Meeting with God this morning
Time to mobilize citizen journalism in Lansing, MI

My son heard the police outside his bedroom window

My son heard the police outside his upstairs bedroom window last night.  They were telling somebody to "freeze" and "get down on the ground."  He couldn't see any police cars or lights, so he rolled over and went back to sleep.

This really concerns me. 

We live in a very nice area of the southwest side of Lansing, Michigan's capital city.  The mayor lives in our neighborhood and one of our United States Senators, Debbie Stabenow, did until a couple of years ago.

A week or two ago while walking our dog, a neighbor down the blocked stopped me and asked if I had heard about the home invasions in our neighborhood.  He said there had been breakins in the middle of the night while people were sleeping.  I tried to . . .

. . . call the Lansing Police Department to talk to a community relations officer to verify what I heard.  I never talked to a real human.  I went through several layers of automated answers and referrals to other numbers.  I found that frustrating.  I'm just trying to be a responsible citizen and I'm rebuffed by technology and apparent apathy on the part of the people who are supposed to be working for us.

I then went to the city of Lansing website to get some better telephone numbers and information about the city councilman who represents our area.  Well, good luck in finding that.  I am embarrased to say I didn't know what city council person represented us and the city of Lansing's website didn't help. 

My call to the city council office met with a lack of success.

I'm tired of political campaigns where candidates spend their time taking credit for everything and they take self-righteous pride in going negative in their campaigns.  That's happening here with the Lansing mayor's race. 

Mayor Tony Benavides seems to have every political cliche memorized.  He says Lansing is right where it should be.  It's on the path to greatness because of what he's doing.  If he believes that, then I'm scared about the future and about continuing to live inside the city.  He's done nothing that I can see to help the neighborhoods or anybody else, other than himself.

He should be accessible to the people and he should be responsive in a very direct way.  But, I don't see it.  I would like to see it and I want to see it.

The Lansing City Council members don't seem to be any better.  They are appear to be a bunch of good old boys and girls who keep to themselves.  That sounds harsh, but that's my perception. 

Sen. Virg Bernero is running for mayor too.  I like him, but he hasn't totally convinced me that he has a plan to bring Lansing's people together and to make city government work for the people.  Sure, he knows the cliches, but can he get the job done.  I will be listening and I will be asking questions.

And, so should every resident of Lansing.  It's time to fire up your blogs and putting heat on those who represent us.  I'm tired of the status quo and I don't want to move outside the city.