OPINION

Schor: Lansing is stronger, but there’s more to do

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Serving as Lansing’s mayor has been an honor. We have grown the city for everyone and have tackled crises head-on. I’m proud of the achievements we’ve made and look forward to another four years of growing Lansing!

We accomplished so much during my first term. Over $1.5 billion was invested in Lansing, including the affordable Capital City Market grocery store, new housing for all income levels throughout the city, new Rotary and Beacon parks and much more. We provided funding and assistance for facade improvements, created public art and issued neighborhood grants citywide. 

Together, we handled unprecedented challenges and emerged stronger.

During the massive floods of 2018, I preemptively declared a state of emergency and we saved hundreds of homes in the Urbandale area, avoiding nearly $2.2 million in damages.

The polar vortex of 2019 brought nearly a foot of snow and the lowest temperatures in many years. I declared a snow emergency and mobilized all hands-on-deck to keep our residents, visitors and workers safe.

In 2020, when the pandemic hit, we had to provide critical city services while protecting our employees, residents, small businesses and those most vulnerable. By connecting neighborhood services, organizations and people, the city provided grants for small businesses, rent and mortgage assistance for residents and safe housing options for the homeless. We created the Community Response Cabinet to find creative ways to help our Lansing community.

We partnered with the Lansing School District to offer a learning lab for students whose parents needed to work in person. We found creative ways to offer outdoor opportunities with drive-thru events such as the mayor’s senior fair, trick-or-treating, and holiday lights.

We listened to the public in many public input sessions on a variety of topics including budget, roads, parking, development and issues of equity. We are also finalizing our racial justice and equity plan based on community input.

Lansing is stronger than ever, but there is more work to do, and I look forward to further growing Lansing if the voters elect me in August and November. I invite folks to view my plan — at andyschor.com — for the next four years, which focuses on neighborhood revitalization, community and economic development, infrastructure and city services, equity and strengthening partnerships.

We will have safe, walkable neighborhoods, ensure properties are safe for homeowners and renters, provide resources to neighborhoods and much more. My newly created Neighborhoods Department will continue programs like SERVE Lansing, neighborhoods of focus and neighborhood grants. Programs like community policing and Operation Slowdown will keep people safe, and Lead Safe Lansing will help our older homes.

Lansing will continue fixing roads and sidewalks, filling potholes, separating sewer and water pipes to protect our environment and updating infrastructure. We will continue to address legacy costs so limited dollars can be used for city services. I will also further improve communication between residents and their government through One Call to City Hall.

Lansing continues to attract development opportunities. New businesses and restaurants are coming to the Stadium District and downtown, and our corridors and business districts will be more vibrant with new and exciting amenities for residents and visitors. I will continue to work with the state so our downtown can rebound and adjust so any new remote work doesn’t hurt Lansing’s economy. I remain committed to exciting new entertainment options (like a performing arts center) and taking pride in Lansing by showing our art and culture.

Equity plays a critical role in how we grow our city in housing, policing, social services, financial empowerment and so many other areas. We will assist residents through all stages of life to help them reach financial stability through Lansing SAVE, BOLD Lansing, and the work of our Financial Empowerment Center.

We will celebrate our diversity and ensure all are treated fairly by implementing the community-based racial justice and equity plan, monitored by a new diversity, equity, and inclusion city board and our new diversity, equity and inclusion officer.

I will further strengthen relationships with the Lansing School District, higher education, the state of Michigan, local governments, nonprofits and others for the Greater Lansing region. I will continue to work with city employees, as well as my Lansing City Council partners.

While I believe that Lansing’s time is now, we must look to the future of our city. This election and campaign is about the vision for our city’s growth in a post-pandemic world. As long as I am mayor, I will fight every day to make Lansing a place all are proud of. To do this, I need your vote on Aug. 3 to continue the momentum in Lansing for you, your family, your neighborhood and your future.

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