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Roundabout: City Council Election Coverage

Roundabout: City Council Election Coverage

Newcomers made the biggest gains on both the Lansing and East Lansing City Council's with Brandon Betz ousting incumbent Jody Washington. And, Lisa Babcock and Jessy Gregg knocking off Eric Altmann in East Lansing.
Credit Amanda Pinckney, WKAR
Listen to the series Monday, Wednesday and Friday on Morning Edition and All Things Considered.  

13 City Council Candidates. Five Questions.

WKAR reached out to 13 candidates running for City Council in Lansing and East Lansing to ask them the same set of questions about their respective cities. 12 accepted the invitation. This is what they had to say about big issues in Lansing and East Lansing. 

Lansing City Council 

  1. How should the City of Lansing confront its legacy costs?
  2. How big of a role should cannabis entrepreneurship play in Lansing? Why?
  3. Lansing City Council Member Portraits
    Credit WKAR-MSU
    Lansing City Council Candidates
      What should be done to secure affordable housing in the city for people who live paycheck to paycheck?
  4. What are your plans to attract more businesses, residents, and investment to Lansing? 
  5. Mayor Schor has been in office for two years now, Lansing operates on a strong mayor system, what letter grade you’d give him?
East Lansing City Council
  1. Are you in favor of the pace of development in East Lansing and the direction it’s going in? 
  2. What are your thoughts on the parking situation in East Lansing?
  3. East Lansing City Council member portraits
    Credit WKAR-MSU
    East Lansing City Council Candidates
      What role should marijuana (recreational or medical) play in East Lansing’s future?
  4. Do you support the new East Lansing city income tax?
  5. What are your thoughts on the East Lansing City Council’s recent vote to criminalize LGBTQ conversion therapy?
About The Project

All of the candidate interviews occurred in WKAR’s studio with the exception of one interview that was conducted off-site. Candidates were not provided with the questions in advance.

The interviews took place between late September and mid October. Candidates were asked five questions about big issues in their city and asked to provide any policy changes they believe should be implemented around those issues.

Of those questions, we chose three issues per city that are emblematic of this election cycle to air in a radio series called Roundabout: City Council Election Coverage. East Lansing will air beginning October 21. And, Lansing will air beginning October 28. Short clips of the candidate’s responses to all of the questions are included on the web.

Over the course of the project, the Lansing City Council voted on new rules to govern recreational marijuana businesses. Lansing candidates Brandon Betz and Yanice Jackson-Long were interviewed in advance of that vote; thus, their answers may reflect that timeline.

Lansing candidate Adam Hussain did not participate in the series. Hussain did not respond after multiple requests for comment.