LEADING ANN ARBOR FORWARD

RESPONSIBLY | INCLUSIVELY | ETHICALLY | SUSTAINABLY

LEADING RESPONSIBLY

RESPOND TO COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic will affect our city long after the Stay Home order is lifted. In particular, it will have a deep impact on our city budget. To address that, I will:

  • Prioritize the city's budget according to our community's values

  • Use the city's bonding authority to take advantage of low-cost borrowing and put people back to work on infrastructure projects

  • Grow our tax base through responsible development

  • Explore ways city programs can help people with childcare needs as they get back to work 

  • Create new policies to ensure the most vulnerable members of our community are protected 

 

More than ever, we need knowledgeable leaders who can work with county, state and federal officials to get our city back on track. 

RESPOND TO COVID-19

FIX OUR ROADS

 

In the 4th Ward, and throughout the city, we have many roads that have been worsening for two decades with no major repairs in sight. The terrible condition of our roads is largely due to the decline in funding from Lansing during that time. Ann Arbor’s street millage and the Washtenaw County Roads Millage raise significant additional funding, but it’s still not enough. I will look for additional discretionary funds that can be put towards our roads.

I also propose construction of a public database of all city roads, their condition, and their prioritization for repair to be made permanently available to residents on the city’s website. Roads scheduled for construction in the next five years would be marked as such. The transparency of such a system would allow residents to better understand how roads are chosen for construction and when their roads will be repaired.

FIX OUR ROADS

SAFEGUARD OUR WATER

 

From the 1,4 dioxane plume to PFAS, there are critical threats to our water supply. While major upgrades have been made to our water treatment plant in recent years, there are still active areas that are 80 years old, and some distribution pipes are more than 100 years old. 

I will support continued investment in our infrastructure and ensure equity in water and sewer rates. I will work with local, county, state and federal officials to explore all available options for cleaning up the dioxane plume. And I will advocate for more frequent testing of our water supply, with results made available immediately on the city’s website.

SAFEGUARD OUR WATER

STOP 4TH WARD FLOODING & POWER OUTAGES

 

Projects designed to reduce flooding in Churchill Downs and Lansdowne, which were initially scheduled for 2018, still have not even begun. I will work to break the logjam on these projects and get them moving forward again.

 

Residents have been waiting too long for a solution to stop the flooding of their homes.

In the 4th Ward, we also lose power with a frequency that is unacceptable. I will pursue all options at the local and state levels to compel DTE to upgrade its infrastructure in Ann Arbor.

STOP 4TH WARD FLOODING & POWER OUTAGES

EXPAND OUR TAX BASE

 

Michigan’s broken system of municipal finance has left cities like Ann Arbor structurally underfunded. Every year, costs associated with city government rise two to three percent, while existing tax revenue by law can’t increase more than about one to two percent. The severe economic contraction brought on by the coronavirus pandemic is further stressing city finances.

The ongoing budget dilemma leaves us with three perennial choices: grow the tax base, cut services to residents, or raise taxes through millages. Of these, my preference is to grow the tax base, as long as we do so in a responsible manner. In this year's budget, new construction accounts for about half the increase in property tax receipts to the city, providing new revenue to fund road improvements and other priorities.

 

When we add residents and businesses, it’s important to first focus on building in areas where the cost of delivering services is lower and public transportation is easily accessible, such as downtown and along transit corridors.

EXPAND OUR TAX BASE
LEADING INCLUSIVELY

MAKE HOUSING MORE AFFORDABLE

 

Ann Arbor is a highly desirable place to live and work. Over the past few decades, the number of jobs has grown by tens of thousands but the number of new housing units has not kept pace. This lack of housing supply coupled with high demand has driven up prices so much that many people who work here are unable to find housing they can afford. More than 84,000 people now commute into Ann Arbor every weekday, increasing traffic, causing wear and tear on our roads, and releasing harmful carbon dioxide emissions.

We must find ways to allow more of the people who work here to also live here. Increasing the supply of market-rate housing will help stabilize prices, but that is not the only answer. I will advocate for:

  • Setting aside a portion of taxes from new developments for the city's affordable housing fund

  • Moving forward on the city's proposed affordable housing sites

  • Providing options for seniors on fixed incomes who are struggling to pay increased property taxes

MAKE HOUSING MORE AFFORDABLE

PROMOTE DIVERSITY

 

Diversity is in our city's mission statement because it’s a core Ann Arbor value. Promoting diversity should be a part of everything we do, and is supported throughout my platform, in housing, transit and more.

 

I believe our city staff should reflect the demographics of our community. As a city council member, I will champion the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion study and its recommendations. 

 

In regards to police operations specifically, I will:​

  • Explore expanding the responsibilities of the police oversight commission

  • Call for reforming use-of-force guidelines 

  • Reject attempts to add officers for "proactive policing"

  • Champion efforts to divert people from jail and into necessary social services programs

  • Advocate for new training to reduce potentially hostile interactions between officers and citizens

  • Work to coordinate police response with highly trained crisis workers

  • Maintain the city's refusal to cooperate with ICE and increase protections for undocumented immigrants

PROMOTE
DIVERSITY

CHAMPION RENTERS' RIGHTS

 

Many 4th Ward residents are renters, but too often city council overlooks the needs of those who don’t own their homes. I believe renters deserve  a champion in city government. As a council candidate, I am working hard to reach out to our rental communities in the 4th Ward, and that outreach will continue when I’m a council member.

 

I support the return of a tenants’ union and a renters commission to serve as advocates for renters’ rights. Renters are members of our community too, and you deserve a council member who treats you as such.

CHAMPION RENTERS' RIGHTS

COLLABORATE WITH U-M

Ann Arbor would greatly benefit from a truly collaborative relationship with the University of Michigan. To that end, I propose a new working group composed of three representatives each from City Council and the Board of Regents. This group would work through high-level policy discussions on a range of issues, such as affordable housing, parking and the Connector project.

"Town-and-gown" friction may be common in college towns, but our residents deserve council members who will put divisiveness aside and work on solutions with the Regents.

COLLABORATE WITH U-M
LEADING ETHICALLY

SERVE WITH INTEGRITY

 

As a journalist and editor with The Ann Arbor News, back when it was a daily paper and later in digital form, I engaged with city politics as a professional, not a partisan. A journalist listens to all sides and pursues the truth. That’s how I was raised, and that’s how I was trained. It’s fundamental to who I am, and that’s how I intend to represent you in City Hall.

In September 2016, the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners unanimously selected me from a field of seven to serve in an open seat. During my tenure, I was recognized by my peers on the Board, county administration and county staff for my ability to listen, carefully weigh all sides of an issue, and make even-handed, independent decisions.

I am concerned that the excessive partisanship we see in our national politics is seeping into our local politics as well. Partisanship and factionalism do not result in good decision-making. As your council member, I will always look for common ground with my fellow council members, and I will work with anyone who is willing to come to the table and discuss issues honestly and work toward serious solutions.

Constituents can also count on me to obey all campaign finance laws and council ethics rules, to work in the best interests of all city residents and taxpayers, and to take actions that match my words.

SERVE WITH INTEGRITY

RESPOND TO ALL RESIDENTS

 

The excessive factionalism in our city politics is seeping into how some council members treat their constituents. I will respond to constituents whether I believe they personally support me or not, because as a public servant, that’s what a council member should do. 

 

I will hold regular coffee hours, and conduct outreach in a variety of innovative ways to keep all residents engaged and informed.

I also will implement child care at Council meetings during public comment so that parents of young children can participate in the process and make their voices heard.

RESPOND TO ALL RESIDENTS
LEADING SUSTAINABLY

TAKE CLIMATE ACTION

Climate change is by far the biggest threat to the future of our planet, our children and our grandchildren. Our progressive, educated community should be a national leader in fighting climate change. Unfortunately, while the current council majority talks about climate action, they have sought to de-fund climate action repeatedly.

I fully support the mission of our Office of Sustainability. It’s going to take a strong commitment by city leaders in order for Ann Arbor to reach its goal of 100 percent carbon-neutrality by 2030. Two immediate actions I believe we must take are to encourage higher rates of working from home both by city employees and the private sector, and to allow and

encourage responsible growth along transit corridors.

TAKE CLIMATE ACTION

ADVANCE GREEN TRANSIT 

More than 128,000 vehicles circulate on our roads every weekday as people commute to jobs, not to mention additional vehicle trips. As we work to meet our 2030 carbon neutral goal, and as we increase density downtown and along transit corridors, it is critical that we improve our pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. Examples include:

  • Buffered bike lanes

  • Crosswalk improvements

  • Road reconfigurations

  • Filling sidewalk gaps

We also must improve our public transit. I will lead local efforts to establish regional transit as well as improve our public transit options within the city.

ADVANCE GREEN TRANSIT