LANSING, Mich. — Some might know him as a boxing coach from the boxing and fitness studio Empower Lansing; some because he just became the Lansing City Council member representing the first ward.
But who is Brian Daniels?
“When I found out Brian was going to be council member ‘Duh’ was the first thing that came to my head," said Alexandria Dmoch, a personal trainer and coach at Empower Lansing. "He's great, very focused on the community very focused on inclusion."
Empower Lansing’s founder and owner Brian Daniels wants to get right to it.
“I just want to make sure that the people the First Ward are being heard,” Daniels said. Now, he can make changes happen.
“I think that we have a lot of housing code issues in the First Ward that want to be addressed. Obviously, the lighting issue in the parks is a hot topic right now, and I think also needs to be addressed," he added. "I'm speaking with people in Eastfield about the noise with Sparrow and I did there just a lot of different neighborhood issues that I think need to be addressed."
One of his goals is to hire more social workers to work with the police department. “It's really important to make sure that, you know, not every response is made by an armed officer is just unnecessary. Also, I think that you'll get a lot more community involvement, engagement and trust, if the trust with the police department is increased, so I think that it makes the officer safer, and it makes people safer.”
As a dad and veteran, he wants to hear what local veterans have to say to make sure they are getting what they need.
“When I was 19, in the military, you know, that's what I was doing, serving my country. I wanted to be a part of change and that hasn't changed,” Daniels said.
Being the owner of Empower Lansing, he says it all comes down to motivating people to speak their truth and that they feel like they can approach him.
“You know, I'm mixed, I'm half black, and I'm half white, I've lived in both worlds. And I understand that these conversations are not easy for anybody. But I think they're important. And I think that we have to continue to push to have them otherwise, there's not actually no progress will actually be made." For Daniels, it's making sure that regardless of who you are, you can talk to him and he want to talk to you. "That's how we can work past any biases that may exist,” Daniels said.
There is a reason the club is named “Empower Lansing.”
He thinks it’s important give people reasons to believe and love themselves. "And you know, I think that we spend a lot of time on social media, which does the exact opposite.”
He says Empower Lansing is a place where it doesn't matter who you are, what you look like or where you are, physically or mentally. "We want to help push you to be the stronger best version of yourself."
Members of the club are excited about his new undertaking.
“He's always asking me questions about my work. So, he's really interested in learning, which is great for a new time council member,” said member John Jackson, who is a professor at MSU and has been working out at Empower Lansing for almost two years.
“Especially as a Black business owner being down the street from where Malcolm X's father was murdered, it's very cool to be able to be a part of the change and progress that we have made," said Daniels. "And, you know, as a council member, I want to be a part of the change that we're going to continue to make, just to make Lansing a better place."
Daniels says he invites everyone to reach out to him via emailor just by stopping at Empower Lansing. He will also start setting up constituent meetings via Zoom, which will be announced on the Lansing City Council Website and a new Facebook page he is going to create for the First Ward very soon.
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