LANSING, Mich. — The candidates in the 4th Ward Lansing City Council race are two men who are deeply embedded in the community and who both put core values at the top of their lists when talking about what their priorities will be if they are elected.
“I come from a background of a working family. My dad worked at GM. He was a union member. He participated in some of the picket strikes. I benefited from his union wages and his labor. It was able to afford me a great college experience," said Elvin Caldwell, who is challenging incumbent Brian Jackson.
Caldwell graduated from Kalamazoo College with a degree in political science. Right now he wears many hats including working as a legislative consultant, real estate agent and community advocate.
Caldwell says the top things he’ll look to accomplish if he wins the 4th Ward seat are building stronger neighborhoods and providing opportunities for working families.
He says he plans to accomplish his goals by promoting core values.
“We believe dignity should be a top priority within city government. I believe that a Lansing city councilperson should draft and support policies that make Lansing a respectable and dignified place to work and live," Caldwell said.
Caldwell grew up in Flint and says his passion for people and politics inspired him to make Lansing his home.
Jackson was elected to the council in 2017. His day job is as a public defender in Ingham County. He holds a bachelor's, master's and a law degree from Howard University.
He says if he wins another term, he’ll focus on continuing to treat people with respect, reaching out to the diverse population in the district and promoting social justice issues and reforms.
“There’s a change happening in the country and that change is gaining momentum and I just want to make sure that Lansing hears all that, accounts for it and makes decisions on the change that needs to happen," Jackson said.
Jackson says his plan for his second term is to engage more people in the policy-making process.
“I want to reach out to more people and do a better job of keeping everybody in the loop and accounting for their opinions and their needs if they don’t make it known. We have to have the empathy to kind of see into people's lives and see what they need and what could improve their lives," Jackson said.
The 4th Ward covers northwest Lansing. Council members are elected to four-year terms.
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