Opinion

The CP Edit: 2021: Be it resolved

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Councilman pleads faulty memory

The new year is off to a rough start for Lansing City Councilman Brian Jackson, who represents the city’s Fourth Ward. Reacting to a City Pulse review that found he missed 11 out of 12 meetings of the Committee on Ways and Means last year, Jackson suggested a deficient memory was to blame. We have a hard time believing that a sitting member of the Council could just forget what committees they serve on and when they meet. Besides, he also missed five out of the nine Public Safety Committee meetings and all 12 of the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission sessions in 2020. Jackson’s absenteeism speaks to a lack of commitment to fulfilling the responsibilities of his office, for which he receives a taxpayer-funded paycheck. Being an election year, we don’t think he should be ejected from office for his negligence, although Council rules are very clear that any member who fails to attend meetings can be expelled by his or her colleagues. Be it resolved that Jackson’s Fourth Ward constituents can decide later this year if their no-show Councilman is up to another term, provided he decides to run again.

All aboard the sedition train

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any crazier in the transition to the Biden presidency, now comes U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, whose district includes the west side of Greater Lansing, stepping up to the plate to do his part to destroy our democracy by refusing to certify the results of the Electoral College vote. Walberg, a Republican who laughably claimed to be “bipartisan” during his thoroughly disingenuous reelection campaign, has proven once again that he is a rabid Trumpster who is perfectly content to sacrifice his own integrity and credibility to please his unhinged master. Be it resolved that the appropriate legal authorities determine if sedition charges are warranted as Walberg and his unpatriotic peers continue to work to overthrow the will of the people.

Mayor’s race ready to roll

We expect it won’t be long before the 2021 race for Lansing mayor kicks into high gear. The field is likely to include former Mayor Virg Bernero, At-Large City Councilwoman Patricia Spitzley and incumbent Mayor Andy Schor, although Schor has yet to announce if he intends to run for reelection and the other two have not yet made it official. Assuming he runs, will Lansing voters decide to keep Andy? Go another round with Bernero? Or elect the first Black woman mayor in the city’s history? Be it resolved that we’re keeping our powder dry on supporting any of them for now and look forward to hearing the candidates make their case to Lansing voters.

Waiting to exhale

Lest we forget the tragic death of Haslett resident Anthony Hulon in the Lansing city jail in April, ostensibly after being asphyxiated by jailers in much the same way that Minneapolis police killed George Floyd, we urge Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel to expedite her review of the case to determine if Hulon’s death was a criminal act. Nessel moved relatively quickly to dispense with allegations against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s team for allegedly steering a no-bid contract to a politically favored firm as part of the state’s COVID-19 contact tracing program. Be it resolved that Nessel works just as hard to give Hulon’s grieving family the justice and closure they deserve, and to hold accountable any Lansing jail employee who acted negligently or criminally in restraining Hulon while he pleaded that he couldn’t breathe. Be it further resolved that Mayor Schor and Lansing Police Chief Daryl Green come clean about why they misled the public about the nature of the incident and why they continue to stonewall efforts by the media to get to the bottom of the story.

Kindness matters

One of the best antidotes for anger and dismay is kindness. With a thoroughly unsettling year in the rearview mirror, and with enormous challenges facing national, state and city leaders as we dig our way out of the COVID hole, let us all practice as much kindness as possible toward our fellow humans. Kindness doesn’t pay the rent or put food on the table, but it costs nothing and generates positive dividends by reminding us that we are more alike than we are different and that we are all in this together. Be it resolved that each of us will make it a point to be kind to one another as the new year unfolds.

Support great journalism

With 2021 well underway, City Pulse remains committed to providing the Greater Lansing community with insightful, thought-provoking and entertaining journalism on the most important issues of the day. You can help! Be it resolved that you might consider a donation to City Pulse or the City Pulse Fund for Community Journalism. Congress has kept in place a $300 tax deduction for another year for all gifts to 501(c)3s such as the City Pulse Fund, regardless if you itemize. If the deduction won’t help you, then please contribute directly to City Pulse. If you would like to mail a check, please make it out to City Pulse or City Pulse Fund for Community Journalism and mail it to City Pulse, 1905 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, MI 48912. For credit cards, go to. www.lansingcitypulse.com/donation or call Suzi Smith at (517) 999-6704. She can also answer any questions.

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