Lansing City Council hopes to defund police in plans of safer community

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.

Livonia woman walks to protest, spread awareness

Chase GoffProtestors gather outside of Michigan State Capitol. In a time where protests and marches have become commonplace, Livonia native Beth Navas decided to switch things up last month. Navas embarked on a three-day march to the state capital that would take her nearly halfway across the state. “I wanted to do something that was a little bit different than just the typical marches and rallies that have been going on,” Navas said. “I thought that it was a pretty significant walking distance, so I was hoping to bring a lot more attention to the Black Lives Matter movement.”

Starting at 7 a.m. on June 27, Navas led a group on a journey that would take them from Navas’ house in Livonia to the capital building in Lansing.

Lansing citizens call for Mayor Schor’s resignation

Chase GoffChris Swope, Brian Jackson, Carol Wood, Peter Spadafore, Kathie Dunbar, Andy Schor, Patricia Spitzley, James Smiertka, Brandon Betz, Jeremy Garza and Adam Hussain during a Lansing city council meeting held via zoom due to COVID-19, Monday, June 22, 2020. During the Lansing City Council meeting on June 22, many concerned citizens of Lansing took the floor to express their opinion that Andy Schor should resign as Lansing’s mayor. Among them was founder and executive director of the Firecracker Foundation, Tashmica Torok, who was disappointed in how he has handled his mistakes. “I’d like to address our mayor, and just say that I have been incredibly disappointed with your leadership in terms of the anti-racism work that we need in our community right now, and from one leader to the next, when you do harm to a community, you acknowledge the harm, you apologize and then you take the steps to fix it,” said Torok. “That takes humility and it takes leadership, and if we’re moving into a season where we are naming racism as a public health crisis, then we need a leader who can take on that challenge with authenticity and integrity, and I don’t believe that Andy Schor is that person.”

Over the past weeks, people of Lansing have been calling for the resignation of Schor.

East Lansing community rallies to Keep Restaurants Afloat

Chase GoffDowntown East Lansing

When COVID-19 struck the nation, restaurants had to adjust to meet health regulations, making it hard for local businesses to keep their doors open. Mike Krueger, owner and general manager of Crunchy’s Bar and Grill, said that he had to completely change their model, as well as acquire products to meet the demands of the customers ordering takeout and delivery. “It was difficult, in the sense that we had to acquire a lot more to-go type products, boxes, to-go silverware, and that sort of thing because we decided that we wanted to still stay open for takeout and for delivery options,” said Crunchy’s Bar and Grill owner and general manager, Mike Krueger. “Also turning our model into a takeout model, rather than a dine in model was a challenge for us.”

Despite facing these challenges, Crunchy’s Bar and Grill was ready to open back up as soon as the stay at home order was lifted on June 1. The staff just needed to be recalled and trained, which wasn’t an issue according to Krueger.