My name is Jacob Andrews, and I'm a proud resident of the great city of Kalamazoo, and excited to be a candidate for city commission. Growing up in a biracial, middle-class home, I understand what too many families are going through in Kalamazoo; needing to make the difficult decisions between paying their bills and feeding their families. As a recent graduate of Western Michigan University, I have first hand experience dealing with the ridiculously high cost of going to college. Growing up in a biracial home, I've personally experienced my fair share of privilege, but I've witnessed the effects of institutional racism and personal bias. With your help, we can create a Kalamazoo that works for all!
I'm running for Kalamazoo City Commission because I believe:
Top 3 priorities:
FIGHT FOR EQUAL REPRESENTATION
The city needs to begin having conversations about implementing a Council by District system. I believe city commissioners should be elected based on the neighborhoods and areas they live. This way, city commissioners truly reflect the area's values, cultures, beliefs, and have a better understanding of the issues facing each of our neighborhoods. I look forward to discussing how to accomplish this in an equitable way with community leaders.
We are in a housing crisis. And the City of Kalamazoo needs to take on the responsibility to find unique solutions to improve the living-situations for all people of Kalamazoo. The median income for an individual in Kalamazoo is around $22,000, but the average rent is about $900/month. So currently, people are spending around half of their income on housing. This issue is personal for me. Growing up in a middle-class home, my parents had to stress and make difficult decisions about affording groceries and paying the bills. So I will fight to ensure the City of Kalamazoo does everything it can to help our residents maintain fair, and affordable housing.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM
If Kalamazoo wants to ensure a prosperous and equitable community, the community needs to trust its public safety. After the 2013 study determined Kalamazoo officers profiled drivers based on their race, I believe the city has made many strides to improve. But four years after, the Kalamazoo community deserves to know if the efforts have made a difference. Additionally, I look forward to amplifying the voices and fighting along side activists addressing many of the unfair policies and city ordinances that target marginalized communities.
We can't do this without you! Donate now and help Jacob Andrews spread his message throughout the City of Kalamazoo
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