Hello, my name is Michelle Hughes. I’ve been following and commentating on the Ann Arbor City Council since 2018.
I also have a radio show on WCBN-FM 88.3. Listen to me on Tuesday mornings, 6-9am. I mostly play music (mostly by women-fronted bands), but also, after each city council meeting, I give a run-down of what happened at the meeting. I will also be posting my summaries here.
I used to be on the Ann Arbor AF podcast. I’m not anymore, but they’re still doing excellent work there. Listen to them.
I believe that Ann Arbor has a housing crisis, and that one way that we ought to fix that is by building as much housing as possible, even if some of it is market-rate, privately owned housing. I would obviously like to increase the amount of publicly-owned, subsidized housing as well, but I don’t think that, alone, is going to get enough housing built fast enough. I would like to increase the density of the city, so that there’s more people, more activities, and more vibrant culture.
I also belive that the world has a climate crisis, and that one of the most effective ways to lessen it is to eliminate car culture, and make it easier to live without a car. I intend to advocate for that at the local level by changing the way our city works. Again, densification is important because that means there’s more people and more destinations available with fewer roads in between. That will make it easier for people to reach destinations by bus, foot, and bike. But also, we must change the way our roads are laid out. We must stop prioritizing the convenience of drivers, and must prioritize the safety of people on foot and on bike. We must have fewer, and slower, cars in the city. It must be safe and convenient for everyone to walk or bike, so that this is their first choice.
We cannot make individual choices that will get us out of either of these crises. We must make systemic changes.
Furthermore, I would like to dramatically reduce our society’s reliance on police. They are dangerous, racist, and cannot be reformed or re-trained. I hope to see alternative answers to social problems. Instead of spending a vast sum of money on police, that money would be better spent on housing, harm reduction, and designing public spaces to be safer from carshttps://twitter.com/xMegaMichellex.
In this blog, I hope to help people get involved in the city government. I will be posting agenda previews before the meetings. After the meetings, I will be posting summaries of what happened. During the meetings, I will be live-tooting, and I’ll post links to those threads here. My biases will certainly come through, in how I talk about these meetings, and which things I choose to focus on. But I hope to also provide sufficient links to factual information that you can get involved in whatever way you want.