Kalamazoo Mayor-Elect David Anderson discusses election win, starting priorities

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Kalamazoo Mayor-Elect David Anderson discusses election win, starting priorities. (WWMT/Ray Hole)

The Kalamazoo mayoral election was decided on Nov. 5, 2019, after Mayor Bobby Hopewell said he would not run, and Kalamazoo Commissioner David Anderson won.

Kalamazoo Mayor-Elect Anderson spent his Wednesday collecting campaign signs in the same neighborhoods he canvassed during his campaign.

“It feels great, it feels overwhelming, and I am ready to go,” Anderson said.

He occasionally ran into his supporters. He said that is something he wants to do more as mayor after he takes over on Nov. 11.

“Often times when you’re on the commission you don’t get out into the neighborhoods as much as you’d like,” he said. “It shouldn’t be that you’re in a neighborhood once every two years or once every four years when you’re running. We have to figure out a way to be in the neighborhoods more and engage with people where they are.”

Anderson said as soon as he takes office, his focus will be the budget.

“The budget comes to this new commission and new mayor on December 1, so just a couple weeks away. That’s $185 million budget,” he said. ”That is where we demonstrate our values in hour we’re gonna spend our money.”

He said he likes who will be serving alongside him on the Kalamazoo City Commission.

“I feel like it’s a new commission and the thing I want us to demonstrate together for the community is that we can work together,” Anderson said.

He said once he is settled into his new role, he will want to focus on the things matter to him most, such as is creating opportunities for affordable housing.

“It is a lofty goal, but you gotta start somewhere,” Anderson said.

He said the ideal for creating affordable housing is a combination of social service and economic development.

"What can everybody do across the board that we can take our goal and work together from different angles on it," Anderson said. “I mean that’s the only way I see that we can do it."