EAST LANSING, Mich. — Chuck Grigsby is a former mixed martial arts fighter who now leads an educational nonprofit. He chaired both East Lansing's Human Rights Commission and the city's study committee for an independent police oversight commission.
Now he's running for one of three open city council seats.
“That’s why I really ran for the four-year seat because I really believe with all the pandemic issues and the instability as far as representation on council and some of the people who have stepped down, people are tired of the fireworks when it comes to what’s going on with Council,” Grigsby said.
Grigsby went to college for criminal justice at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa.
“I was a dual athlete, as well, and I ended up doing professional sports from that and most people know me for professional fighting, but I did play professional basketball for a bit of time,” Grigsby said.
Grigsby said traveling as a basketball player and MMA fighter gave him a different perspective on communities.
“How I view communities, education, government and human behavior and culturally being aware of how important it is to be able to not only look for diversity and embrace diversity, but really value it,” Grigsby said.
He now runs a non-profit organization called Primetime Mentoring and Educational Tutoring Services that he started in 2018.
“It was recruiting volunteers from MSU and having the college kids come over and spend some time in the classroom with kids,” Grigsby said.
Grigsby served on the study committee with former Vice-Chair Christine Root. Root said she enjoyed working with him.
“Chuck really was able to communicate with everybody and I think that’s a real skill that’s very relevant to sitting on City Council,” Root said.
She said she appreciated his leadership style.
“He kept trying to have a sense of the group about how much we could accomplish at every meeting," Root said. "He didn’t start out by saying, 'We’re finishing X and Y tonight.' He just kept trying to go, keep going until people said, 'I had enough for tonight.'”
Grigsby said he would like to work on transparency.
“Explaining and educating the community about why what the visions is, what is our strategic plan, how we’re going forward, what is your vision and have the community involved in that process,” Grigsby said.
Along with keeping tax dollars in the city's neighborhoods.
“Really valuing that and really still have an economic development approach to our city and expand and generate the revenue fund that we need to have for the city going forward,” Grigsby said.
He also wants to continue building a strong connection with MSU.
“The pandemic was a great way for us to reestablish a community and I want to expand from that and really look at economic development,” Grigsby said.
He said what sets him apart from the other candidates is he comes to the table ready to get the work done.
“When I have a task in front of me and I have people around me who want the same general result I can get the job done despite how you may see or feel about really what it is and we’re able to come to that commonality in our solutions,” Grigsby said.
Grigsby is running against Daniel Bollman, Adam DeLay, George Brookover and Dana Watson for one of the two open four-year seats.
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