LANSING, Mich. — Ingham County has pushed back the start of Advance Peace, a gun violence prevention initiative meant as a response to the spiking number of homicides in the region.
County Officials hoped to allocate up to $265,000 for the first year of the program to a local organization with the possibility of renewal. In all the, the initiative has over $1 million in funding, mostly from the county, the city of Lansing and the state.
The county asked 27 organizations to apply, but only two did: The Village of Lansing and Northwest Initiative.
The organization that was selected was supposed to be announced at the beginning of October, but county officials say they decided to postpone making a selection for three reasons: Not enough participation, one of the two organizations failed to submit a the proper number of references, and they would like to have the application active for four weeks, instead of three.
An official with The Village believes the pause was aimed at her organization.
“Truth be told, I’m extremely disappointed,” said co-founder of The Village Lansing Erica Lynn. “I’m disappointed that this is where we are at with this process.”
According to a Board of Commissioners meeting agenda, dated Aug. 26, the Village Lansing was unanimously recommended by the RFP committee to be the recipient of Advance Peace. Lynn said she thinks it was put on pause because of her and her husband, Michael Lynn's relationship with the city and with mayor Andy Schor.
Michael Lynn is one of 8 firefighters suing the city for racial discrimination and a frequent critic of Mayor Andy Schor.
“We know things like this happen,” Lynn said.
Schor did not respond to requests for comment. Neither did Ingham County Board Chair Brian Crenshaw.
Erica is just hoping change comes soon.
“Our kids are dying every day, so this is much more for us just about this process,” Lynn said.
Ingham County said they hope to open up the new Advance Peace application sometime next week and they also said The Village Lansing and the Northwest Initiative are welcome to apply.