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Civic Matters: Election News, Transit Issues And A Public Forum On Ann Arbor's 'Library Lot'

Courtesy Image
Myefski Architects

There are plenty of opportunities for civic and community engagement this week.  WEMU's David Fair and Mary Morgan of the CivCity Initiative  run them down for you in this week's edition of "Civic Matters!" 

Mary Morgan, executive director of the CivCity Initiative in Ann Arbor

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. 

This Week's Topics

  • The filing deadline has passed for independent candidates on the Nov. 6 ballot, as well as for nonpartisan library board races.  In Ann Arbor, only 3 candidates filed for the open 3 seats on the Ann Arbor District Library Board – incumbent Jim Leija, and newcomers Dharma Akmon and Kerene Moore.  Longtime AADL board members Jan Barney Newman and Ed Surovell didn't seek re-election.
  • Another piece of news related to the Nov. 6 ballot.  Last Thursday, the board of the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan decided not to put another tax proposal on the ballot this year to fund regional transportation. They're might ask voters for a new tax in 2019.  Here's a link to the Detroit Free Press report.  
Credit Michigan Secretary of State
Voting Guide

  • To help voters navigate the election process, the Michigan Secretary of State's office has published a 2-page guide that provides a ton of facts in an easy-to-use format. The guide explains the voting process and gives important deadlines for both the Aug. 7 primary and Nov. 6 general election.  What it doesn't include is information about what's on the ballot – and that's where WEMU and CivCity's AnnArborVotes.org come to the rescue!


  • Core Spaces, which is developing the city-owned Library Lot, is holding another public forum to get input on design of the building and site, including a 12,000-square-foot plaza.  The session runs from 5:30-7 p.m. on Monday, July 23 at the downtown library, 343 S. Fifth Ave.  Of course, that site remains in dispute – including a lawsuit filed by two current city councilmembers, and a Nov. 6 ballot proposal that asks voters to designate the space as an urban park and civic commons.

Credit City of Ann Arbor
The City of Ann Arbor's Solar Faithful initiative

  • The City of Ann Arbor's Solar Faithful initiative is hosting a workshop on Wednesday, July 25 focused on solar power purchasing agreements for nonprofits.  The session runs from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Campus Chapel, 1236 Washtenaw Court.  Click here for details.



  • Finally, Sunday, July 29 kicks off the city's free Concerts in the Park series at Burns Park.  Concerts start at 3 p.m.  The July 29 concert features Gemini/Gemily, with San, Laz and Emily Slomovits.

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu

Contact David: dfair@emich.edu
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