At their January 9, 2018 meeting, the Meridian Township Board voted unanimously to appoint Emily Stivers to the Meridian Township Planning Commission — appointments to which have seldom been unanimous in the past.
Emily Stivers made two brief statements during the meeting’s opportunities for public comment: one before her appointment, and one afterwards.
In her comments before her appointment, Emily Stivers said:
Good evening. I wanted to thank Supervisor Styka for recommending my appointment to the Planning Commission, and also tell you all a little more about my qualifications and why I’m so excited to have this opportunity to serve Meridian Township.
I have been honored to serve as Vice Chair on the Zoning Board of Appeals, where I’ve had formal training in zoning and planning. I’ve also learned from my amazing fellow board members, including Trustee Jackson and Planning Commissioner Lane, about the unique zoning challenges in our community — such as the Lake Lansing overlay district, and the diverse needs and requirements of our rural, residential and commercial districts.
Also relevant to the Planning Commission, I have a Master’s degree in Public Policy with a focus on Public Management, and coursework in Public Budgeting as well as Values and Ethics as applied to public policymaking.
Prior to my current occupation, I handled public relations for the Ingham County Landbank and the Michigan State Housing and Development Authority. My work centered on placemaking: an approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces that capitalizes on a local community’s assets, inspiration and potential. I am personally inspired to help develop Meridian Township’s great assets, including our downtown area, to their fullest potential.
My current work, as a manager at nonprofit EduGuide, focuses on helping young people build the social and emotional skills needed for success in school, college, careers and life. That includes the ability to set clear goals, and overcome obstacles on the road to achieving those goals. And in training others in these skills, I’ve strengthened my own in the process. I hope to apply these and all my experience as an effective, contributing member of the Meridian Township Planning Commission.
Thank you again to Supervisor Styka for your recommendation, and to the Board for their kind consideration.
And following her appointment, Emily Stivers spoke again:
I just wanted to take a moment to thank Supervisor Styka again for his recommendation and the entire board for placing their trust in me. I’m very excited about this new opportunity to serve our community.
A little more than a year ago, as I watched election results roll in with my now-toddler sleeping on my lap, I realized it wasn’t enough for me to sign petitions and show up on election day. I realized I needed to become the change I wanted to see in the world, starting with my own community. I am profoundly grateful for all of your support and encouragement as I pursue public service in Meridian Township.
Some are saying that 2018 is the Year of the Woman, and you are all a part of that every time you support and encourage women to stand up in our community — whether we are saying “Me Too,” “Time’s Up,” or merely putting our names in to be considered for appointed and elected offices for the first time.
Nationally, the tide is turning against misogyny and hate, and towards greater strength in our diversity and equality. With our votes and at meetings such as this one, we all have the power to say what our community stands for, and this Board says so loudly with its environmentally-conscious development of our public spaces, protections for our LGBTQ citizens, and encouragement of the next generation of leaders.
I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to play a small role in the changes happening nationally, and I promise to serve on the Meridian Township Planning Commission to the very best of my ability.
Emily Stivers, who is also running for County Commissioner for Ingham County’s 8th District, will attend a joint meeting of the Meridian Township Boards and Commissions on January 16, 2018, and will serve for the first time on the Planning Commission on January 22, 2018.
Ingham County, MI — Emily Stivers today announced her 2018 candidacy for Ingham County Commissioner for District 11, which includes portions of East Lansing, Okemos and Haslett, all in Meridian Township. Stivers, 36, is a Public Policy professional and mother with 15 years of experience in the public sector.
“I first began to seriously consider running last summer, when the County filled the potholes on Haslett Road,” Emily Stivers explained. “At first, I was relieved to see the holes finally fixed. But then I realized the asphalt filler — known as hot patches — made bumps, almost as bad as the potholes. And a few months later, we have new potholes.”
“I am running for Ingham County Commissioner because I want real, long-term and permanent solutions for our roads and other problems facing our community,” Emily Stivers continued. “Not just hot patches.”
Emily Stivers has had a steadfast and lifelong commitment to public service. She earned a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Michigan’s Ford School, and completed her bachelor’s degree at Michigan State University’s James Madison College. Her professional experience includes positions at ONE, the United Nations Foundation, and EduGuide, a Lansing-based organization helping students develop the social and emotional skills needed for long-term success in college and careers. Stivers has also volunteered as a debate coach for Okemos Public Schools, and currently serves as Vice Chair on the Meridian Township Zoning Board of Appeals.
“In addition to getting our roads fixed, my priorities include smart investments in renewable energy, protections for LGBTQ+ people, and improving our county school for disadvantaged students,” Emily Stivers said. “And I have great ideas about how to advance these goals responsibly, given the County’s limited budget.”
“But more important than my own policy concerns,” Emily Stivers continued, “I want to be a commissioner who advocates for the people of my district. Government works best when it reflects the values and concerns of those it serves. Over the coming months, I look forward to meeting more residents of District 11 to hear how the Ingham County Board of Commissioners can better serve the people, families and businesses of this community.”
Asked to elaborate on the kind of commissioner she would be, Emily Stivers concluded: “I’m not going to be a commissioner who merely shows up and votes; I’ll be constantly looking for new, innovative and long-term ways to advance my district’s values.”
The primary for the Ingham County Board of Commissioners race will be on August 7, 2018, with general election to follow in November. For more information and to follow her campaign, visit EmilyStivers.com and follow @EmilyKStivers on Facebook and @estivers on Twitter.