It was a quiet week in East Lansing news, but in case you missed what ELi published this week:
We brought the results of an in-depth interview that ELi’s Managing Editor Julie Seraphinoff and I did with East Lansing Police Capt. Chad Pride about crime and policing in the city. That article includes information about ELPD’s budget and staffing, crime reporting, traffic enforcement and a lot more.
I also reported the city released the names of the 14 people who will be considered for the vacant seat on City Council. We’ll be following up on that with information about the candidates as the Council’s review of them approaches.
Julie and I also shared with you what we think are going to be the biggest East Lansing stories we’ll be tracking in 2023.
There’s a lot more news coming soon.
As I look at ELi’s editorial dashboard — an online spreadsheet that tracks what’s in development in terms of our reporting — I see a busy January and February ahead, with steady reporting particularly from our City Desk Editor Luke Day and at-large reporter Dustin DuFort Petty.
Besides doing our usual coverage of local government meetings (under the guidance of Julie), Luke, Dustin and I are looking at working on a potential three-part report about housing affordability in East Lansing.
With research and fact-checking assistance from volunteer reporter Chris Root, we anticipate ELi will also be bringing a special series on East Lansing’s tax diversion schemes, which capture and redirect millions of dollars in property taxes each year.
Dustin and Julie are readying several reports out of East Lansing Public Schools. One is about a book-buying project funded by the East Lansing Educational Foundation, while another looks at the work of Superintendent Dori Leyko.
And Julie is working with Luke on upcoming stories about tree-planting initiatives, population changes, infrastructure proposals that could change the feel of some neighborhoods, and two items that are now moving from Planning Commission to City Council for decisions.
We are sure we’ll have more from Sarah Spohn, too, for our Arts & Cultures reporting. And we’ll continue to have terrific illustrations to bring our journalism to life thanks to our photographers Dylan Lees and Gary Caldwell and designer Cait Palmiter.
This is an extraordinary team you have working for you.
And I haven’t even named the folks behind the scenes who work part-time for us to keep our systems operational: General Manager Jodi Spicer, Tech Managers Morgan Lees and volunteer Lisa Lees, Donor Relations Manager Al Hargrave Jackson. We are all watched over and supported by the volunteer ELi Board of Directors: Ray Vlasin, Chuck Grigsby, Cody Harrell and Adan Tomas Quan.
It is my great privilege to lead this extraordinary team, and an even greater privilege to be supported by you, our readers. This operation runs on only about $175,000 per year—a fraction of what you might expect given what we deliver. But even that “fraction” must be raised for us to do this work. And those of you who step up to contribute financially are the reason we are still here.
As I write, we have raised just about $130,000 in donations and annual commitments through our 2022 Annual Campaign. We have approximately $3,000 left in matching funds that are set to expire at midnight tomorrow. We are hoping folks will step up and donate at least that amount before the balls drop in the bigger cities. All the ways you can give are shown here, and every dollar helps.
I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again:
East Lansing is incredibly fortunate to be a town that understands why it matters to financially support high-quality, nonprofit local news. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for joining with us in this community endeavor.
And it isn’t just the money. You have kept us to high standards. You have helped us find out what’s really going on here and to report it. You have collaborated with us to create an informational safety net for this area – the kind of news safety net every community deserves.
Thank you, and all best wishes to you and yours for a happy and healthful New Year.
Alice Dreger / ELi's Founder, Publisher and Executive Director