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.

Indigenous People’s Day recognized in Lapeer County

The Lapeer City Commission meeting held virtually on July 6. The Indigenous People will now be recognized on the second Monday of October this year and years to come in Lapeer County instead of Christopher Columbus. 

At the Lapeer City Commission meeting held over Zoom on July 6, the Lapeer City Commission voted unanimously to no longer recognize the second Monday of October as Columbus Day. Lapeer mayor Deborah Marquardt, said that Indigenous People’s Day will reflect on the ongoing struggles of the Indigenous People on the soil of Lapeer, the United States, and all over the world. The day will also celebrate the thriving culture and values that the Ottawa, Ojibwa and Potawatomi tribes contribute to society. “Business, organizations and public entities all are expected to recognize this day no longer for Columbus, but for the Indigenous People of our community and elsewhere,” Marquardt said.

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.

Lansing protests start conversation with citizens, police

It has been a busy year for protests at Michigan’s Capitol building — and it’s only June. Earlier this month, there were multiple protests supporting Black Lives Matters and seeking justice for George Floyd, a Minneapolis man who was killed by former police officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin’s knee was seen pinning Floyd’s neck for eight minutes. Chavuin has been charged with second degree murder, and there have been charges brought against the other officers involved. 

James Henson, who protested June 5 said, “My general outlook is more like my people had enough of being treated the way they have been treated with 400 years of slavery, then 30 years of not being heard by doing protest and stuff like that.”

Henson said he doesn’t feel black people have received the same freedom in this country as white people.  

Austin HayneProtestors line up to march in Lansing. “When America was built, it wasn’t built for black people freedom, it was built for white people freedom,” he said. 

The protestors gathered with signs that read “Black Lives Matter,” “remember George Floyd,” and “privilege is why you think something is not your problem.”  

Austin HayneProtestors make their way through downtown Lansing.

East Lansing takes part in protests, BLM movement

Protesters seen on Gunson and Grand River. Photo by Austin Winslow. Since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the world has moves toward equality and recognition of black lives. Floyd’s death has reached people everywhere, including in the East Lansing area. Students at Michigan State and members of organizations have felt the need to express what they can do to help the movement.

Study finds fewer minority nurses come from Michigan nursing programs

None of Michigan’s nursing programs rank in the nation’s top 50 for the number of minority nurses they graduate with bachelor’s and master’s degrees, a new study from the Women’s Institute for Science, Equity and Race shows. That’s despite the state’s large proportion of minority residents. Nursing program administrators at Northern Michigan University and Michigan State discuss the challenges. Other programs include CMU, Grand Valley State, Davenport, Ferris State and Saginaw Valley State. By Maddy O’Callaghan.