© 2024 WEMU
Serving Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County, MI
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Soapbox Summer - Eric Lipson

Eric Lipson
MD Johnson Photography
Eric Lipson

Eric Lipson is running to be a Representative to Ann Arbor City Council for the Fourth Ward.  This is his submision to WEMU's "Soapbox Summer."  

Hello. My name is Eric Lipson.  I’m a Democrat running for Ann Arbor City Council in the Fourth Ward in the August 2, 2016 primary.

I love Ann Arbor. I’ve lived and worked here for over 40 years. I came to go to the U of M Law School and never left.  I’ve practiced law, raised a family, and managed non-profits such as the Fresh Air Society, Student Legal Services, Recycle Ann Arbor, and the Student Housing Coops.  I want to put the lessons I’ve learned managing non-profits to work for the city of Ann Arbor. 

I’m running because I want the city to listen to its  citizens. 

My friends and I have been walking and talking with people in the Fourth Ward.  Here’s what we hear from voters, and these are my priorities: 

•Perhaps most urgently, voters want the poisonous Gelman dioxane plume that is contaminating our water supply to be cleaned up.  No more disasters like Flint. The City Council, without delay, should petition the Federal Environmental Protection Agency to declare this slow-motion toxic disaster as a Superfund site. 25 years of inaction by the State is enough. The City needs to stop dragging its feet.

•People feel strongly that the City is permitting too many HUGE, intrusive, new developments and not paying enough attention to the impact those developments have on surrounding neighborhoods.  I believe that Packard Place, Foundry Lofts, and Circle K have gone waaay overboard with the density and intensity of development. The city should talk with the neighbors and do what needs to be done to mitigate negative impacts on their neighborhoods. And make zoning changes, so this doesn’t keep happening.

•People also want Pedestrian and bicycle safety and traffic enforcement to be a a higher priority, especially for the sake of our children and the less abled. We need consistent signs and lights at crosswalks and on pedestrian corridors, not another study. This is not rocket science.

•I strongly support the initiative to allow the voters  to decide the fate of the Library Lot located above the underground parking structure—but both of the other candidates for fourth ward say that City Council should decide.  I think the people should have the right to decide what happens to this important piece of city-owned land.

• And finally, Democracy requires transparency in government, but the city is planning a new multi-milion dollar train station in secrecy. A majority on City Council, including Mayor Taylor, voted to conceal comments by the Federal Railway Administration about this project.  This is a breach of the public trust.  This is the people’s business. The people have the right to know and Council has the responsibility to know. 

•Council Members Jack Eaton, Lumm and Kalisapathy tried to make this information public but were voted down 6-5 by Mayor Taylor and his allies on Council. My opponent, Council Member Krapohl voted for secrecy.  This is unacceptable.  If I am elected on August 2, to City Council, I will always vote for open and transparent decision making.  This is a major decision and major investment of our tax dollars.  Information about it should be public.   The pervasive culture of secrecy in city government is wrong and must end.
And so, I’m asking the voters in Ann Arbor’s Fourth Ward to vote for me, Eric Lipson, on August 2nd, so I can go to work for them and for all the citizens of Ann Arbor.

For more information, visit ericlipson4council.com.

Thank you.