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Business and Labor Forge Unprecedented Partnership to Move Lansing Forward

Monday, July 15, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Michelle Rahl
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Ross Woodstock
July 15, 2013 Kolt Communications, Inc
 517-706-0001/517-410-7636
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Business and Labor Forge Unprecedented Partnership to Move Lansing Forward

(Lansing-MI) – Signaling their strong desire to work collaboratively to help move the City of Lansing forward, UAW Region 1-C and the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce (LRCC) jointly announced their support for candidates in the Lansing Mayoral and Lansing City Council elections on the August 6 primary election ballot. Endorsed candidates by the two organizations are:

Virg Bernero, Mayor, City of Lansing

Kathie Dunbar, City Council, At-Large Councilmember

Judi Brown Clarke, City Council, At-Large Councilmember Candidate

Tina Houghton, Second Ward, Councilmember

Jessica Yorko, Fourth Ward, Councilmember

"This is a special occasion that labor and business can come together to support candidates who want what is right for the City of Lansing” said Norwood H. Jewell, Director, UAW Region 1-C. "The UAW is proud of our long, rich history with the City of Lansing and we look forward to working together for more jobs and economic investment.”

"Today’s joint announcement by the UAW and the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce reflects the level of collaboration that is badly needed if the City of Lansing is to overcome its challenges and reach greatness,” said LRCC President & CEO, Tim Daman. "We believe this group of candidates has the potential to foster an exciting new era where the Mayor and City Council are working cooperatively to move the city forward.”

Virg Bernero, Mayor of the City of Lansing, is seeking reelection to his third term in office. Under Mayor Bernero's leadership, Lansing has leveraged more than $1 billion dollars in new investments that have retained and created more than 10,000 jobs, including major expansions by General Motors, Accident Fund, Jackson National Life and Emergent Biosolutions. Despite serious revenue losses and rising costs, Bernero has made the tough decisions necessary to balance eight straight budgets, erasing more than $60 million in city budget deficits. Some of Mayor Bernero’s current key initiatives include implementing the recommendations of the Financial Health Team, regional cooperation toward a metro fire department, redevelopment of the Red Cedar Golf Course and implementation of the city’s new Financial Empowerment Center.

Kathie Dunbar is a current At-Large Councilmember for the city where she was first elected in 2005. Dunbar serves the Lansing community as executive director of the South Lansing Community Development Association and as race director for the Hawk Island Triathlon. In 2010, Dunbar was named South Lansing Business Association’s Community Service Person of the Year. Dunbar helped residents and business owners create a strategic plan for revitalizing REO Town, including design ideas for the new South Washington streetscape. Among other accomplishments, Dunbar led the effort to install rain gardens along Michigan Avenue to reduce harmful contamination of the Grand River.

Tina Houghton currently works for University Outreach and Engagement, the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement at Michigan State University. Houghton is active in a number of community services and organizations as a PTA board member, co-founder of Lansing Stars Athletic Club, Southside Community Center Citizen Action team member, former Lansing Parks board member, and co-chair of Able to Play Playground Community Build Project. Houghton’s top three priorities for the city are to create good paying jobs, preserve the environment, and help strengthen bonds between the different communities in our region.

Jessica Yorko has served on the Lansing City Council since 2010. Yorko is Ingham County’s Environmental Justice Coordinator, where she helps residents create and obtain healthy housing, clean outdoor air, and fresh food. Previously, Yorko was manger of Lansing’s Westside Commercial Association, president of Sustainable Solutions, and marketing and partnership coordinator for Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Yorko’s three-tier platform stresses the need for good job creation, an initiative to treat all people with respect by including them in Lansing’s rebirth, as well as an obligation to protect the environment.

Judi Brown Clarke currently works at Michigan State University’s BEACON Center, where she promotes broader inclusion of underrepresented students and faculty in science, technology, engineering and math careers. Clarke is a first-time candidate with a long distinguished record of public service including current membership on the Lansing Promise Authority Board, Girls to Women Conference Advisory Board, Mildred B. Erickson Fellowship Board of Directors, Children’s Central, Michigan After-School Partnership, and President of the United States Olympian and Paralympian Association, Michigan Chapter. Judi won the silver medal in the 400 meter hurdles in the 1994 Olympic Games.

If elected, Clarke intends to focus on maintaining adequate delivery of basic city services with limited resources, working with key stakeholders to ensure safe communities, partnering with the educational community to meet demands for a progressive workforce, and promoting collaboration to move Greater Lansing forward.

The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) is one of the largest and most diverse unions in North America, with members in virtually every sector of the economy. The UAW has more than 390,000 active members and more than 600,000 retired members in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. UAW Region 1-C covers 11 counties in south-central Michigan including the cities of Flint, Lansing and Jackson.

The mission of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce (LRCC) is to be the preeminent business advocacy organization in the Greater Lansing region by collaborating for economic growth, creating new opportunities for our members and upholding pro-business ideals through the advancement of sound public policy. More information about LRCC and its programs and services can be found on any of its social media platforms, including www.lansingchamber.org, Facebook, Twitter (@Lansing Chamber), Linked In and You Tube.

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