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.