Stories indexed with the term ‘Democratic Party’

Dems Forum Finale: The Campaign, The Party

Editor’s note: A forum hosted by the Ann Arbor Democratic Party on June 8, 2013 drew six of seven total city council candidates who’ve qualified for the primary ballot.

From left: Julie Grand (Ward 3 challenger), Stephen Kunselman (Ward 3 incumbent), Jack Eaton (Ward 3 challenger), Mike Anglin (Ward 5 incumbent), Kirk Westphal (Ward 2 challenger), Sabra Briere (Ward 1 incumbent).

From left: Julie Grand (Ward 3 challenger), Stephen Kunselman (Ward 3 incumbent), Jack Eaton (Ward 4 challenger), Mike Anglin (Ward 5 incumbent), Kirk Westphal (Ward 2 candidate), and Sabra Briere (Ward 1 incumbent).

In the Aug. 6 Democratic primary, only two wards offer contested races. In Ward 3, Democratic voters will choose between incumbent Stephen Kunselman and Julie Grand. Ward 4 voters will have a choice between incumbent Marcia Higgins and Jack Eaton. Higgins was reported to have been sick and was unable to attend.

The format of the event eventually allowed other candidates who are unopposed in the Democratic primary to participate: Mike Anglin (Ward 5 incumbent), Sabra Briere (Ward 1 incumbent), and Kirk Westphal, who’s challenging incumbent Jane Lumm in Ward 2. Lumm, who was elected to the council as an independent, was in the audience at the forum but didn’t participate. The event was held at the Ann Arbor Community Center on North Main Street. The Chronicle’s coverage is presented in a multiple-part series, based on common threads that formed directly in response to questions posed to the candidates, or that cut across multiple responses.

This final installment of coverage from the June 8 city council candidate forum focuses on the remarks candidates made that were overtly about the campaign – to the extent that those remarks weren’t included in one of the previous reports on this forum.

The fact that the forum was hosted by the Ann Arbor Democratic Party meant that party politics was an obvious potential topic. State representative Jeff Irwin set that tone early as he addressed the audience with a legislative update. And Ward 2 candidate Kirk Westphal, who’ll face independent Jane Lumm in the general election, stressed that he is a Democrat.

Part 1 of this series focused on the candidates’ concept of and connection to Ann Arbor, while Part 2 looked at their personal styles of engagement and views of how the council interacts. Part 3 reported on the theme of connections, including physical connections like transportation, as well as how people are connected to local government. And Part 4 covered the theme of downtown and its role in the life of the city. Chronicle election coverage is tagged with “2013 primary election.”

The League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor Area will be holding its candidate forums for Ward 3 and Ward 4 primaries on July 10 at the studios of Community Television Network. Those forums will be broadcast on CTN’s Channel 19 and will be available online. [Full Story]

Michigan: Democrats

Writing on Eclectablog, Chris Savage summarizes the Feb. 9, 2013 meeting of the Ann Arbor Democratic Party, which included appearances by Michigan Democratic Party chair Mark Brewer as well as his opponent in the upcoming election for chair of the party, Lon Johnson. “The event was extremely well-run by Ann Arbor Dems chair Mike Henry and in the overflow crowd of around 250 people was nearly every elected official from the Ann Arbor area. It was, without question, the biggest political event in Washtenaw County since the election last November.” [Source]

Ann Arbor Clerk: Issa On Primary Ballot

On Monday, May 16, Ann Arbor city clerk Jackie Beaudry said that Marwan Issa will be a candidate in the Ward 3 city council Democratic primary on Aug. 2. As of last Tuesday, Issa had submitted only 94 valid signatures of the 100 that are needed to qualify on the ballot.

However, that total was based on a city clerk staff decision to disallow a sheet of 20 signatures submitted by Issa. Beaudry reversed that decision after discussing the issue with assistant city attorney Mary Fales and Issa himself.

The deadline for submitting nominating petitions was Tuesday, May 10, at 4 p.m. With that deadline minutes away, members of Issa’s family – standing at the window of the city clerk’s second floor … [Full Story]

Column: Honoring Jean Ledwith King

Most of the time, I don’t think about gender equity. Along with millions of other American women my age and younger, I’ve benefited from those who spent their lives enduring countless humiliations and setbacks, to achieve for their daughters and nieces and friends what I now enjoy – the luxury of not thinking much about gender equity.

Jean King

Jean Ledwith King at the March 26, 2011 dinner to rename the Women's Center of Southeastern Michigan in her honor. (Photo courtesy of Wayne Dabney)

On Saturday, about 300 people gathered to pay tribute to one of those women whose work broke ground for the rest of us: Jean Ledwith King. The event was hosted by the Women’s Center of Southeastern Michigan, which has been renamed in her honor.

As a former board member for the center, I expected to see some familiar faces – staff, volunteers and donors I’d known from my relatively short tenure there. But the turnout for Jean went far beyond that. Judges and attorneys, university administrators, elected officials from across the county and state, business leaders and many others came to say thanks for her years of dogged work on behalf of equal opportunity for women. She calls herself a bomb thrower, but on Saturday she was recognized more for the foundation she’s helped build, particularly through her work on Title IX issues related to high school and college athletics.

Jean’s life story is inspiring, as were reflections by the event’s keynote speaker, Olympian Micki King. (Though they aren’t related by blood, they certainly are in spirit.) Their stories made me think of other histories, too – we all have them, closer to home and less notable, perhaps, but also worth honoring as a reminder of how it’s possible to make dramatic societal changes within a lifetime. [Full Story]

Their Words: Ward 3 Council Candidates

Jenne Needleman Timekeeper at Ann Arbor Democrats Forum

Jennie Needleman kept time at the Ann Arbor Democratic Party candidate forum on Saturday morning. (Photo by the writer.)

On Saturday, July 11, the Ann Arbor Democratic Party hosted a forum for candidates in contested primary races for Ann Arbor City Council in Wards 3 and 5.

Responses from Ward 5 candidates audience questions are in a separate article.

The format consisted of questioners chosen in random order, who had 30 seconds each to ask a question. Each candidate then had one minute to respond. At the start and the end of the forum, each candidate had three minutes for a statement. At the end there was a chance for a three-minute closing statement.

Time was kept by Jennie Needleman, who chairs Ward 5 for the Ann Arbor Democratic Party. Responses are presented here in the order they were given at the forum, which rotated among candidates who attended. Jeff Irwin, a Washtenaw County commissioner, moderated the event.

For Ward 3,  it was Stephen Kunselman and LuAnne Bullington who answered questions, which were posed by audience members.

The third candidate in the Ward 3 race, incumbent Leigh Greden, did not attend. [Full Story]

Their Words: Ward 5 Council Candidates

Jeff Irwin moderating Democratic Party

Jeff Irwin, who serves on the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners, moderated the Democratic Party's candidate forum. (Photo by the writer.)

Last Saturday, July 11, the Ann Arbor Democratic Party hosted a forum for candidates in contested primary races for city council in Wards 3 and 5. The forum was held in the context of the party’s regular monthly meeting at its usual location in the Ann Arbor Community Center on North Main Street.

Independent campaigns could make the November election interesting in Wards 1 (Mitchell Ozog) and 4 (Hatim Elhady). But in Wards 3 and 5, the lack of any Republican or independent candidates means that those spots are almost sure to be decided in the Democratic primary on Aug. 4.

Currently, only Democrats serve on Ann Arbor’s city council.

The council consists of the mayor plus two representatives from each of five wards, who serve for two years each. That means each year, one of the two representative seats for each ward is up for election. Saturday’s Democratic Party forum was attended by three out of 11 current councilmembers: Mike Anglin (Ward 5), who was participating in the candidate forum; Carsten Hohnke (Ward 5), who was first elected in November 2008, and whose seat is not up for election until 2010; and Sabra Briere (Ward 1), whose Democratic primary race is uncontested.

After the break: What the Fifth Ward candidates, Mike Anglin and Scott Rosencrans, had to say. [Full Story]