Here's the latest from The CivCity Initiative!
View this email in your browser
News & Info from The CivCity Initiative

New Year Gov-unteer?

If you've been thinking about how to get more involved in local government, here's an opportunity at the county level.

Washtenaw County has posted several vacancies for advisory boards and commissions, including the Community Action Board, the Huron River Watershed Council, and the Community Corrections Advisory Board. Click here for the full listing.

The deadline to apply is Wednesday, Jan. 25 with appointments made by the county board on Feb. 1.

The county also has three openings on its Community Mental Health Board. The deadline to apply for those positions is Wednesday, Feb. 8 with appointments made on Feb. 15. Click here for more details.

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.

If you haven't yet contributed to our nonpartisan efforts, please make 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 for details.


AAPS Board Vacancy: Filled!


The newest trustee for the Ann Arbor Public Schools is Jessica Kelly, a special education consultant. 

Jessica Kelly was appointed to replace Donna Lasinski.

Her appointment came after the AAPS board's split vote between two other candidates – Steve Norton and Deb Mexicotte – and their subsequent withdrawal from consideration. 

Kelly was appointed and sworn into office on Friday, Dec. 16. Here's a link to her application materials. For details about how that appointment transpired, check out coverage on and an article on MLive.

The appointment was made on the same day as a Michigan Court of Appeals ruling in favor of AAPS. The court ruled that the district has the legal authority to ban guns in its buildings and at school-sponsored events. Click here to read a Detroit Free Press report on that decision.

What We're Reading

Today each state's electors for the U.S. Electoral College are casting votes for president, so we're reading up on how that process works.

Map of each state's vote allocation in the U.S. Electoral College.

The "college" isn't a physical location. Rather, votes will be happening in each state throughout the day. Michigan's 16 electors are set to vote at 2 p.m.

Here's a Michigan Radio report on what to expect. The New York Times also provides a decent overview.

And this TED-Ed video is a bit goofy, but helps explain the process.

Final Thoughts

“Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.”  ― Adlai E. Stevenson II
Adlai Stevenson.
Please share this newsletter with your friends, family & colleagues – we'd appreciate it!

This newsletter will take a hiatus during the last week of 2016, so save up your civic energy and we'll see you in the new year!

Among the attendees at last Saturday's Dexter Forum was Wyckham Seelig. He's a Washtenaw County resident and one of Michigan's electors who'll be casting a vote today in the U.S. Electoral College process. 

We often think of our government and political process as something remote. But even events playing out nationally often have direct links close to home – as those who heard Seelig speak about his experience learned. 

As 2017 approaches, we hope you'll look for more ways to participate in civic life – in our community, and beyond.

– Mary Morgan, CivCity Founder & Executive Director


Upcoming Public Meetings

NOTE: Meetings are sometimes canceled at the last minute, so be sure to check the links for updated information.

Mon. Dec. 19: 4 p.m. Ann Arbor City Council Administration Committee. City hall 3rd floor conference room, 301 E. Huron. No agenda posted online.

Mon. Dec. 19: 7 p.m. Ann Arbor City Council. City hall 2nd floor council chambers, 301 E. Huron. Click here to view the full agenda. Watch on CTN Channel 16 or online here.

Tues. Dec. 20: 1 p.m. Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority Finance Committee. 150 S. Fifth Ave., 3rd floor. Click here to view agenda.

Tues. Dec. 20: 4 p.m. Ann Arbor Park Advisory Commission. City hall 2nd floor council chambers, 301 E. Huron. Click here to view agendaWatch on CTN Channel 16 or online here.

Tues. Dec. 20: 7 p.m. Ann Arbor Planning Commission. City hall 2nd floor council chambers, 301 E. Huron.  Click here to view the agendaWatch on CTN Channel 16 or online here.

Wed. Dec. 21: 9 a.m. Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority Operations Committee. 150 S. Fifth Ave., 3rd floor. Agenda not yet posted.

Wed. Dec. 21: 11 a.m. Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority Capital Improvements Committee. 150 S. Fifth Ave., 3rd floor. Click here to view the agenda.

Wed. Dec. 21: 2 p.m. Ann Arbor Public Schools Board Performance Committee. Courtyard Marriott, 3205 Boardwalk. Agenda not yet posted.

Wed. Dec. 21: 3:15 p.m. Ann Arbor Commission on Disability Issues. City hall 2nd floor council chambers, 301 E. Huron. No agenda posted online. Watch on CTN Channel 16 or online here.

Thurs. Dec. 22: 8 a.m. Ann Arbor Taxicab Board. City hall 4th floor conference room. No agenda posted online.

Fri. Dec. 23: City of Ann Arbor offices close at noon for the holiday weekend.

Mon. Dec. 26: City of Ann Arbor offices are closed.

Know of a nonpartisan civic-related event you'd like to publicize? Email Mary Morgan at

Support CivCity

CivCity is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan nonprofit focused on increasing awareness of how local government works and motivating residents to get involved in civic life. Please support our work by sending donations to: 
The CivCity Initiative
118 S. Main St.
Ann Arbor MI 48104

You can also donate online by clicking this link – it's easy!

You'll get our heartfelt thanks written by hand (let's hear it for old school!) on a notecard featuring local public art or civic infrastructure. How cool is that?

This image is a detail from the mosaics at the Fourth & Washington parking structure.
CivCity Board of Directors
Devon Akmon
Paul Courant
Mary Morgan
Ingrid Sheldon

Special thanks for generous support from the James A. & Faith Knight Foundation, the Buhr Foundation, United Way of Washtenaw County, the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, the Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation, the Mosaic Foundation of Rita and Peter Heydon, and the Ann Arbor Area Spirit of Woodstock Fund!

CivCity Online

Find more information – including CivCity's five-year strategic plan – on our website at
Be sure to join CivCity on Facebook, where we regularly post items of community interest. Ann Arbor Votes is also on Facebook!
On Twitter, you can follow us at @A2CivCity and get details about local public meetings and other civic-related info. Get election Tweets by following @AnnArborVotes!

You can also find us on Instagram @A2CivCity!


Copyright ©2015 The CivCity Initiative, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
118 S. Main St. Ann Arbor MI 48104

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp