“You don’t need 53-year-old me telling you what you want,” said East Lansing City Council candidate Lisa Babcock. “Come to me, tell me what you want.”
Babcock said she directed the statement toward the Michigan State University student body.
Unlike some of the other candidates who have given reasons as to why they understand student needs, she is candid in her admittance that she doesn’t understand all the issues facing students. But she is clear, she wants to hear them.
This is the sixth and final part of the city council candidate series. With a Nov. 5 election approaching, this series is here to inform students of the candidates seeking to represent the local government just outside campus boundaries.
Three seats are up for grabs to six candidates and each are four-year terms. Babcock is joined in the race by Mayor Pro Tem Erik Altmann, Mayor Mark Meadows, Jessy Gregg, John L. Revitte and Warren Stanfield III.
Lawyer and former reporter makes her case for council
If you run into Babcock on the street, odds are she’ll have voter registration papers on her. She also has a link to register to vote on her website.
With career experience as a journalist and lawyer, Babcock said after attending city council meetings, she thinks the city should act more transparently.
Babcock said her problem is not with the council selling the land online, but allegations of the city council contacting potential bidders beforehand.
“As a former newspaper reporter, I find it really frustrating that it’s so hard to get information or consistent information from the city council,” Babcock said.
One of the platforms Babcock is running on is environmental protection.
She said she’s seen the climate change in her lifetime, which tells her we need to act as soon as possible.
“As a gardener, I’ve seen the garden season expand by about a month on either direction over my life,” Babcock said.
Babcock doesn’t think the city is acting quickly enough on environmental policy.
She said she would like to see solar panels being placed on city buildings and for building rooftops to be painted white to reduce heat buildup in the buildings.
When researching issues facing East Lansing, Babcock was startled by the poverty rates of the elderly and children in the city.
“One of the things I discovered in my research is that 14% of children in East Lansing live at or beneath the poverty level and seven percent of our seniors,” Babcock said.
Based on this finding, Babcock has said that she would make an effort to restructure the budget to ensure that these parts of the demographic get the help they need.
Editors note: This story was updated to correct the statement that Babcock is a former lawyer. She currently operates Lisa Babcock Law PLCC in Lansing advising election law.