LANSING, Mich. — The race to elect Lansing's Fourth Ward City Councilperson pits a political newcomer against a first-term incumbent.
Both Brian Jackson and Elvin Caldwell are hoping to improve the quality of life for residents in the city's 4th Ward.
Jackson was elected to the council in 2017. This would be Caldwell’s first term.
Both men say campaigning has taught them some things.
"I've learned a lot as far as governance a lot as far as representation of following up, being on the spot for people and what it means to actually work for folks at the city government level,” Caldwell said.
Jackson says he’s finding out that many residents aren’t taking part on the political process and he’s working to engage them.
“There’s still a group of people that don’t vote and who aren’t really connected to city government and I want to be a voice for them as well,” he said.
When we checked in with Caldwell and Jackson several months ago, they shared their three top priorities if elected to office. Caldwell says crime and safety issues are still at the top of his list.
“We know addressing crime and safety, traffic and the lawlessness in neighborhoods has become a major concern knocking on doors throughout the 12 precincts in the Fourth Ward we know that crime and safety is something that all twelve of the precincts share,” Caldwell said.
Besides cutting down on crime and improving safety, Caldwell hopes to focus on economic development and dignity in public office.
Jackson says his top priorities are developing stronger police and community relationships, strengthening Lansing’s green initiatives and fixing housing and food insecurity challenges for residents.
“There’s still so many people who are without food and as a local government official I think its my job and our job to try to look out for them,” Jackson said.
Voters in the Fourth Ward did not have the chance to vote for Caldwell or Jackson in the primary because there were only two candidates.
Lansing City Clerk's office says 15,000 absentee ballots have been issued but only 6,000 have been returned so far.
Election day is Nov. 2. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.
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