After long debate, the Ann Arbor City Council voted 7-4 on April 1st to support funding climate action, affordable housing, and pedestrian safety.
Council Chambers were packed with climate action supporters, and the crowd burst into applause after the vote. Thanks to everyone who came to the meeting last night, and thanks to all of you who contacted your elected officials to support the proposal – it really made a difference!
The resolution was sponsored by Mayor Christopher Taylor and Councilperson Kathy Griswold. In addition to them, Zachary Ackerman, Anne Bannister, Julie Grand, Elizabeth Nelson, and Chip Smith voted for the resolution. Please thank them for their support.
The policy sets a funding baseline for climate action, affordable housing, and pedestrian safety at minimum levels equal to the amount generated by an existing Council policy allocating funds from the Washtenaw County public safety rebate. That policy created the first significant source of funds ever earmarked for the City’s climate action plan, as well as critical funds for housing and pedestrians. Some Councilpersons had questioned the use of the rebate for these purposes.
This is not the last word on the issue, but it’s a huge victory for the A2 Climate Partnership and local housing advocates.
The City’s budget won’t be formally approved until May 20, and it’s possible another attempt will be made to cut the climate action budget. We’ll stay vigilant, and keep you posted on developments.