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News & Info from The CivCity Initiative


It's relatively rare for elected officials to resign mid-term, but our community currently has two vacancies: On the Ann Arbor city council and the Ann Arbor Public Schools board.

In both cases, those public bodies will be appointing replacements to fill the remainder of the terms. And deadlines for applying are coming up!

The deadline to apply for the Ward 1 city council seat is 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23. Click here for details on that process. The seat is held by Sabra Briere, who intends to resign on Dec. 5 and move to California to be near family.

For the AAPS trustee seat, the deadline to apply is Monday, Nov. 28 at 4 p.m. Click here for details about how to apply. That seat is vacant following the resignation of Donna Lasinski, who was elected to the state House of Representatives (District 52) on Nov. 8.

Please share this information with your networks and reach out to people you think might be a good fit for these important civic positions.


ICYMI: Local Election Results

The Nov. 8 election included a slew of local, regional and state races as well as several ballot proposals. Below are some highlights. Check the Washtenaw County elections website for results. (For regional, state and federal races, remember that these results reflect only Washtenaw County's voting.)

Elijah & Josh Kay show civic spirit at the Slauson polls on Nov. 8.

County tax proposals: Voters approved countywide taxes for road construction and for support of services for veterans.

Four-year term proposal for Ann Arbor council: Approved by voters.

Regional transit tax: Failed to pass. (Though 56% of Washtenaw County voters approved this proposal, it didn't secure a majority of votes throughout the 4-county region.)

City council: Most local races for mayor and city council were uncontested and therefore, to no one's surprise, those candidates prevailed. In the only contested race, Ward 5 Democrat Chuck Warpehoski got more votes than independent David Silkworth.

School board: Jeff Gaynor, Simone Lightfoot and Harmony Mitchell were elected to these nonpartisan seats.

Library board: Four candidates who ran as a slate – Victoria Green, Colleen Sherman, Linh Song and Jamie Vander Broek – were elected. AADL trustees are nonpartisan positions.

Washtenaw Community College board: Angela Davis and Bill Milliken Jr. were elected as WCC trustees in this nonpartisan race.

County commissioners: For the districts that cover parts of Ann Arbor, the following candidates were elected: Michelle Deatrick (District 2), Andy LaBarre (District 7), Jason Morgan (District 8), and Conan Smith (District 9). All are Democrats.

County sheriff: Incumbent Democrat Jerry Clayton defeated Republican Ken Magee.

Thanks to all candidates who put themselves forward in this election cycle!

We Need Your Help!

We have ambitious plans but limited resources. Help support our work by contributing a one-time or monthly online donation. It's tax deductible! 
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.

Please share this newsletter with your friends, family & colleagues – we'd appreciate it.

Nov. 8 Party at the Polls!

We spent Election Day at the Slauson polling location. Thanks to CivCity intern Meghan Cuneo for organizing a day of music, games, food, civic trivia and more – and thanks to everyone who stopped by to vote or just say hello!

State Rep. Jeff Irwin and his son Mackinac.

CivCity intern Meghan Cuneo makes sure everyone's a winner with local civic trivia. Hardest question: Who is Ann Arbor's mayor?

Joe Ohren dropped off his homemade pumpkin bread, fresh from the oven! (Yes, we shared.)

From left: CivCity's Mary Morgan with UM Ginsberg Center staff Bree Johnson, Danyelle Reynolds, Kyra Napoleon & Neeraja Aravamudan.

Chess was one of several games we checked out from the Ann Arbor District Library for CivCity's Party at the Polls!

Civic pooches preferred treats over "I Voted" stickers.
Thanks again for helping us celebrate the democratic process. We're in it together.
Since the Nov. 8 election, we've heard from many people who want to get more involved in civic life. That's great!

I share some thoughts on that in a post-election column published on CivCity's Medium site – a new platform for us. 

The column is called "Civic Engagement as Chronic Activism: Five Ways to Change Democracy’s Stinky Diapers." Here's the main takeaway: We need to be in this for the long haul, because the work of sustaining a healthy democracy is often mundane, routine and even unpleasant. Oh, yeah – and really, really important.

You can find two opportunities to do this by looking to the right – appointments are underway for city council and school board vacancies. We'll be highlighting other chances to get involved in the coming weeks and months.

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, we're thankful that you're helping build a healthier community of engaged citizens. 

– Mary Morgan, CivCity Founder & Executive Director

Upcoming Public Meetings

Mon. Nov. 21: 6-8 p.m. Washtenaw County sheriff's office public forum: "Strategies for Responding to Alleged Ethnic Intimidation or Discrimination Related Incidents in Washtenaw County." WCC Morris Lawrence Building, 4800 E. Huron River Dr. Click here for details.

Mon. Nov. 21: 7 p.m. Ann Arbor City Council. City hall council chambers, 301 E. Huron. Click here to view the full agenda. Watch on CTN Channel 16 or online here.

Tues. Nov. 22: 7 p.m. Ann Arbor planning commission's ordinance revisions committee. City hall basement, 301 E. Huron. No agenda has been posted online, but general information is available on the planning department's website.

Wed. Nov. 23: 4 p.m. Deadline to apply for an upcoming vacancy on the Ann Arbor city council in Ward 1. Click here for details.

Thursday-Friday, Nov. 24-25: Most local government offices are closed for the Thanksgiving holiday. Ann Arbor trash/recycling pickup will be delayed one day.

Mon. Nov. 28: 4 p.m.: Deadline to apply for a vacancy on the Ann Arbor Public Schools board of education. Click here for details.

Mon. Nov. 28: 6-7 p.m.: Public reception for Ann Arbor city council candidates applying for a vacancy in Ward 1. Held in the 1st floor lobby of city hall, 301 E. Huron.

Mon. Nov. 28: 7 p.m.: Special session of the Ann Arbor city council to interview candidates for the Ward 1 vacancy. Watch on CTN Channel 16 or online here.

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
Linh Song

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

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