Civic Matters: Voting Absentee For Nov. 7th Elections, Pedestrian Safety In Ann Arbor, And More

Nov 6, 2017

Mary Morgan, executive director of the CivCity Initiative

We're a day away from the November elections, and there are but hours left to access an absentee ballot.  WEMU's David Fair and Mary Morgan of the CivCity Initiative have the details about where you need to go today.  Additionally, they cover a number of civic engagement opportunities in this week's edition of "Civic Matters." 

Mary Morgan brings a wealth of experience to the airwaves.  While heading up the CivCity Initiative now, Mary was previously co-founder and publisher of the Ann Arbor Chronicle.  Prior to that, she served as a reporter and editor for the Ann Arbor News when it was a daily, print-edition newspaper. 

Resources for this week's topics: 

• Election Day is Tuesday November 7th.  Today (Mon. 11/6) is the last day to request an absentee ballot, but you need to do that in person at your local clerk's office.  No matter where you live in Washtenaw County, you'll have items on the ballot that need your vote.  Want some last-minute help before voting on Nov. 7? Check out CivCity's and the League of Women Voters'  Polls are open from 7 a.m. til 8 p.m. 

• Because of the election, the Ann Arbor City Council meets on Thursday, Nov. 9 rather than it's typical Monday session.  The agenda includes the site plan for a development at 1140 Broadway and pedestrian safety improvements at Huron High, among other things.  This is also the first meeting since last week's news that city administrator Howard Lazarus interviewed for a similar job in Austin, Texas. 

• Of course, there's more happening than an election.  November is Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Month, and the Washtenaw Housing Alliance – a public/private consortium – is hosting several events this month to raise awareness.  

• Related to that, there are currently vacancies on the Housing & Human Services Advisory Board (HHSAB), which makes recommendations to Ann Arbor City Council and the Washtenaw County Office of Community & Economic Development about these issues.  Click here for information on how to apply This week, the HHSAB meets on Thursday, Nov. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at 200 N. Main in Ann Arbor.  Click here for details about that group's work

• Speaking of advisory groups, Nov. 13 is the deadline to apply for vacancies on more than a dozen Washtenaw County advisory boards and commissions.  The groups cover a wide range of categories, including historic preservation, parks & recreation and many more.  Click here for details.  The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners will make appointments at their Nov. 15 meeting.  (The deadline for the county's Food Policy Council is on Nov. 29.) 

• Finally, City of Ann Arbor offices, the 15th District Court and other government offices will be closed on Friday, Nov. 10 in observance of Veterans Day.  On Saturday, veterans can get free entrance at four Ann Arbor Parks & Rec facilities: Mack Indoor Pool, Veterans Memorial Indoor Ice Arena, Buhr Park Outdoor Ice Arena, and Huron Hills Golf Course.  Click here for details.

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at