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Kalamazoo mayoral candidates discuss top priorities ahead of November's election

Downtown Kalamazoo in Summer
Posted at 6:18 PM, Oct 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-20 19:47:53-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The November election is less than two weeks away, and in Kalamazoo, two candidates are facing off in the mayoral race.

Incumbent Mayor David Anderson will be running for a second term.

Kalamazoo resident Benjamin Stanley is challenging him.

On November 2, voters will choose who they want to head the city for the next two years.

"What I deeply care about is that this city is a place where all people can prosper and have hope. That is the mission that drives me," said Mayor David Anderson.

Running for re-election, Kalamazoo Mayor David Anderson said he cares a lot for the city.

His opponent, Benjamin Stanley is running as a first time candidate. In years prior, Stanley ran for Kalamazoo City Commission and Kalamazoo County Commission.

"I got enough signatures to get on the ballot, and I want things that the other people that were going to run, didn't want to support," said City of Kalamazoo Mayoral Candidate Benjamin Stanley.

Stanley said he wants to prioritize issues he believes have not been focused on the last couple of years.

"Mental health, transparency, and everything else. Mental health right now is, it's beyond stigmatized. If you ask for mental health, you run a risk of getting locked up against your will, you run a risk of having being stigmatized, being ostracized from society," said Stanley.

Mayor David Anderson Full Interview

For Mayor Anderson, it's addressing issues that have been ongoing and some new ones as well.

"Three priorities start with this community safety, gun violence is at the top for that. Neighborhoods need to be safe for people to live in. Secondly, I am very interested in continuing our creation of affordable housing here in Kalamazoo. So, community safety, affordable housing and then after that economic development and infrastructure," said Mayor Anderson.
Both candidates are not limiting their focuses to just those issues, there are some others they are both passionate about as well.

"We definitely need to keep working on the items that came out of our community engagement, the IK 2025 which includes things like non-motorized transportation, issues related to what are we doing to address environmental issues on the city side and the whole community? Lots to do there," said Mayor Anderson.

Mayor Anderson said infrastructure, walkability and being good for business is also really important.

"Mental health, community engagement, we need to make it so that people can utilize those services. In a fair, and in a, in a way that we all agree with," said Stanley.

Benjamin Stanley Full Interview

With that Stanley also said transparency and accessibility are other things he would work on within the city.

"My message to voters would be what do you want to see happen in this city? If you want to see better mental health and transparency, I want to work with you," said Stanley.

"I know we always say this but I think Kalamazoo is a great place to be. It is a critical time here in Kalamazoo. If we are going to imagine our dreams together, let’s do this together," said Mayor Anderson.

You can register to vote at your local county clerk's office. Election Day is on November 2.