2011-03-24 / Front Page

Otisville woman organizes protest walk to Lansing

GENESEE COUNTY — A rally was held March 22 in downtown Flint to draw awareness to poverty in Michigan, but the organizer decided to take her message straight to Lansing — though it took a couple days to get there.

Susan Riggs of Otisville led a rally at the Windmill Place, at the corner of Robert T Longway Blvd. and Saginaw St. in Flint, Tuesday. From there she and a group of supporters set out, on foot, for the State Capitol.

They were expected to arrive some time Wednesday afternoon at the Capitol Building. Details were not available at press time.

“I am organizing an event that focuses on poverty in Michigan, with the goal of getting people motivated to address the affects of lack of basic needs,” said Riggs in a statement, Monday. “My goal is to draw attention to poverty in Michigan and what can be done locally to address it.”

Riggs said everyone should care about poverty in the community because it effects everyone.

“Increasing poverty hurts local children and families. Poverty is related to increasing crime, declining neighborhoods, domestic violence, low performance throughout our schools and many other issues that are important to community stability and well-being,” she said in her statement. “The spirit of a community is what makes it special and a nice place to live. This spirit is strengthened when we support our friends and neighbors who are struggling.”

The planned path of the walk, estimated at about 56 miles, was along Corunna Road in Flint, Flint Township, Swartz Creek and into Shiawassee County to M-52 and through Perry to Haslett Road, and through East Lansing to the capitol steps.

Riggs stressed several steps individuals and the state can take to help end poverty. They include: hiring, buying and giving locally while working on strengthening the spirit of the community.

But most of all she asked that people be good to one another.

“Be kind to your neighbors,” she said. “Respect your neighbors.” — Gary Gould

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