Birdsong is among many local activists leading the charge to defund the Lansing Police Department. Since the death of George Floyd, and the accusations of misconduct among LPD officers, citizens and leaders of the community have been calling for the police budget to be cut from the current $46.5 million. On July 13, Lansing City Councilmember Brandon Betz presented a solution that could cut the LPD budget by 50% over the next five years, but so far only $100,000 has been removed from the budget. The resolution would serve to reinvest that money in the community to help provide safety without the Lansing Police Department.
Another business has been affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19, but this one hits home to the Michigan State campus. The Dairy Store officially closed its doors on Friday, September 11 and its not clear when they could reopen. Ronald Hendrick, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources says the lack of students and weekend event foot traffic is the cause for the business shut down.
Paul Kato has spent the last 20 years of his life as the media and information teacher at Mason High School and has dedicated his life to teaching Mason students. He was the only Black teacher on staff when he was hired in 2000, and remains the only black teacher in the school district despite the demographic shift that has taken place in Mason over the past two decades. As the nation has become engulfed with protests following George Floyd’s death at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department, a conversation has sparked within Mason as well.