May 18 2011 12:00 AM

Correcting the record

I was pretty surprised and hurt to learn
first-hand how little research Mr. Melinn put into his column this week
(“Hewitt out, six others get in 1st Ward race,” 5/11/11). Almost as a
footnote to the legitimate coverage he gave to who your paper must
apparently embrace as the only serious contenders in the at-large race,
he said I was “a musician who on the City Pulse radio show last week
chronicled alleged harassment by a Lansing police officer”.

If you would have bothered to ask me, I would have told
you that I’m a small business owner and an AmeriCorps volunteer teaching
at-risk youth about sustainable agriculture and nutrition, since those
are the ways I actually earn income.

You might have mentioned that I have a degree in
Environmental Policy and Political Science from MSU. You might have
mentioned that I’ve been a tireless advocate for all things Lansing
since I’ve lived here, and particularly for arts and You might have
mentioned the various events I’ve created or provided leadership for
which have raised thousands of dollars for local charities. You might
have mentioned that I’m the only candidate who knocked on doors all
weekend to ask actual Lansing residents to nominate me to the ballot
with their signature — I gathered ~525 door-to-door in three days, the
other candidates just paid a hundred bucks.

Instead, you published that I alleged harassment by a
Lansing police officer. That makes it sound like I have brought a case
against the city or something. It’s more accurate to say that I’m
defending myself against an alleged violation of an arguably
unconstitutional city ordinance. You might have characterized me
accurately as being involved in a first-amendment test case with the
support of the ACLU and my amazing attorney, who has taken on my case
pro-bono. Do you think she has time to fool around with cases that
aren’t legitimate constitutional violations without payment?

— John Krohn, Lansing