Kathie Dunbar

City Council
Title: At-Large Council Member
Phone: 517-483-4171

2020 City Council

In 1996, Kathie and her family moved to Boston Boulevard, in Lansing. As a young mother and new homeowner, she looked forward to living in an established neighborhood. It was important to her that her children grow up in a community where people looked out for each other. Not long after she got settled, Kathie loaded her 1-year-old in a stroller and went out to meet her neighbors. At every door, she introduced herself, asking how long people had lived there and what they liked about the neighborhood. So began Kathie's legacy in the Lansing community.

She quickly discovered that many neighbors had never met, including some who had lived for decades on the same street. It wasn't that people were unfriendly, they just didn't have the occasion to meet. That changed when Kathie started the Sagamore Hill Neighborhood Association. Over the next several years, Kathie transformed her neighborhood from a place where people barely knew each other to a community where people shared keys to each other's houses. Where they once had no occasion to meet, Kathie organized Easter egg hunts, summer picnics, Halloween Parades, and holiday dinners.

In 2002, Kathie received Lansing Neighborhood Council's Bea Christy Award for her dedication to the community. Later that year, Neighborhood Associations of Michigan presented Kathie with their annual Community Leadership Award. The Ingham County Health Department took note of Kathie's accomplishments and hired her to coordinate larger community-building initiatives. This work led her to found the South Lansing Community Development Association.

As Executive Director of the South Lansing Community Development Association, Kathie works directly with citizens, business owners, school and faith organizations, government agencies, and other nonprofit providers to build a strong, healthy community on Lansing's south side. She also started several signature events, including the South Lansing Community Farmers Market, the Southside Community Showcase, and the Hawk Island Triathlon, the largest inland triathlon and the first "Green Certified" race in Michigan.

In 2005, Kathie was elected to the Lansing City Council, where she has been a tireless advocate for social justice, community and economic development, environmental stewardship, urban revitalization, citizen engagement, and sound fiscal management.

Kathie continues to live in south Lansing, raising four bright, kind, socially-conscious kids. In addition to juggling 2 jobs, 4 kids, and 114,000 constituents, Kathie writes and performs stand-up comedy.

Committees & Boards

In 2020 Council Member Dunbar services on the following Committees and Boards: 
  • Committee of the Whole- Member
  • Committee on Intergovernmental Relations - Member
  • Committee on Public Services - Chairperson
  • Capital Area Michigan Works Admin. Board

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