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Elizabeth Nelson's City Council Blog

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I write a City Council newsletter with my summary of agenda items coming before City Council. Sign up to receive it first via email, or read it here later on this blog.

A2ZERO: Working Together for Carbon Neutrality

At our June 1st meeting, City Council unanimously adopted a plan (a “living document”) to achieve carbon neutrality in Ann Arbor by 2030. This document was the subject of a great deal of community conversation and Council debate over the last two months. Many people were committed to thoughtful analysis and assessment of the documented plan. During our period of inquiry and scrutiny, we listened and learned and resisted calls for hasty decision making.


Adoption of this plan was the result of ongoing Council efforts to acknowledge and reconcile a range of perspectives from residents. Twice, the A2Zero plan appeared on our Consent Agenda, which is the place for Council topics that are expected to pass without discussion or public hearing. Current Council recognized the need for more transparency. Some of us spent many hours meeting with advocates, listening to concerns, and exchanging questions in various forums (one-on-one meetings, coffee hours, Council Caucus, calls with Dr. Stults). At our June 1 meeting, Council held a public hearing on the plan - this hearing was specifically requested by my colleague, CM Hayner.


I believe that the A2Zero Carbon Neutrality plan we adopted is stronger and better for the space we created for a more robust exchange of ideas. Your Council Members are your voice at the table. On issues of controversy, we fail in our responsibility if we ignore or refuse to consider the diversity of views in the community. Thank you to everyone who reached out to Council with your support, skepticism, and questions. As we move forward with this plan, I anticipate many more meaningful conversations about where we are headed and how to get there.