This week, I was contacted by Ryan Stanton (MLive) and he asked me about my plans for the 2022 election cycle. Some of you may have seen this article: https://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/2021/09/ann-arbor-mayors-seat-could-be-up-for-grabs-in-2022.html The article is behind a paywall, so for those who cannot see it, a relevant part:
City Council Member Elizabeth Nelson, one of Taylor’s critics, said she has considered running for mayor, though she’d rather support state Rep. Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann Arbor, who also is thinking about it. “I enjoy being a Council Member and I would very much enjoy being a Council Member if Yousef Rabhi was our mayor,” Nelson said, adding she would enthusiastically support Rabhi. “He is absolutely the kind of leader that we need in our city.” If Rabhi doesn’t throw his hat in the ring, Nelson said she’ll look at the candidate pool and think seriously about running.
I can formally announce here: I will be a candidate for election in 2022 and I look forward to campaigning next year. I intend to run for re-election as a Ward 4 Council Member. I would contemplate running for Mayor only if I see no other capable candidate in that election. Ann Arbor deserves a mayor who is committed to the goal of leading - rather than dividing - our community.
I believe in the power of local government to be most responsive and most accountable to voters. In an educated and compassionate community like Ann Arbor, local leaders can make policy that is sensible, data-driven, fair, and equitable. This newsletter is a reflection of my core belief: when residents are both informed and engaged, it pushes local leaders to make better decisions.
I am inspired by residents and advocates who help us identify problems, promote better solutions, and urge us to think about issues in a different way. E.g. On this week’s Council agenda, I am sponsoring two items (DC-1 Resolution Regarding a Public Power Utility and DC-2 Resolution in Support of Good Food Procurement) that were prompted by advocacy from local residents. Both resolutions are consistent with established City policy, in support of sustainability goals. I am excited about what can be accomplished when we are listening to each other and focused on finding common ground.
In my 2018 campaign, I enjoyed hundreds of conversations with you and your neighbors, learning about local concerns and talking about city policy. In 2018, I was also the victim of dark money attack mailers, orchestrated from Lansing by the then-business partner of a current member of City Council. Next year’s elections are likely to be very similar to those in 2020: tens of thousands of dollars will be funneled into Ward 4 from outside the ward, outside the City, and from political action committees. This money will fund campaigns with highly paid consultants, personal attacks, and coordinated negative messaging.
I believe our local campaigns can and should be local: driven by the time and commitment of candidates, supported by local residents who have a vested interest in our local politics. In wards small enough to walk every street, local campaigns are an exciting opportunity for positive, genuine connections and serious discussion of issues. In the next year, I look forward to meeting as many of you as I can, explaining the work I have done since 2018, and hearing what you care about!
Thank you to everyone who has read my newsletters and reached out with feedback or questions. Your perspectives inform my decision making. If you appreciate my work on Council and support my continued service as an elected leader in Ann Arbor, I ask you to please consider donating to my campaign at the link below!