AS A COUNCIL MEMBER
As one member of an 11 member Council, I have always done my best to consider every issue thoughtfully and be a voice for Ward 4. I pride myself on being civil and willing to compromise on the most contentious issues. Since November 2013, I have sponsored or co-sponsored more than 130 resolutions most of which have passed (despite differences on the Council).
I worked closely with Council colleagues to:
Improve pedestrian safety
Fund maintenance of our streets, sewers, and water mains
Secure adequate funding for public health and safety services
Develop requirements for either environmental clean-up or affordable housing to qualify for tax abatements
Protect our neighborhoods from out-of-scale and out-of-character development
Restore the city's material recycling facility
Establish a formal commission for civilian oversight of police services
Set environmental goals to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030
The most important actions by Council are the budget decisions we make.
In the last two years, over 1000 units of new housing have been built in the city which has led to an increase in tax revenue. I support responsible development that is sensitive to environmental and livability concerns, and work to balance the new revenue with community values. As your council member I will continue to voice concerns expressed by Ward 4 neighbors. I work to modify or even to defeat development proposals that would negatively impact the quality of life in our neighborhoods.
These will continue to be my priorities as we face many painful budgetary decisions being brought on by the COVID-19 crisis.
I ask for your vote for me on the Democratic side of the Primary ballot, so that I can continue to pursue our residents’ vision of the future while keeping a watchful eye on how tax revenues are spent.
I don’t know how soon it will be permissible for me to knock on doors to ask you what is important to you. I still want to hear from you about any problems you may be having with the city and about your visions for its future.
Please feel free to contact me and to explore further in this campaign website.
AS A DEMOCRAT
On occasion, critics question whether I am a “real Democrat”. I have been a Democrat my entire adult life, starting with my vote for George McGovern in the 1972 Presidential Election. The Democratic party core values of decency and compassion are why I continue to participate as I have.
I believe the role of government is to mitigate the harsh impacts of wealth and power on ordinary people. The wealthy and powerful do not need the help of their government, they do just fine with their own resources. Those who are not wealthy and those who do not have access to political power need a voice in the political process. I work hard to listen to and represent the many voices in our community who do not have easy access to political power.
This photo does not imply any endorsement.
I regularly attend and participate in the Ann Arbor Democratic Party meetings, not just in the months prior to an election. I am proud of working with others in our local party to hold local party leaders accountable for an incident of misuse of party funds. While that accountability was not popular with party insiders, it is what a leader should do to protect the party as an institution.
I am a member of the Michigan Democratic Party (MDP). I typically attend the MDP state convention. In 2018, I attended that convention, where the party selected its nominees for Attorney General, Secretary of State and Michigan Supreme Court. One of my opponents attended the convention as paid staff for a candidate running against Dana Nessel. I supported now-Attorney General Nessel.
Support the Team
I am proud to work with Democratic Party state and federal office holders and feel honored by requests to endorse their candidacy for office. This was the case for the campaigns of the first two candidates running in 2018 Democratic Party for the 11th Congressional District sought my endorsement, including former State House minority leader Tim Greimel.
This year, the campaigns for two criminal justice reform candidates for County Prosecutor asked for my endorsement. I decided to endorse Eli Savit because he was bold enough to call for reform when the incumbent was still running for reelection. A number of reform candidates running for local state court positions have also sought my endorsement. I believe those invitations to endorse candidates were based in a recognition of my position as a respected Democratic Party office holder.
In politics, it is important to note that personal attacks are usually an indication that a debate on the issues cannot be won. I personally try to remain civil, respectful and calm even when subject to personal attacks. I do not think that harsh discourse adds anything to our community.
We live in a community governed by a strong Democratic Party majority. I want to demonstrate to everyone that Democratic values result in actions that reflect competence, effectiveness, transparency and responsiveness. There is nothing progressive about bad roads, sewers that dump raw sewage into our river, and the failure to address our environmental challenges. When local government demonstrates competence in providing fundamental functions, residents will trust it to take on the complex and challenging tasks such as climate change and affordable housing.
Jack's Statement: Being Progressive