I recently spoke to a reporter from the Ann Arbor News for a story they are planning for next Sunday about the Ann Arbor Cool Cities Task Force. Our first meeting was this week, and I am excited – there seem to be some interesting and like-minded people on the task force. I am advocating at least one town hall forum, and it looks like we might plan one for next semester. They News also took my photograph to possible include in the story. They wanted me to post in front of the Corner House Lofts, but I suggested also standing in front of the closed Decker Drugs, which has sat empty for seven months after it was forced to close when the owner of the building jacked up rent. (Daily coverage, info on the building owner) I reasoned one of the things I like about Ann Arbor is the small businesses, and phenomenon such as the closing of a locally operated drugstore is exactly the kind of thing cities should worry about if they want to stay “cool.”
Our first assignment? Come up with ten concerns or areas of improvement for the city, and also ten things that Ann Arbor does well. Feel free to leave your ideas in the comments, and I’ll bring them to the meeting!