MARQUETTE — Nine candidates are running for two open Marquette City Commission seats. The August 6th primary will narrow the field down to four candidates before the general election on November 5th, which will decide the new commissioners.
In preparation for elections, Local 3’s Korinne Griffith will be interviewing each of the candidates to learn more about their campaign and what they hope to accomplish by serving on the Marquette City Commission. This is the candidate profile of Cody Mayer.
Originally from Sault Ste. Marie and a member of the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Cody Mayer enlisted in the Michigan Army National Guard at the age of 17 where he served for the last four years and worked his way up to sergeant. In 2018, Mayer volunteered through the National Guard to assist in the aftermath of the Keweenaw Father’s Day flooding; he was there within 48 hours.
Mayer fell in love with Marquette while attending Northern Michigan University, where he is a senior double majoring in economics and public administration. He was recently elected to serve his second term as the NMU student body president (ASNMU), where he has made countless changes on campus.
“We’ve secured discounted student parking for our veteran students, we’re working on campus mental health and we’ve made great strides with that. Our working on our [Campus] Pride Index was allowing lavender cords at the graduation ceremony. We got that approved by the Executive Board of the University and people got to wear those at graduation. We now offer feminine hygiene products on campus for free. We started providing our rape defense aggression classes again, free of charge for NMU students,” says Mayer.
As ASNMU President, he also is working to get Indigenous People’s Day recognized at NMU, as well as making election day an official holiday on campus. He is also working to support small businesses.
“I’m actually going to be sending out a list of all the small businesses in town that are offering discounts to NMU students and try to help advertise that for those businesses as well as the students,” explains Mayer.
Mayer says his goal in running for Marquette City Commission is to do what’s best for all constituents of Marquette. He adds that he has knocked on hundreds of doors and talked with community members and the two most common concerns he hears from people are rising housing costs and lakeshore development.
“You look at the number of population that we have that’s lower income or the amount of youth that we have, it’s just not feasible,” says Mayer. “People can’t afford to live here long-term and if we lose those individuals it’s going to be devastating Marquette and to our economy. So I think it’s important that we try and retain those people and give them a place to live here, long-term.”
He continues, “I’m opposed to having any more condos on the lakeshore. I think if we focus on getting more people into homes and paying property taxes, we can make up for the income we would have made off the condos.”
Aside from affordable housing, Mayer says his second most important campaign platform is preserving Marquette’s environment.
“Protecting Marquette’s natural beauty, protecting our lakeshores, all of those are things we need to get behind. They’re part of what makes Marquette, Marquette. People come here and they absolutely love how beautiful it is and we need to protect that and sustain that as long as possible,” explains Mayer.
Mayer also spoke about clean drinking water for Marquette residents.
“I want to work on updating our water infrastructure, making sure people have clean and reliable water,” adds Mayer.
At just 21-years-old, Mayer is the youngest candidate running for a commission seat but he says that shouldn’t deter voters.
“They shouldn’t be concerned. With my background and the amount of things I’ve done in my few years of life, that should, if anything, give them confidence to see ‘what could he do if we gave him more responsibility?'” says Mayer, “I think there’s several of the candidates that do represent the next generation of leadership and I think it’s great that we’re finally stepping up and trying to fill these roles in the community.”
Mayer is running as a write-in candidate, meaning his name will not be listed with the other candidates on the ballot. There will be a line where voters can write “Cody Mayer” if you wish to vote for him. You can vote for two candidates.
“As the student body president at NMU and a candidate running for Marquette City Commission and with my pledge to remain bipartisan on the commission, I think I have a real chance to be a uniting voice for the entire community,” explains Mayer. “I don’t want to just represent one party or one demographic, I want to represent and do what’s best for all of the community.”
We will continue to have profile pieces on all the Marquette City Commission candidates, pending their availability and willingness to participate. Stay tuned to Local 3 News for more.
View our profiles of the other city commission candidates below: