Jackson wants to focus on community, police during 2nd term on city council

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Brian T. Jackson wasn’t satisfied with all he accomplished in his first term as a member of the Lansing City Council, but he gets another four years to keep working.

Jackson won his second term on the Lansing City Council in the November election with 60% of the vote, defeating challenger Elvin Caldwell Jr. 3,102 to 2,074. Jackson was first elected to the council in 2017, and now will receive another four-year term.

“The first four years I got to learn a lot, it was a steep learning curve that I’m still working through,” Jackson said. “But there is still a lot more work to be done, especially progressive work among marginalized communities. And Lansing has its share of homelessness, people don’t have food, some of the basic things so I want to continue to be a voice and try to bring those issues to the forefront and become priorities.”

Jackson said one of the main things he wants to do in this second term is build and improve the relationship between the police and the community.

“That doesn’t just include police reform, but police accountability, police training, trying to make their job easier, trying to give them less little things to do that aren’t related to policing, and support them,” Jackson said. “And that’s what we need right now, to have a force that people respect and is legitimate.”

Jackson said one of the key strategies to his campaign this time around was reaching the absentee voters early. The use of absentee ballots wasn’t as prominent during his first election run in 2017.

“People started voting on Sept. 24 and the election is Nov. 2, so people can vote really early,” Jackson said. “So it was important for my campaign to get out to those people before they started voting so they at least knew enough about me so I have a list of those people and we just tried to target them early.”

Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum said voter turnout was similar to the 2017 municipal election, as both elections came in a year following a presidential election. This year, total voter turnout was 20.85% and in 2017 there was about a 20% voter turnout.

Jackson said this year’s election was more difficult than he has experienced in the past.

“I just had to realize that this is local politics. There’s different factions and there’s different beliefs and everyone has their reasons and motives,” Jackson said. “I realized that but I was hoping, and I guessed it worked, that I could just stay connected to the actual voters and the people and just rely on the things I’ve done and the things I plan to do and who I am for those people that know me.”

Jackson joins 2nd Ward incumbent Jeremy Garza as two incumbent city council members who won their respective races and kept their city council seats on Election Day.

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