UPDATE: On March 29, 4th ward Lansing city council member Jessica Yorko announced via Facebook that, due to medical reasons, she has decided not to file to run for another term.
We continue our conversations with Lansing city council candidates today with 4th ward incumbent Jessica Yorko.
"We're at a crossroads in Lansing," Yorko states, "where we can make a decision to continue job growth in a more deliberate way, where we are expanding opportunities for everyone, or we can buckle down on some other ideas that I don't support...ideas that we can rehabilitate old contaminated buildings without the use of economic development incentives. Those are the kinds of things people are concerned about, and I get a lot of 'atta girl, thank you for your service, thank you for taking positions that are sometimes unpopular."
Housing issues are important to Yorko, who explains that "fifty-nine percent of Lansing residents are paying more than 30-percent of their income to rent. What's troubling to me is that the debate seems to turn to this area where we think about the use of brownfield incentives for high-end housing, and those get approved every time. Then, when we have an opportunity for historic preservation and build new buildings that are mixed income, that prevent gentrification, we run into a lot of issues. Those have not been tough votes for me, but it's been surprising to me the level of resistance on the city council to making sure that Lansing is a place for everyone."
So far, Yorko only has one announced opponent in the 4th ward, James McClurken.