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News & Info from The CivCity Initiative

Talking Local Civics!

A large part of CivCity's work involves plugging into existing networks and events. We want to make it easier to learn about how local government works and to help residents get involved.

Earlier this fall we participated in a panel discussion hosted by the Young Leaders Society of the United Way of Washtenaw County. We also met with a delegation from several countries in the Middle East – including Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco and Iraq – who were part of a training seminar organized by the National Democratic Institute.

At UM's Ginsberg Center, CivCity's Mary Morgan talks with political activists from several Middle Eastern countries.

Panel discussion at the United Way of Washtenaw County's Young Leaders Society meeting: From left: Washtenaw County commissioner Andy LaBarre, CivCity founder Mary Morgan, University of Michigan director of community relations Jim Kosteva and United Way's Emily Fogelsonger. 

We'd love to meet with your organization, class or informal gathering. Contact Mary Morgan at to get on your calendar!

Happening This Week!

Check out this week's public meetings in the lefthand sidebar of this newsletter – it's a new feature that we hope will raise awareness of opportunities for input and participation.

In addition, we'll be highlighting other events we think you'd be interested in – including a lecture today (Monday, Nov. 28) at the University of Michigan:

Later this week – on Friday, Dec. 2 – the UM Wallace House is hosting a panel discussion: "Covering Trump: The Presidency and The Press During Turbulent Times." 

A panel of national journalists and a political science expert will offer analysis about the presidential election and the tempestuous aftermath during a public discussion.

That event begins at 4 p.m. at the Ross School of Business, R1580 Blau Hall. It's free and open to the public.

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

We Need Your Help!

Tuesday, Nov. 29 is what the Philanthropic-Industrial Complex calls Giving Tuesday. (Yes, it's a thing.) So many groups are doing great work and deserve your support. We hope you'll consider CivCity in that category too!

Our ambitious plan to build a more informed, engaged citizenry relies on you. Please 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.


What We're Reading

The Ann Arbor District Library has a great selection of civic-y books in its collection. Our reading list this month includes "Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government" by Christopher Achen (a former University of Michigan professor) and Larry Bartels.

Finally...Just for Fun

If you have a civic nerd on your holiday gift list who also loves socks, well, has just the thing. (And if we find these sold locally, we'll let you know!)

Besocked or barefooted, please share this newsletter with your friends, family & colleagues – we'd appreciate it!
Here at CivCity we're always looking for cool stuff that others are doing in the civic sphere. 

One example is POPVOX, a site that provides information about pending legislation in Congress, as well as ways to connect with lawmakers.

Connecting with your elected representatives is even easier at the local level, and in 2017 CivCity will be working to strengthen communication between our local government and its constituents.

We've already been publicizing public meetings on Twitter and Facebook. And we've recently added a list of upcoming meetings to this newsletter – scroll down to see this week's offerings.

What ideas do you have to build a healthier local democracy? I'd love to hear from you! Email me at

– 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. 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. Ann Arbor City Council. City hall council chambers, 301 E. Huron. Special meeting to interview applicants for the upcoming Ward 1 city council vacancy. Click here to view the full agenda. Watch on CTN Channel 16 or online here.

Tues. Nov. 29: 1 p.m. Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority's finance committee meeting. 150 S. Fifth, 3rd Floor. Click here to view agenda.

Tues. Nov. 29: 7-9 p.m. Public forum about the Nixon Road Corridor Traffic Study and Nixon/Green/Dhu Varren Road Roundabout. Clague Middle School's multi-purpose room, 2616 Nixon Road. Click here for details.

Wed. Nov. 30: 9 a.m. Ann Arbor Public Schools board's planning committee meeting. Balas Administration Building, 2555 S. State. Agenda not yet posted.

Wed. Nov. 30: 11 a.m. Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority's operations committee meeting. 150 S. Fifth, 3rd Floor. Click here to view agenda.

Wed. Nov. 30: 6:30-8 p.m. City of Ann Arbor sanitary sewer improvements meeting. Pittsfield Elementary School, 2543 Pittsfield Blvd. Click here for details.

Thurs. Dec. 1: 4:30 p.m. Ann Arbor greenbelt advisory commission. City hall council chambers, 301 E. Huron. Click here to view agenda.

Thurs Dec. 1: 7 p.m. Special meeting of the city of Ann Arbor audit committee. City hall basement conference room, 301. E. Huron.

Thurs. Dec. 1: 7 p.m. Ann Arbor environmental commission meeting. City hall council chambers, 301 E. Huron. Click here to view the full agenda. 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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