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Civic Matters: County Youth Commission, Ann Arbor Police Commission Proposals And Bird Scooters!

Mary Morgan
CivCity Initiative

There are many opportunities to becoke more civically engaged in the weeks ahead. There is a plan to establish a Washtenaw County Youth Commission and mid-term elections are right around the corner and there are a number of ways to get involved. WEMU's David Fair and the CivCity Initiative's Mary Morgan will discuss these and other topics in this week's edition of "Civic Matters."

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:

  • Are you between the ages of 13-19 (not looking at you, Dave!) – or do you know someone who is?  There's an opportunity to help create a new youth commission for Washtenaw County government!  The Neutral Zone and Corner Health Center, in partnership with Washtenaw County, are looking for young people to help research, develop and propose a countywide youth commission.  The commission would be responsible for advising the county about issues that relate to young people.  The deadline to apply is Monday, Sept. 17.  Click here for details.

  • Recommendations for a new police commission will be reviewed at an Ann Arbor City Council work session on Thursday, Sept. 13.  Recommendations from city administrator Howard Lazarus – available here – differ from the proposal of a task force that's been working on this issue.  Task force members will also be on hand Thursday to discuss their recommendations.  Thursday's work session starts at 7 p.m. at city hall, 301 E. Huron.  Watch live on CTN Channel 16 or online here.

Credit Peter Allen
Quality in My Backyard

• Developer Peter Allen is circulating a proposal that he and some UM students he enlisted put together, looking at how several high-profile sites in Ann Arbor might be developed.  Their report focuses on city-owned property at 721 N. Main, the  former Y site across from the downtown library, and the former maintenance  garage at 415 West Washington across from the new YMCA.  Read the proposal here

Credit League of Women Voters in the Ann Arbor Area / lwvannarbor.org
"All Hands on Deck"

• The local League of Women Voters is mobilizing volunteers to work on a variety of election-related efforts in the coming weeks. Help is needed for candidate forums, voter registration drives, delivery of voter guides, and more.  Check out the League's September 2018 newsletter for details about this and other activities being planned for the Nov. 6 election.

  • The City of Ann Arbor recently raised its base pay for election inspectors from $11/hour to $13/hour.  Ok, so you're not doing it for the money.  Do it for your love of civics – and 16-hour days!  Click here for more info.

  • Love them or hate them, Bird scooters have arrived in Ann Arbor.  The company dropped off dozens of dockless scooters on Thursday evening, and by Friday, the city put out a notice warning that operating the scooters on sidewalks or leaving them in city streets is prohibited.  Other cities nationwide are struggling with this issue too – the city of Fresno has issued a cease-and-desist letter, and Nashville at one point confiscated the scooters until that city could develop new regulations to deal with them.  So here we go!

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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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