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East Lansing City Council candidate Jermaine Ruffin has been a resident of East Lansing for over a decade and is a graduate of MSU. Married with three children, Ruffin works as a Placemaking Project Specialist with the State of Michigan with a focus on assisting communities statewide with promoting and leveraging their unique attributes to retain and attract residents.
He has also worked for former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm’s Cities of Promise Initiative, and is an alumni of the East Lansing Emerging Leaders program, former East Lansing Housing Commissioner, and former Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Advisory Member. He is active professionally with a number of state and national organizations such as the State of Michigan Sense of Place Council, Michigan Economic Developers Association (MEDA), Michigan Community Development Association (MCDA), and the Project for Public Spaces Placemaking Leadership Council.
According to Ruffin, “the greatest challenge facing East Lansing today is the lack of a clear and actionable vision for the future of our city. Citizens I have spoken with thus far have a firm understanding of the financial limitations we face due to revenue sharing cuts and other challenges. However, as taxpayers we want to know that our city government is making strategic investments to update our infrastructure and enhance our quality of life by maintaining or creating places for East Lansing citizens of all ages to live, work and play.”
Ruffin asserts that he is “uniquely qualified to take on these challenges and others that will arise” due to his professional and civic experience. “For the last ten years I have worked with communities across the state helping them to address significant challenges in their neighborhoods and downtowns. I led concerned citizens, elected officials, community stakeholders and private interest through strategic planning efforts that have led to actionable solutions. My professional experience combined with my civic work as a former member of the City of East Lansing Housing Commission, Emerging Leaders program and various boards provided me with the diverse skill set necessary to be a knowledgeable, willing and committed partner to bring positive-forward thinking solutions to issues facing the City Council.”
Although he has “played a role in the revitalization of many communities throughout the state of Michigan” Ruffin asserts that “no city holds a special place in my heart like the City of East Lansing” where he earned a college degree, married his wife, raised his children, and purchased his first home.
“I love this city,” he says, “and I hope to be able to give back to East Lansing as much as it has given me. If elected, I will bring the experience, community focus and the passion to work tirelessly with citizens to make East Lansing one of the premier cities in our state. We have an opportunity to provide better housing for our seniors, update aging infrastructure in our neighborhoods and create a world-class downtown that caters to all of us. We need forward thinking leadership on council that embraces what our great city has been and be mission driven towards achieving all it can be. I intend to bring a transparent, informed and collaborative mindset to city council because I sincerely believe we are all East Lansing and we can only reach our potential as a city together.”
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