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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


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