There are three candidates for the Ward 2 seat on the Lansing City Council.
Incumbent Jeremy Garza is running against political newcomers Oprah Revish and Nicklas Zande to represent the city's southeast side.
Revish is an import from California who came here to work for Michigan State University. She has lived many other places but says Lansing was the first city that felt like home to her.
“It's the people. There's genuine folks here who love Lansing and want to do what’s best for citizens, all citizens,” said Revish.
Revish holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona and a graduate degree from the University of Kansas.
She currently works at MSU in the LGBTQ Resource center. Revish is passionate about her work and wants to bring that same energy to City Council.
“One of the things I would like to see happen and that I would work for as a member of the city council would be making sure that we get a community center in this area,” Revish said.
Revish says she also wants to "divest" from the police department and use that money to invest in community programs and education.
The candidate says she cares about streets and parks in Ward 2 and would also work to get them up upgraded.
“I’m interested in having those hard conversations with the other folks on my City Council team and making sure we all have shared language and understanding of how different folks are experiencing our city and country,” Revish said.
Jeremy Garza is seeking a second term to represent the residents of Ward 2.
Garza grew up in Lansing and comes from a union background. He is a licensed plumber and pipefitter who works as the safety director for United Association Local 333 teaching safety and first aid classes.
Garza says he received his initial education at Lansing Community College and is currently attending Washtenaw Community College.
“I’m a son of a proud GM worker/retiree. My father worked for General Motors for 35 years. So I understand Lansing. I understand what we need and the shortfalls,” he said.
Garza says continuing to create good-paying jobs is at the top of the list of things he wants to do if he wins a second term.
He also wants to continue his work in upgrading parks in his district and investing in public safety.
“You know our firefighters; they have some seriously old ladder trucks. Now I’m sure you feel the same way. If my mom or grandma's house was on fire you don’t want some rickety beat up truck driving down the street and risk it breaking down and not having a chance to save your family’s lives,” Garza said.
He says finding middle ground with other Council members will be key to getting the work done.
“We have to meet in the middle and figure out what common space we can work together in so we ca get as many important issues worked out to support our residents in Lansing,” said Garza.
Zande, whose platform includes revoking Sanming, China's sister city status and reducing the police department's budget, did not respond to multiple requests for an interview.
The primary is Aug. 3. The top two candidates will go on to the general election in November.
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