Village Voice Party, Lansing, Illinois
by Josh Bootsma
Saad Abbasy has called Lansing home his whole life—from playing in the Old Timer’s League at a young age, to graduating from TF South, to buying a house in Lansing and raising two young children with his wife Lindsey.
Abbasy first got involved in Lansing politics when he ran for Trustee during the 2015 election. Though unsuccessful, Abbasy was later appointed as Chair of the Planning and Zoning Board, a Board he had been serving on for a couple of years. Planning and Zoning Commissioners are responsible for applying Village ordinances to businesses and homes in Lansing and recommending action to the Village Board. Abbasy says this experience made him “intimately aware of the zoning ordinances,” and he pointed to two massage parlors with criminal histories wanting to open in Lansing as evidence that Village ordinances “might need some updating.” Neither business was permitted to open, but Abbasy hopes to modernize the ordinances so that such situations will be easier to address.
Abbasy is also hoping to use his experience as father of a young family to make Lansing a place where young people can feel represented. As Trustee, he wants to create “connection points” with people through social media. Abbasy said, “I have mentored hundreds of youth in Lansing through my volunteerism through different churches…and I’m uniquely aware of those things that young families are looking for.”
As a Trustee, Abbasy would like to create programs to attract or even assist first-time home buyers. He plans to assist in creating an economic development strategy that attracts retail and entertainment options that meet the needs of young families.
Abbasy is Jordanian and realizes that his ethnicity would put him in a special place as a minority on the Village Board. “I want to continue to be a bridge in communication between minorities in our community and village government,” he said, praising the Village for the Human Relations Commission, which held its first meeting in December.