News & Info from The CivCity Initiative
Hey, did anyone notice winter this weekend? Yeah, we did too. Now's a good time to highlight some taxpayer-supported services – including how you can track the progress of snow plows in real time! Follow this link for details on the city's website. And try not to burn too many hours watching the action.
Screenshot of the city of Ann Arbor's snow plow tracker.
Warming Centers: For anyone needing shelter during the day or night, Washtenaw County has posted a list of warming centers on its website. The site also includes information on how to get help paying your utilities, to avoid shutoff.
The Delonis Center, our community's homeless shelter at 312 W. Huron, has a "wish list" of items they need
– toiletries, clothes, gift cards and more. Please check it out and see if there's anything you can contribute.
CivCity Needs Your Support!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
AAPS Board Vacancy: Update
On Friday, Dec. 9, the Ann Arbor Public Schools board interviewed candidates to fill a vacancy following the resignation of Donna Lasinski. Click here to watch those interviews online.
AAPS trustees Pat Manley & Christine Stead were among those who interviewed candidates for the board vacancy.
Applicants include three people who ran for the AAPS board on Nov. 8 but weren't elected – including current board chair Deb Mexicotte. Click here to see the full list of applicants as well as details about the appointment process.
The AAPS board is expected to make an appointment this week at its Wednesday, Dec. 14 meeting. That session starts at 7 p.m. at Forsythe Middle School, 1655 Newport. Or watch CTN Channel 18 or online here.
What We're Reading
In The Atlantic magazine, Eric Liu – founder of Citizen University – describes a weekly gathering he recently started in Seattle: "Civic Saturday."
He calls it a "civic analogue to church," where people discuss their shared purpose as citizens of this nation. Here's an excerpt from his essay:
Whether you’re of the left or right, whether you’re terrified or excited about the administration to come, low participation, high cynicism, and creeping authoritarianism are signs of just how sick the American body politic is. It’s time to take responsibility for the cure. Go start a club. You just might make our democracy great again.
Sounds like the Dexter Forum on steroids. Could a gathering like this work in our community? Something to think about for 2017.
As we learned last week about layoffs at both the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press
, we're reminded of this quote attributed to James Madison, our nation's 4th president:
“A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it is but a prologue to Farce or Tragedy or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own Governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives.”
James Madison, looking concerned.
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