Lansing mayoral candidate profile: Kathie Dunbar

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 5:22 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 21, 2021 at 4:58 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Kathie Dunbar has spent 16 years on the Lansing City Council and several years volunteering in the Lansing community.

“I know city hall inside and out, and I also know the folks who need our help the most and I’m connected to them in a very, very tangible way and I will not forget that when I’m in office,” she said.

Her original plan for this election was to run to keep her seat on the city council but she feels called to do more.

“After having watched the way the last three and a half years played out, I decided we really did need a change,” said Dunbar.

She says issues of racial tension struck a cord with her.

“The tear-gassing of residents during a protest downtown, the racial discrimination lawsuits and accusations that have been made about conduct in the mayor’s office, the police department, the fire department, they have not been met with the seriousness that they deserve,” she said.

Dunbar says she would like to see changes within the police department as well, particularly when it comes to training.

“Use of force, de-escalation, civil engagement, all of these things need to be taught and reinforced on a regular basis,” said Dunbar.

Outside of the police department, she says the city can do more to prevent crime from happening.

“What we need to be doing is being proactive,” Dunbar said. “We need to be investing the money in programs that reduce the inequity. Programs that provide opportunity for kids and young adults, programs that deal with trauma and drug addition and all of the things that ultimately correlate with crime.”

Affordable housing is another of her priorities.

“The most effective way to build a community is to have housing that reflects all income levels in it, and that would be my goal is to work on developments that have market rate, affordable and attainable housing,” she said.

Dunbar faces five others who are vying for the city’s top job, mayor Andy Schor, Melissa Huber, Larry James Hutchinson Jr., Farhan Sheikh-Omar and Patricia Spitzley.

In Lansing, you can cast your ballot before Election Day at one of the city’s 24-hour drop boxes. To find out more, CLICK HERE.

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