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Meet Tony Brown

Thanks for your Support

Affordable Housing Rant

 Why Run?

In the words of Zach De La Rocha, “It has to start somewhere, it has to start sometime. What better place than here, what better time than now?”

I am not a political insider. I am an Ann Arbor insider! I am the only candidate in this race who was raised in Ward 3. I am running for City Council for the love of Ann Arbor and my Ann Arbor community.

I like to say that I seek the truth for a living. I worked as a broadcaster at Michigan Radio covering stories such as the Flint Water Crisis, the Velsicol Superfund sites in St. Louis Michigan, the Gelman 1,4-dioxane plume, threats of PFOS and PFOA. I now work at WDET as the public radio station’s Digital Content Manager.

I know firsthand what it looks like when people and communities don’t have a voice. I know firsthand what can be accomplished when local leaders stand with their constituents. When people have a voice, the possibilities are endless.

Things have changed a lot in Ann Arbor over the past 25 years. Change is inevitable, but what’s critical to Ward 3 neighbors is to have a Council member who listens, deliberates and votes based on facts, not political allegiances. I’m running to make sure that the people of the Third Ward have a representative who has their interests in mind. Influence peddling should have no place in local government.   

Issues

Elected Leaders Who Take Responsibility:

This, I believe, is the heart of effective, compassionate, strong leadership. In these difficult and uncertain times, we need informed leadership, not political divisiveness or rubber stamping. One thing I learned from reporting on environmental disasters such as the Flint water crisis, and the bankruptcy of Detroit is this: successful cities have local leaders who listen, make fact-based decisions, work to improve city services, and quickly correct mistakes. As your Council member, I won’t waste your time and money with public grandstanding, or pointing the finger in blame. I’ll get the job done.

Affordable Housing, and Taxes:

The sad truth is that “affordable housing” and “workforce housing” in Ann Arbor actually mean unaffordable rents of $2,000 per month. Over the past 25 years, Ann Arbor has been gentrified and increasingly segregated. Home owners of modest means are being driven out of the City thanks to high property taxes. With a projected multi-million dollar budget deficit, we need strong leadership to acknowledge and address these socio-economic challenges and realities. Just like regular folks who live within their means, city leaders must spend much more wisely. I will work with members of Council, city staff, the community and housing advocates so more people of all socio-economic classes can realize the dream of living in — and retiring in — Ann Arbor. It’s not rocket science: I will focus on results, people and affordability. 

Neighborhoods:

I support a community-oriented approach to neighborhood vitalization that keeps pace with our city’s modest growth. Ann Arbor’s downtown is an important part of our city, but within a much larger picture. Ann Arbor is its neighborhoods: Burns Park, Pittsfield Village, The “Woods,” Lower Burns Park. Ann Arbor city government must continue to invest in, improve and maintain the parts of our city where the majority of our residents live.

Environmental Equity for All:

We need local leaders who will improve our seriously-impaired local watershed, protect our parks from sale, development and use as transit hubs, improve our air quality and guard our open spaces. Safeguarding our drinking water supply will be a priority for me. I will also work with Council members on public-supported programs and policies related to sustainability and resiliency.

Art & Culture:

Together, we can deliver equity and opportunity through arts and culture. It starts with making sure all Ann Arborites have the same access to city-sponsored arts programming and learning opportunities.

Governmental Responsiveness and Communication:

People need local government that is responsive and accountable. If elected, I’ll work with my Council colleagues toward even more robust governmental accountability and even more effective communication between the City and its residents.