By: Emily Guiles
Recently Mayor Sims delivered her first State of the City Address. During the address Sims made many points, the first of which was that despite the preconceived notions that surround the Muskegon Heights area, there are many things to celebrate in Muskegon Heights.
Sims says that one of her priorities as Mayor is to unify the community, that she believes has drifted from each other, in order to change those perceptions. Sims thinks that together the community is ready to take on these challenges and stated, “Muskegon Heights is like a canvas that has been cleaned and ready for paint.”
It is no secret that blight has crippled parts of Muskegon Heights, which has attributed to the industrial loss in the area. Muskegon Heights has had a high rate of murders in the past two years, there have been 16 so far since 2014. This is the same number as in Grand Rapids, which is 17 times larger than Muskegon Heights. The rise in murders and crime- related incidents may be attributed to the fact that nearly 60% of the Muskegon Heights population lives in poverty. There is still a lot of work to do in order to guide Muskegon Heights through this time, but Sims in confident that she can prevail.