June 12 2009 12:00 AM

Incumbent mayor's campaign headquarters opens on Lansing's east side

A well kept vinyl-sided home along Michigan Avenue on Lansing’s east side was christened Friday as the campaign headquarters of Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero.

If you drive by, you’ll know it by the green and white balloons attached to the front porch and the big green “Virg” sign out front.

The headquarters, at 1905 Michigan Ave., was opened with a light party at which punch and a finger lunch was served. More a home than the den of a hardcore political campaign, the headquarters has desktop computers on one wall, couches and campaign paraphernalia across the walls and windows.

Bernero’s spokesman, Randy Hannan, joked that the location was perfect because of the variety of food in the neighborhood, and added, "We love being on the East Side."

Allen Neighborhood Center director Joan Nelson welcomed Bernero to the east side.

“Many of us on the east side believe we have a friend in the Mayor,” Nelson said.

Bernero gave a speech and thanked the crowd, which seemed larger than the crowd at his re-election announcement in May. He thanked a few department heads and cabinet members and spoke about the importance of neighborhoods and leaders like Nelson.

"We don't do anything on the east side without calling Joan first," he said.

At the opening, Bernero announced that Patrick McAlvey, who until Friday worked for the Lansing PR firm, Rossman Group, would be running his campaign. McAlvey said Friday was his last day with Rossman as he moved to working full-time for the Bernero campaign.