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Lansing City Council appoints Brian Daniels to fill Ward 1 seat

Brian Daniels
Lansing City-TV
Brian Daniels answers questions from Lansing City Council on Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022.

Brian Daniels will represent northeast Lansing through the rest of 2022 after being appointed by the City Council Tuesday night.

Former Councilman Brandon Betz vacated the Ward 1 seat when he resigned last month, citing a desire to focus on his health and personal relationships.

The rest of the City Council censured Betz last year after he sent profane and combative text messages to an activist during an argument.

Betz had two years left in a four-year term. An election later this year will determine who will fill his seat in 2023.

The council chose Daniels from a pool of 11 applicants following public interviews Monday and Tuesday night. Daniels has indicated he plans to run for the seat again in November.

The 35-year-old says wants to hire more social workers to work with the police department and called reducing gun violence a priority.

"My son is 9 years old and I want him to be able to play safely outside," Daniels said. "Unfortunately, we've lost people in the city who were not part of the gang violence. They were innocent bystanders or they were in the car."

Daniels, a Purple Heart recipient, said surviving a roadside bomb attack while in the Army taught him how significant emotional trauma can be. That's why, he said, the city must do more to support young people involved in violence.

"We have to reach out to these children," Daniels said. "I know that as someone who was blown up at 19 years old and traumatized, that if you don't deal with it is only going to repeat."

Daniels owns Empower Lansing, a kickboxing gym on the east side, and he promised to govern with small business owners in mind.

“I would like to see small businesses be able to get off the ground," Daniels said. "I would like to see minority businesses get off the ground. I would like to see women-owned businesses get off the ground. We have the space here. We have the empty buildings.”

Sarah Lehr is a politics and civics reporter for WKAR News.
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