News & Info from The CivCity Initiative
Searching for Local Civic Action? Start Here!
We're making it easy for you to find ways to get involved. Here are this week's action items:
1. Mark your calendar to attend an upcoming neighborhood watch forum with the Ann Arbor Police Department. The first one is on Thursday, March 16.
2. Weigh in on long-term transportation plans for Washtenaw County. Give feedback online or in person at a public forum on Thursday, March 9.
3. Sign up to get email alerts about actions in state legislative committees, to stay better informed about what's going on in Lansing.
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.)
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.
Neighborhood Watch: Meet the AAPD
The Ann Arbor Police Department is holding three public meetings to talk about its Neighborhood Watch program. The first one is on Thursday, March 16 at 6:30 p.m. at Scarlett Middle School's Media Center, 3300 Lorraine St.
The forums will provide information about police department programs, area-specific crime statistics, prevention tips and ways to stay informed and get involved.
Other upcoming forums are:
Click here for more details. And learn more about the AAPD on its website.
- Thursday, April 20: 6:30 p.m. at Forsythe Middle School, 1655 Newport Road.
- Thursday, May 18: 6:30 p.m. at Clague Middle School, 2616 Nixon Road.
One more thing: In February, the city council authorized hiring a consultant to conduct an independent analysis of the police department's community engagement practices. The move was suggested by the city's Human Rights Commission, which issued a report with recommendations to strengthen police-community relations. Read that report here.
Transportation Plan for Washtenaw County
The updates focus on several proposed new sections, including driverless and connected vehicles, Washtenaw County equity initiatives, and environmental justice review
This work is done by the Washtenaw Area Transportation Study
, known as WATS. Headquartered in Ann Arbor, it's a governmental agency responsible for long-range transportation planning in our county. Learn more about WATS on its website
What's Up in Lansing?
One way to track pending state laws is to sign up for alerts from committees in the Michigan House and Senate. Proposed legislation must go through the committee process before being brought for a vote.
You can get email notices from any or all of the committees in the House and Senate. Click here to sign up.
Michigan's State Capitol building in Lansing.
If you need a refresher about how a bill becomes law in Michigan, read this short-ish column from the Michigan State University Extension. (They've got free newsletters you can sign up for too, on topics like government and civic engagement.)
What We're Reading
"Death to Government Mumbo Jumbo
" from Bridge Magazine. It explains how the Michigan Dept. of Health & Human Services is working with Detroit-based Civilla
to simplify the language and shrink the length of government forms.
Civilla staff are working to simplify Michigan's public benefits form.
As an example, Michigan’s current application for public benefits is 42 pages with more than 18,000 words and over one thousand questions.
According to the article, plain-language advocates say it "can prune bureaucracy and help ordinary residents better understand the workings of government. The effort, while only a pilot for now, follows the lead of other states which report more efficiency and significant cost savings after adopting a government-wide, plain-language program."
Read the full Bridge article here
, and click here to subscribe
– it's free!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
[In honor of one of CivCity's interns, who binge-watched all 7 seasons of Parks & Recreation last week during UM's spring break!]
Leslie Knope, a lovable wonk portrayed by Amy Poehler.
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