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News & Info from The CivCity Initiative


Local O'Civics!


What form of governance do leprechauns use? Who cares? We DO care about real o'civics stuff! Take a look at this week's action items:

1. Attend (or watch) the Ann Arbor city council's special work session on Thursday, March 16 focused on a proposal to develop the downtown Library Lot.

2. Report your favorite potholes by calling 99-HOLES or using the city's A2 Fix It system. Washtenaw County Road Commission has a similar system at WCRC Fix It.

3. Get to know the University of Michigan Regents. Four of them have homes in the Ann Arbor area. The board holds its monthly meeting on Thursday, March 16.

Read on for info about these items and more, 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.)

BONUS: Take the "Do You Live in a Bubble?" quiz!

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.

 

        Library Lot Site:          Building or Park?


On Thursday, March 16, the Ann Arbor City Council is holding a special working session focused on what's called the Library Lot. Specifically, it's a look at the Core Spaces development proposal for that site, and a chance for the public to weigh in with their views.
 
An image from the firm Core Spaces for a Library Lot development.

The site is owned by the city, where a surface and underground parking lot are now located. It's between Fifth and Division, just north of the downtown library.

Some residents oppose any development there, and want the city to create a community commons instead. They've formed the Library Green Conservancy and the Ann Arbor Committee for the Community Commons, and would like to put a proposal on the ballot for voters to decide the future of that site.

Read the city staff memo about the Core Spaces proposal. Or check out the presentation that Core Spaces will make on March 16.



Thursday's working session starts at 7 p.m. at city hall's 2nd floor council chambers, 301 E. Huron. Go in person or watch CTN Channel 16, or online here.
 

It's Pothole Season!


Unless you're the type of person who plants flowers in potholes, you probably want them filled in more traditional ways.

In Ann Arbor, you can report potholes by calling 99-HOLES (heh!) or using the A2 Fix It system, with online and mobile app options.

The Washtenaw County Road Commission uses a similar system called WCRC Fix It
 
Infographic from the city's pothole website.

Want to know more? Check out this Pothole Page on the city's website.
 

UM Regents: Close to Home 


The University of Michigan is governed by an eight-member Board of Regents, which holds monthly public meetings. Each regent is elected to an eight-year term in statewide elections.

At this point, four regents have homes in the Ann Arbor area: Mark Bernstein, Andrea Fischer Newman, Ron Weiser and Kathy White.
 
These four UM regents have homes in the Ann Arbor area. Clockwise from top right: Mark Bernstein, Andrea Fischer Newman, Kathy White and Ron Weiser. 

Read bios of all the regents here.

Usually, the board's monthly meetings, which are open to the public, are held at the Michigan Union in Ann Arbor. This month, the board meets on Thursday, March 16 at the UM Dearborn campus. Click here to view the agenda.


What We're Reading


This Michigan Daily article about UM's student government's vote to support making Election Day 2020 an academic holiday.



Engineering senior A.J. Ashman, co-author of the resolution advocating for the holiday, stated:

“Students are residents of Ann Arbor; they have the right to have their voices heard. It’s borderline morally unjustifiable to have a system where students have to choose between going to class, getting their education and being involved in the decision of their country’s state of power.”

Click here to read the Michigan Daily report.


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 marymorgan@civcity.org for details.



Final Thoughts


“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” – Maya Angelou, author and activist
 
Maya Angelou

Please share this newsletter with your friends, family & colleagues – we'd appreciate it!
 
My home was one of those without power for several days, following the recent windstorm. So as I shivered in the candlelight, I thought a lot about our community's infrastructure, and the intersection between public and private sectors in addressing basic needs.

There are legitimate public policy questions to ask when considering any utility and the services it provides.

For example, if energy is considered a basic need in our society – as I'd argue it is – what responsibility does the government have in ensuring residents have a reliable, affordable energy source? What role should government play in encouraging or limiting access to alternative energy sources, like wind or solar power? What level of government should be making these decisions – local, state or federal?

Our society reflects the people we elect and the decisions they make. It affects us every day, in ways obvious and subtle. And that's the cold, hard truth – some days, colder than others!


– 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. March 13: 4:30 p.m. Ann Arbor Public Art Commission CIP Project Committee. City hall basement conference room, 301 E. Huron. Click here to view the agenda.

Mon. March 13: 7 p.m. Ann Arbor City Council Work SessionCity hall 2nd floor council chambers, 301 E. Huron. Click here to view the agendaWatch on CTN Channel 16 or online here.

Tues. March 14: 1:30 p.m. Ann Arbor Housing Board of Appeals. City hall 2nd floor council chambers, 301 E. Huron. Click here to view the agendaWatch on CTN Channel 16 or online here.

Tues. March 14: 6 p.m. Ann Arbor Energy Commission Work Session. City hall 2nd floor council workroom, 301 E. Huron. No agenda posted online, so we don't know if they'll be celebrating Pi Day.

Tues. March 14: 7 p.m. Ann Arbor Planning Commission Work Session. City hall 2nd floor council chambers, 301 E. Huron. Click here to view the agendaWatch on CTN Channel 16 or online here.

Wed. March 15: 11 a.m. Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority (DDA) Capital Improvements Committee. 150 S. Fifth Ave., 3rd floor. Agenda not yet posted online.

Wed. March 15: 3 p.m. Ann Arbor Design Review Board. City hall basement conference room, 301 E. Huron. Click here to view the agenda.

Wed. March 15: 5:15 p.m. Ann Arbor Airport Advisory Committee. Ann Arbor Airport Terminal, 801 Airport Dr. Click here to view the agenda.

Wed. March 15: 6 p.m. Ann Arbor Housing Commission. Miller Manor, 727 Miller Ave. Click here to view the agenda.

Wed. March 15: 6:30 p.m. Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners. County administration building, 220 N. Main, Ann Arbor. Click here and here for the agendas. Watch online here.

Wed. March 15: 7 p.m. Ann Arbor Transportation Commission. City hall 2nd floor council chambers, 301 E. Huron. Click here to view the agendaWatch on CTN Channel 16 or online here.

Wed. March 15: 7 p.m. Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education. Forsythe Middle School, 1655 Newport Road. Click here to view the agenda. Watch CTN Channel 18 or online here.

Thurs. March 16: 8 a.m. Ann Arbor Public Schools Liaison Committee. City hall 1st floor south conference room, 301 E. Huron. No agenda posted online.

Thurs. March 16: 8:30 a.m. Ann Arbor Employees Retirement System & VEBA Boards. Pension office, 532 S. Maple. Click here and here to view the agendas. 

Thurs. March 16: 3 p.m. University of Michigan Board of Regents. UM Dearborn campus. Click here to view the agenda.

Thurs. March 16: 6:30 p.m. Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority Board. Downtown library, 4th floor boardroom, 343 S. Fifth Ave. Click here to view the agenda.

Thurs. March 16: 6:30 p.m. Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners Working Session. County administration building, 220 N. Main, Ann Arbor. Click here for the agenda. Watch online here.

Thurs. March 16: 7 p.m. Ann Arbor City Council Special Work Session (Library Lot). City hall 2nd floor council chambers, 301 E. Huron. Click here to view the agendaWatch on CTN Channel 16 or online here.

Fri. March 17: 9:30 a.m. Washtenaw County Community Mental Health Board. Learning Resource Center-Michigan Room, 4135 Washtenaw Ave. Learn more here.

Fri. March 17: 10 a.m. Ann Arbor Public Schools Board Governance Committee. Balas Administration Building, 2555 S. State. Agenda not yet posted online.
 

More Civic Events


Mon. March 13: 6 p.m. Coffee hour with State Rep. Yousef Rabhi (District 53). AADL Westgate branch, 2503 Jackson Ave. (in Westgate Shopping Plaza).

Thurs. March 16: 6-7:30 p.m. Young & Elected: Young Officials Creating Change in Their Communities. UM Ford School Annenberg Auditorium, 735 S. State St. Click here for more info.

Thurs. March 16: 6:30 p.m. Ann Arbor Police Department Neighborhood Watch Forum. Scarlett Middle School, 3300 Lorraine St. Click here for more info.

Mon. March 20: 7:30-9 a.m. Coffee hour with Ann Arbor city councilmember Jack Eaton (Ward 4). Roos Roast Coffee, 1155 Rosewood.

Know of a nonpartisan civic-related event you'd like to publicize? Email Mary Morgan at marymorgan@civicity.org.
 

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 civcity.org
 
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!

NOW GO FORTH
& BE CIVIC!

 
Copyright ©2017 The CivCity Initiative, All rights reserved.


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

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