Small businesses call for a better democracy in Kalamazoo, East Lansing, Royal Oak

For Immediate Release
October 25, 2023

Frank Knapp, 803-600-6874,
Hanna Schulze, 616-402-4099,

Small businesses call for a better democracy in
Kalamazoo, East Lansing, Royal Oak

On November 7, 2023, the Michigan cities of Kalamazoo, East Lansing, and Royal Oak will hold local elections.  On the ballot of these municipalities is a citizen-driven ballot initiative that promotes a stronger democracy by requiring those cities to use ranked choice voting in future municipal elections.  With ranked choice voting, a candidate for Mayor would win with a majority of votes without holding a runoff election.  Successful city council candidates would win with either a majority of the votes or meeting a minimum vote threshold based on number of candidates.  Ranked choice voting is growing in popularity and is now used nationwide in over 50 cities, counties, and states.

Below is a statement of Hanna Schulze, President of People First Economy in Michigan, and a leader of the Michigan Business for Democracy collaborative of the American Sustainable Business Network, in support of the ballot initiative.


Voters in three cities across Michigan will have the opportunity to cast their ballots in favor of a stronger democracy in the upcoming November election. Local and municipal elections, like those for mayoral and city commission seats, are extremely important when it comes to how communities function. Currently, our election process allows candidates to win without a majority or consensus of votes, which can result in elected roles being held by individuals who are not only not representative of the identities, experience, and needs of their voter base, but also gives unfair advantage to candidates that are able to access more financial resources during the campaign cycle. This ultimately weakens democracy and further

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