Friday, December 8, 2023

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We don’t do political endorsements

by Melanie Jongsma, Publisher

CHICAGO, Ill. (October 12, 2022) – Josh and I were both surprised to see our photo on a recent mailing from an elected official.

This oversized mailer was sent to people who live in the parts of Lansing, Cal City, Burnham, and Lynwood that are in the 33rd District. (Photo of mailer: Josh Bootsma)

We had attended a Lansing Area Chamber event hosted by Lansing business owner Barbara Shegog. Illinois State Representative Marcus Evans was the featured speaker. Barbara, third from left in the image above, asked for a photo with the three of us, and we were happy to oblige.

But we were surprised to see that photo featured so prominently in Evans’ next mailing. It seems to imply an endorsement, and that makes me uncomfortable.

The Lansing Journal doesn’t do endorsements. We work hard to provide balanced, factual information about all local candidates, so people can make their own decisions about how to vote.

I reached out to Representative Evans and his assistant to say we’d rather they didn’t use our photo in their political mailings. His assistant replied quickly, assuring me that the mailer was informational, not political. She apologized for any “uncomfortableness,” and she said Lansing Journal staff will not be included in future photos.

I do appreciate their quick response, and I believe their new protocol will help avoid future misinterpretations.

This may seem like an overreaction to what might be an innocent use of a nice photo. But I think it’s important to make sure there’s no misunderstanding.

The Lansing Journal doesn’t do political endorsements.


Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.


  1. Thank you for the clarification! I did not receive the mailer, but i certainly appreciate your stance on not endorsing politicians, and letting community members decide on their own.

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