dunbar’s top priorities are police reform, addressing the recent uptick of gun violence in Lansing Through hospital-based interventions, and creating attainable housing options for low-income families.

“Where is the mental health aspect of this? where is the help for drug addiction? where is the help for youth programs and employment programs? Why aren’t we investing in those?” said Dunbar.

“You work with people who are immediate victims of gun violence while they’re in the hospitals with their families with their friends. Before retaliation happens get them the trauma counseling they need get them the wrap-around services they need.”

The primary election is around the corner, and Dunbar says she’s looking forward to having her name on that ballot.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to bring vision, direction, momentum to city hall.”

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