News & Info from The CivCity Initiative
March into Local Civics!
As we say farewell to February, grab a pączki and march into civic action! Check out these ways you can get involved:
1. Sign up to get the Washtenaw Housing Alliance newsletter and attend the public debriefing on Tues., Feb. 28 to hear about the latest Point-In-Time Count, assessing the extent of homelessness in our community.
2. Get to know your Washtenaw County commissioners. They're holding a retreat on Thursday. And take a minute to learn about services that Michigan counties provide.
3. Volunteer for the annual Frog & Toad Survey, organized by the Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources.
Read on for info about these items and more – including news about statewide redistricting – then go forth and be civic! (And if you missed previous Civic To-Do Lists, catch up on the "Get Involved" section of CivCity's website.)
REMINDER: Monday, April 3 is the deadline to register to vote in the May 2 special election. Click here for details on how to register. And check out CivCity's AnnArborVotes.org for info about the ballot proposal to fund school infrastructure.
Homelessness in Washtenaw County
Earlier this year, the nonprofit Washtenaw Housing Alliance organized volunteers to conduct a local "point-in-time" count of people who are homeless in our community. It was part of a national effort mandated by the federal government.
On Tuesday, Feb. 28 from 9-11 a.m., the WHA will discuss the results of the count at a forum held at Washtenaw Community College's Morris Lawrence Building, 4800 E. Huron River Dr. The event is free and open to the public.
Go to the WHA website for information about Washtenaw County's Blueprint to End Homelessness. You can also get updates by subscribing to WHA's newsletter.
Washtenaw County Commissioners: What's Up?
On Thursday, March 2 starting at 6:30 p.m.
, the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners will hold a retreat that's open to the public. You can go in person at 220 N. Main St. in Ann Arbor, or watch online here
The current Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners.
The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners is a group of nine elected officials, each one representing a district in Washtenaw County. Ann Arbor is represented on the county board by three main districts – Districts 7, 8 & 9 – as well as a small part of District 2, which includes a piece of northwest Ann Arbor.
County commissioners are elected for a two-year term. Their main responsibilities are to oversee and approve the county’s budget, to hire and supervise the county administrator, and to make appointments to county boards and commissions, including the quasi-independent Washtenaw County Road Commission
. The job of county commissioner is part-time, earning a base of $15,911 annually. Officers of the board earn more. Chairs of the board, ways & means committee and working session earn $18,911, and the board vice chair is paid $16,911.
Help Count Frogs & Toads
Since we're in the county mood (heh – see what we did there?) how about volunteering to help with the state's annual Frog & Toad Survey?
If you see a frog & toad riding a bicycle, LET US KNOW ASAP!!
The survey is organized by the Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources. Here's an excerpt from their press release:
"Declining populations of frogs, toads and other amphibians have been documented worldwide since the 1980s. Studies suggest amphibians are disappearing due to habitat loss, pollution, disease and collection. Michigan’s annual survey efforts help biologists monitor frog and toad abundance and distribution in the state."
Click here for details about how to volunteer. Or check out the survey's website for more info and data.
Last week, a group called Voters Not Politicians announced plans to push for a statewide ballot proposal in 2018 to create an independent redistricting commission. Read their statement.
The effort is spearheaded by Count MI Vote, which will be holding town hall meetings starting in March 2017 and organizing volunteers to collect the required signatures.
Read an article in the Detroit News about the Voters Not Politicians effort: "Group plans gerrymander fight in Michigan."
What We're Reading
The article describes the pending deportation of Ann Arbor resident Yousef Ajin and the impact on his family – including his daughter Betoul, a sophomore at Community High.
A deportation hearing will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. in the McNamara Federal Building
, 477 Michigan Ave. in Detroit. The family and other community members will be gathering there in a show of support, according to the article.
Support CivCity's Work!
We work hard to inform, educate and inspire participation in local civic life. But we can only do it with your support. Please consider making a one-time or monthly online donation. It's tax deductible and feels great!
Or you can send a check to:
The CivCity Initiative
118 S. Main St.
Ann Arbor MI 48104
CivCity also accepts stock donations! Contact Mary Morgan at email@example.com for details.
“A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.” – journalist Edward R. Murrow
Journalist Edward R. Murrow
Please share this newsletter with your friends, family & colleagues – we'd appreciate it!