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.
For over fifty years, Crown Boxing Club has been helping underprivileged youth stay off the streets. Through Ali Easley’s “H.A.W.K.” program, the gym teaches young boxers the art of the one-two combo, gives them access to tutors and even a dinner program. But for the first time in its history, the gym is now closed.
While in-person classes are canceled and moved online, several students still moved into their off-campus apartments and houses leading to several large social gatherings. There are restrictions placed on an East Lansing area of houses and apartments largely mostly rented by Michigan State students. These restrictions prohibit gatherings of no more than 10 people inside and 25 people outside.
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.