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Civic Matters: Elections, Transit Issues And Art

Delonis Center

We are a week and a day away from the August 7th primary elections and the November 6th general election looms ahead.  There is plenty to consider on those fronts and The CivCity Initiaitive's Mary Morgan joins WEMU's David Fair to run it down for you in this wek's edition of 'Civic Matters.'  And, you'll also discover some fascinating artwork produced by those staying at the Delonis Center homeless shelter in Ann Arbor. 

Credit Mary Morgan /
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

• Looking ahead to Nov. 6, only the two incumbents have filed to run for Washtenaw Community College trustee, so Richard Landau and Diana McKnight-Morton won't face any competition in their re-election bids.  The race for four seats on the Ann Arbor Public Schools board is much more competitive. Eight candidates will be on the ballot – including all four incumbents.  See a list of candidates here




Credit UM Stamps School of Art and Design / University of Michigan
University of Michigan
Student-voter informational campaign at the University of Michigan

• A group of faculty and students at the University of Michigan is working on ways to increase turnout in the midterm election.  Their project is called Voting Is Sexy, and their first video focuses on how to vote absentee as a first-time voter.  This project targets student voters and is part of a course offered this fall by the UM Stamps School of Art & Design, taught by Stephanie Rowden and Hannah Smotrich. Check out and stay tuned for more creative ways they'll promote the vote! 


• But first, we’ve got to get through the Aug. 7 primary – only a week to prepare!  A reminder that the Ann Arbor city clerk’s office will be open on Saturday, Aug. 4 from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. to handle absentee voting. 

• For voters in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township, the Aug. 7 ballot includes a tax proposal for public transit services.  Click here for more info about that proposal.

Credit Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority /
AAATA seeks public input on budget and strategic plan

• That proposal was put on the ballot by the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority – known as The Ride. They also want feedback on their fiscal 2019 budget and strategic plan. Unlike most local units of government, the AAATA's fiscal year starts on Oct. 1 – in sync with the state budget cycle.  So now's the time to weigh in! Staff will hold forums on Aug. 9 and 14, or email comments to There will also be a public hearing on the budget at the AAATA board's Aug. 16 meeting, followed by approval of the budget on Sept. 20.  Click here for details.




Credit City of Ann Arbor /
Possible changes along North 7th Street, near West Park, in Ann Arbor


• In other transit news, the City of Ann Arbor is considering whether to eliminate on-street parking on North Seventh near West Park, between Huron and Miller.  The idea would be to add bike lanes along that stretch.  To get feedback on possible redesigns, city staff are holding two sessions on Wednesday, Aug. 1.  Check out A2 Open City Hall for design options and to take a survey about your preferences.  Click here for details.

• Delonis Center, our community's homeless shelter, runs the ArtBreak Studio program from September through May.  Work from shelter clients is now on exhibit at the Washtenaw County administration building, 220 N. Main St. in Ann Arbor (the corner of Main & Catherine). The exhibit runs through Friday, Aug. 3.  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

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