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Rosalynn Bliss

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Two Michigan cities are imposing curfews after clashes between police and protesters this weekend.

Detroit and Grand Rapids have been rocked by vandalism and violence after rallies against police brutality against black people.

Detroit's curfew will begin at 8 p.m., and lift at 5 a.m.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

The city of Grand Rapids plans a hiring freeze and budget cuts of $13 million because of the economic fallout from the coronavirus. And the city could be forced to cut even deeper if state and city revenues continue to fall.

City Manager Mark Washington announced the changes during a city commission meeting this morning. The preliminary plan calls for $540 million in city spending during the next fiscal year, compared to $553 million for the current budget.

Mayor Rosalynn Bliss at a podium
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Mayor Rosalynn Bliss delivered her fifth State of the City address in Grand Rapids Tuesday night.

Bliss spoke about successes of the last year including the city’s booming real estate market, investment in city parks and continued partnerships between city officials and neighborhood groups.

Mayor Rosalynn Bliss at a podium
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Students who live and go to school in the city of Grand Rapids could soon be eligible to get tuition covered at Grand Rapids Community College.

The Grand Rapids Promise Zone Authority is working with all 22 high schools in the city, including public, public-charter and private schools.

grand rapids mayor rosalynn bliss
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss announced her reelection campaign Monday.

Mayor Bliss became the first woman to be elected mayor in Grand Rapids when she won her election in 2015.

Medical marijuana sign
Neeta Lind / Flickr - http://j.mp/1spglc0

The city of Grand Rapids has voted to allow medical marijuana facilities.

The city commission unanimously voted to amend a zoning ordinance that will allow medical marijuana facilities Tuesday night.

Mayor Rosalynn Bliss says it was important to get the business community’s opinion on the ordinance.

“But also making sure that we were including neighborhood voice in that decision,” Bliss said.

Mayor Rosalyn Bliss speaking in Grand Rapids
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Mayor Rosalynn Bliss highlighted housing affordability and bettering community police relations as important areas to improve upon in her annual state of the city address.

Mayor Bliss says the city’s economic turnaround will only be a success if it benefits all residents.

“We need to be a place where a rich variety of residents not only feel accepted and want to call Grand Rapids home, but can afford to do so,” Bliss said.

Bliss says the city will continue to prioritize mixed-income housing development proposals in the future.

Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Facebook and a Grand Rapids tech company are partnering to train 3,000 Michiganders in coding and digital marketing over the next two years.

Grand Circus has already been working to train people in these skills for the past five years, but now students can get free scholarships to the 10-week boot camp.

Downtown Grand Rapids
Grguy2011 / Public Domain

Grand Rapids will be looking at candidates from across the country to find a new city manager.

Greg Sundstrom announced last week that he will retire from the position at the end of the year. 

Mayor Rosalynn Bliss says Sundstrom was vital to the city's financial turnaround. 

“So my hope is that we have someone to replace Greg to build on what he's done, but then also bring new ideas and look at where do we still have to improve and how do we get there,” Bliss said.

Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Blissat gives her 2017 State of the City address.
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Grand Rapids' mayor wants to make the city more welcoming to immigrants. Rosalynn Bliss announced a new initiative at her State of the City address Thursday night. She says the goal is to connect immigrants with services and provide information about schools and local government. 

“I want to make sure there is a safe place for them to come and learn about our community, our systems and how to get engaged,” Bliss said.

She expects to launch the initiative in the next month or two.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The new mayor of Grand Rapids wants to make housing more affordable in Michigan's second-largest city. Mayor Rosalynn Bliss' first state of the city speech was Tuesday night.

Bliss talked about the hardships she faced growing up in a family of ten.

“Whether you’re a family of four or a family of ten, a senior, a blue-collar worker, a young professional; I want you to be able to live in our city and proudly call it your home,” Bliss said.

grand rapids mayor rosalynn bliss
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

This Week in Michigan Politics, Michigan Radio’s senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry and Morning Edition host Christina Shockley discuss the first female mayor of Grand Rapids, this week's elections,  accusations of racism against Gov. Snyder and Detroit emergency managers, the number of college degrees among Michigan lawmakers.


grand rapids mayor rosalynn bliss
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Rosalynn Bliss will be Grand Rapids' new mayor.

Bliss soundly defeated her opponents in today's primary, winning 66% of the vote and negating the need for a run-off election in November.

The primary election for Grand Rapids' new mayor will take place next Tuesday
All photos courtesy of candidate Facebook pages

Grand Rapids voters will be electing their first new mayor in more than 10 years, and the primary is a week from tomorrow.

Current Mayor George Heartwell is being term-limited out after serving in office for more than a decade.

Steven Depolo / Creative Commons

Surprising no one who follows Grand Rapids politics, City Commissioner Rosalynn Bliss has announced she’s running to be the next mayor.

Michigan’s second largest city has never elected a female mayor, and Bliss has a good chance to become its first.