LANSING, Mich. — After five years on Lansing’s City Council, Patricia Spitzley has decided to run for mayor. She said she can be a better equipped leader for the people of Lansing.
“I went to elementary school here, I went to high school here and I went to Lansing Community College,” Spitzley said. “I am Lansing, Michigan.”
Spitzely has been president of the City Council and served as an at-large member. If elected, she’ll be the first woman and first Black person to be sworn in as mayor.
“As an African American woman, I think it gives me a perspective that’s lacking on diversity issues,” Spitzley said.
Lansing Mayor Andy Schor has come under criticism in the past year for the way he's responded to demands from Black activists on issues ranging from police abuses to support for Black children in the schools.
Spitzley said she hopes to address issues of police brutality, racial inequality and inclusion in the city right away, along with financial issues.
“We have city financial issues,” Spitzley said. “We have city audits and they show how we have been handling the people’s money. We have a current mayor who was clearly not prepared to deal with the issues surrounding the policies and procedures left by the previous mayor.”
Spitzley will be running against Schor, former Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero and Larry Hutchison Jr.
Spitzley has known Schor and Bernero for years and said her leadership style is most different from Schor's.
“He lacks accountability and we need that and I am prepared to put forth an agenda for the city that does provide that transparency and accountability,” she said.
The theme of Spitzley’s campaign is “Moving Lansing Forward Together,” and she said that’s exactly what she plans to do.
“Our residents, our neighborhoods, our city governments, we need to do better, and we can do better under new leadership,” Spitzley said.