Locals don't agree with list that puts Kalamazoo in top 50 worst cities
KALAMAZOO, Mich. —
A new list paints Kalamazoo in not-so-great a light as one of the top 50 worst cities to live.
Kalamazoo moves to its own beat, sometimes that beat is slowed by construction traffic, but Andy Johnson said that doesn't change how people treat you.
He said, "Honestly it's one of the friendliest places I've ever lived. I've been to four different cities so far in terms of living there. This has by far been the best."
Not according to a list published by 24/7 Wall St.com. The website ranks Kalamazoo the 37th worst American city to live. They based the rankings on poverty levels, 2016 crime stats, air quality and other criteria.
Rebekah Gonyer has lived her whole life in Kalamazoo and finds the ranking laughable.
She said, "That's not right. I think Kalamazoo's great."
Ron Kitchens said, "Far as I know it's some fake news guy in his parents' basement."
Kitchens isn't laughing. He runs Southwest Michigan First and doesn't like lists like these at all.
He said, "What bothers me about them is there's a 16-year-old kid out there trying to figure out where they're going to go for college and they're going to look at lists online and they're going to find that and they're going to go, 'Oh, I won't be safe there,' or, 'The air is full of smog,' or these silly things.”
Kitchens isn't saying Kalamazoo it perfect and poverty rates need to be improved.
The others say no one should judge the city without doing one thing first, "I think you should, you know, take a trip down here, see what it's like. Look around, talk to a lot of the locals," Gonyer said.
Alyson Rembowicz said, "They probably haven't been here. They haven't been to the breweries, they haven't walked around town."
Carolyn Mack said, "Come and check us out before you make any decisions."