Key viewpoints readers in the greater Lansing area had to share in 2021

In 2021, more than 250 Greater Lansing residents and supporters shared their views as viewpoints in the Lansing State Journal and USA Today Mid-Michigan group.

On positions ranging from mental health to voter petition campaigns, from running businesses during COVID-19 to selecting a new MSU sporting director, LSJ readers have drawn to opinion pieces that show we have a caring and resilient community – that we have a keen interest in delving deeper into some breaking or breaking news by reading a person’s personal and / or professional perspective.

One thing is very clear: the LSJ opinion area continues to be a valued space for community members to express their views on important topics and to promote important on-site discussions.

Here is a snapshot of the topics that resonated the most in 2021, from the list of the most read viewpoints that appear on our local opinion pages throughout the year:

10. “Anything named after Lewis Cass is a Native American injustice that needs to be corrected”

Cities, roads, and bodies of water across Michigan are named in honor of Lewis Cass, who was appointed governor of the Territory of Michigan in 1813, when most of the land was mostly Native American. Cass negotiated 20 different contracts with indigenous people, forcing them to turn thousands of acres of land to the United States.

This was not an honorable man and we must do something to remove the Cass name from the areas named in his honor. Fortunately, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has already started this by removing the Cass name from a government building in Lansing. Read the point of view here.

Gerry Congleton, Haslett

9. ‘My recovery journey, how I give something back’

Dawn Kepler

“I am so alone.”

This is a feeling I worked hard to achieve as a young person recovering and studying at the same time. I struggled to find other students my age who were also recovering from a substance use disorder, or even peers who didn’t drink that I felt I belonged to. This experience in my personal recovery has motivated me to help college students. find the support and community they need to achieve their goals.

An important part of my recovery is a goal: I work to keep others from “rock bottom” or from unnecessarily challenging times because of their substance use disorder. Read the point of view here.

Dawn Kepler, East Lansing

8. “Reject Petition to Unblock Michigan”

Farhan Bhatti, MD

Unfortunately, Unlock Michigan wants to hijack the pandemic to divide Americans. The people behind it are scapegoats for health and medical professionals pursuing their narrow, ruthless, and dangerous political agenda. It would shift decision-making authority in public health crises away from health officials and instead make lawmakers and local government agencies accountable for those decisions.

Put simply, the Unlock Michigan petition would increase the number of illnesses and deaths across our state. With public health officials tied behind their backs – as Unlock Michigan intended – the task of protecting lives would be fragmented and our entire public health infrastructure would be compromised. Read the point of view here.

Dr. Farhan Bhatti, Lansing

7. “Rising tensions should urge us all now”

State Representative Sarah Anthony, D-Lansing.

As I watched the attempted insurgency at the U.S. Capitol last week, I was reminded of how much damage could be done if we continue to wait for a politically reasonable time to take action – including damage to our historic Capitol and lives that Terrorists are lost at the hands of the natives.

Words cannot describe what it felt like when armed men stormed our Capitol last spring. As we listened to the angry chants and saw the big guns flash from the floor of the house, time seemed to stand still. It was hard not to imagine how far the gunmen would go. If they stormed past Capitol security. If we could make it home alive Read the point of view here.

State Representative Sarah Anthony, Lansing

6. “Opening a downtown restaurant during COVID-19 sounds crazy, but we did it.”

Adrian Joseph

Starting a new business is hard enough. So many factors and obstacles that you can’t even imagine – let alone a global pandemic. But I believe if you’ve been fortunate enough to survive this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as a small business, nothing really can stop your success now.

It was particularly pleasing this year to win a prize for the best new restaurant in the city center. After all of these struggles – slow business activity, no staff, long hours – this award has really cemented the sense of success for all of us at Goodfellas. We have a great team that has been with me for some time. We all had to be incredibly flexible and determined to make things work. Read the point of view here.

Adrian Joseph, Lansing

5. “Criticism of the new gun ownership directive is overrated”

Peter Houk

As a former district attorney-elect and District Court judge in Ingham County, I have followed with dismay the dispute over the Ingham County’s criminal prosecution policy. I think the argument is wrong.

Undoubtedly, our society is deeply polarized and fragmented over the use of police powers and its impact on black members of our society. This polarization is exacerbated when law enforcement agencies label prosecutors’ policy decisions to reduce the disproportionate impact of indictment decisions on black citizens as “junk” – and demand their resignation. Read the point of view here.

Peter Houk, Lansing

4. “Lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic”

André Hutson

I experienced the pandemic not just as a business owner, but personally – as a father, husband, son, neighbor and friend. COVID-19 has made me rethink everything I do, wherever I go. It’s in my head every day. I respect everyone’s willingness to take risks in the face of the many remaining unknowns.

However, as a lifelong advocate of exercise and fitness, I am concerned about the unreported public health crisis that I believe is unfolding – in Michigan and beyond – as a result of measures taken to respond to the pandemic. After a year locked in our homes, new data shows we are significantly more obese, depressed, isolated, addicted, and suicidal than we were twelve months ago. Read the point of view here.

Andre Hutson, DeWitt

CONNECTED:Top 2020 Views for the LSJ Opinion Area

3. “Social districts show advantages beyond alcohol and bars”

Cathleen Edgerly

While many businesses and customers find social neighborhoods a great way to enjoy the summer months, we’re looking for longer term benefits these designated areas have to support our local Lansing economy and help our city relax all year round!

By allowing residents to drink, shop, and stroll throughout their community, we’re not just negating the local restaurants and nightlife; we also offer an experience, a reason to linger and enjoy all the wonderful outdoor spaces and locations that make up the framework of our quarters. Read the point of view here.

Cathleen Edgerly, Lansing

2. “Alan Haller is a good choice for MSU sport”


I am grateful that President Samuel Stanley and the MSU Board of Trustees made a decision that will further fuel the hard-won MSU momentum needed to get MSU back to the top where it belongs.

Alan Haller has remained committed and committed at MSU even in difficult times. His loyalty, hard work ethic, and credibility have earned him respect over the years as a native of Lansing, former Spartan Football Letterman and NFL player, and as a former MSU Police Department officer who rose to lieutenant. Read the point of view here.

Todd Duckett, Lansing

1. “Secure MI Vote tries to incapacitate the voters”

Mary Brown

The 2020 presidential election was the most successful and safest election in the history of our state. A bipartisan report, led by Michigan’s GOP Senator Ed McBroom, confirms this certainty. More than 5.5 million Michigandans voted with more than 3.2 million who used their postal voting option.

Yet a group called Secure MI Vote has petitioned the state electoral committee claiming that our current electoral laws need to be strengthened. What they really mean is that certain voters need to be removed from their voting rights. Read the point of view here.

Mary Brown, Lansing

The local LSJ Opinion Department is curated by Engagement Editor Matt Hund and News Assistant Jayne Higo. To provide your views, either as a point of view or in a 175 word letter to the editor, email [email protected]

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