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Dana Watson becomes East Lansing's first Black mayor pro tem

Dana Watson
Posted at 9:46 AM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-20 09:46:46-04

EAST LANSING, Mich. — East Lansing Council Member Dana Watson was appointed to the vacant mayor pro tem position at Thursday nights special council meeting making her the first Black person and Black woman to hold the position.

Watson was nominated by Council Member Ron Bacon. No other nominations were offered and council members voted 4-0 in favor of Watson's new appointment.

“I’ve been in review of the charter for what the responsibilities are for the mayor pro tem, I counted the number of weeks until a new mayor pro tem will come, and I looked at my time off that I had at my job," Watson said. "So I am more than ready to be prepared to step in, and I’m happy to serve in this way for these final 10 weeks.”

Mayor Jessy Gregg was also officially sworn in as the new mayor after former Mayor Aaron Stephens resigned last week.

Former council member Shana Draheim was appointed to fill the council seat Stephens left vacant. Five applications were submitted for the position.

Gregg, Watson and Draheim will fill these positions until November. Three vacant council seats are up for grabs in the election and a mayor and mayor pro tem will be appointed by the council after the election.

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