We have another interview today with a candidate for Lansing city council. Jaron Green is a 24-year-old Army veteran who is studying political science at Lansing Community College. He has worked in the office of state Representative Sheldon Neeley of Flint, and now works in the broker management department at Jackson National.
Green grew up in a family that has long been active in Lansing, led by his grandmother. Ernestine McMullen was involved in the founding of the Westside Crisis and Counseling Center and the Black Child and Family Institute. "My grandmother was always taking care of the community," Green says. "There are so many people in the community who know her and call her 'mom' and were taken care of by her."
This is Green's first run for public office. "I want to change the culture of politics," he continues, "and Lansing's a good place to start that."
If elected, Green hopes to work host quarterly town hall meetings in the second ward.
Another goal is to focus on community benefit agreements. "The theory," he explains, "is that as taxpayers, we subsidize development projects, so we should be getting a return on that investment." He mentions hiring practices and local business grants as being part of such agreements.
Green also wants to look into creating a public banking system in Lansing, similar to the State Bank of North Dakota. He says that bank offers infrastructure accounts and student loan accounts that he thinks could help Lansing pay for road and sidewalk repairs, among other things.