Milinda Ysasi is a lifelong Grand Rapidian, who currently is the executive director of The Source, a non-profit employee support organization in Grand Rapids. She also serves on a number of committees and boards in Grand Rapids including the civil service board, the civilian appeals board, and the Mayor’s Racial Equity Initiative.
She says, she doesn’t want people to vote for her just because she is Latina, but she does want to make sure that everyone in Grand Rapids is represented, and has an equal opportunity at accessing the prosperity currently taking place in the 2nd Ward.
“I want to make sure that opportunity in this city reaches all residents,” Ysasi said. “When my great-grandparents came to Grand Rapids, they were able to find that and build a middle-class life for themselves and subsequent generations. And I want to make sure our current generation and future generations have that opportunity.”
Ysasi looks to fill the seat currently held by City Commissioner Ruth Kelly who is stepping down due to term-limits. Kelly has publicly endorsed Ysasi as her heir-apparent, however Ysasi will first have to beat Wendy Falb and Michael Farrage in next week’s election. If she receives 50 percent of the vote, she wins outright, if not, a run-off will take place in November between the top two candidates.
Meanwhile, the City of Grand Rapids is reminding voters its not too late to register to vote. With Proposal 3 passing last November, voters in Michigan now have the opportunity to cast a “no reason” absentee vote, and they can also register the day of the election, which for the city commissioner’s race, is August 6th.