About Lisa Babcock
WHAT I DO ...
I'm an attorney, former newspaper reporter, and policy expert. I've worked in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors advising legislators, educators, and grassroots activists, and I wrote the state's first renewable energy plan and the legislation that put it in motion.
I grew up on the east side of Lansing, in the Groesbeck neighborhood, and graduated from Lansing Eastern High School. I earned a degree in Political Science and Communications from the University of Michigan. From there I went to work as a newspaper reporter, learning about local government and writing about the environment. I won a national award, but the bigger honor was having members of the community entrust me with their life stories.
After watching from the sidelines, I decided that I would rather take a stand than remain neutral on issues. I moved back to the East Lansing area and began working as a policy aide in energy. That led me to law school, so after working during the day and taking classes at night, I earned my J.D. from MSU Law in 2005. I clerked for the City Attorney's office in Lansing, the criminal division of the Michigan Attorney General, and the Regulatory Affairs Division of the Michigan Public Service Commission. While in law school I spent a summer in Cape Town, South Africa studying at the University of the Western Cape and clerking at a law firm.
I live on Touraine Avenue with my Much Better Half, Paul, where I garden and read. My pride and joy is volunteering with a Brownie troop.
I'm running for East Lansing City Council because I love East Lansing and I'm greatly disturbed by what's happening in City Hall. Like many of you, I was utterly disgusted when I learned the current administration had made a decision to sell publicly-owned land in a secret eBay sale to a group of ten preselected bidders. As an attorney, I was horrified by the illegal use of federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds for the city attorney's private office building. (If I caused a client to be sued in federal court and forced to repay a $135,000 grant, I'd resign, not ask for a 25% raise.)
I grew up loving East Lansing, with its small town charm full of locally-owned restaurants and shops. I spent my babysitting money in the clothing shops and book stores, and ate lots of ice cream with my friends. Later, I tried on wedding gowns at Jacobsons. I've marked special occasions with jewelry from Sundance. I know the value of promoting the locally owned businesses that give our town its character. Our city council's priorities should be enhancing the business climate for the special places that make East Lansing unique, not tax breaks for multi-billion-dollar corporations.
Since we've bought our home on Touraine, Paul and I have had opportunities to move to other parts of Michigan. We've chosen to stay because East Lansing is where we want to live: in a diverse community that values education, the arts, and the environment.