Wednesday, July 6th, 2005
The Eugene Kang for City Council campaign in Ann Arbor has launched a candidate website: kangforcitycouncil.com. My Kang index post has links to all the other material about his campaign on my blog. Vote for him August 2 in the Ward 2 democratic primary!
Tuesday, June 28th, 2005
I feel like I’ve been really testing the adage “it’s better late than never” on this blog lately. Anyway, I was recently reminded of a group that I vaguely knew about that did a lot of great work during the 2004 election - the Student Voting Rights Campaign. With Eugene Kang running in Ann Arbor I’ve been thinking about voting rights more frequently these days. Go check out their site. Their their listserv archives is in particular a great treasure-trove of student voting information. From their about page:
So long as students are systematically discouraged or prevented from engaging in electoral politics in the communities that they call home, we will have less young people on the voter rolls, we will have less vibrancy and innovation in our local politics, we will raise more citizens who become politically apathetic adults, we will retain a needlessly vast cultural age gap, our government will be less responsive to the concerns of the young and we will have a weaker democracy than we deserve.
One of the founders of the organization, Ellen Kolasky, wrote a report for the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund last summer that I blogged about in September on the suppression of student voting rights. When I went to find a copy of the report online it was nowhere to be seen, but I tracked down an electronic copy from LCVEF:
Sunday, June 26th, 2005
Eugene Kang is a native Ann Arbor resident who is running for Ann Arbor’s City Council from Ward 2. He is a 21-year-old University of Michigan senior. If elected, he would be the first undergraduate on the City Council in many years. He is running against a former Republican mayoral candidate Stephen Rapundalo in an August 2 Democratic primary. Ward 2 includes Mary Markley, Couzens, Alice Lloyd, Stockwell, the Linden Street area and all the neighborhoods northeast of Washtenaw Avenue. To register to vote or check your registration or polling location, call the city clerk at 734-994-2725.
> Contact the Kang campaign at kangforcitycouncil (at) gmail.com or (734) 972-7254.
> See the official Kang campaign website
> View his platform
> Read articles printed by the Ann Arbor News and the Michigan Daily about his candidacy
> Join the Kang for Council Facebook Group
Friday, June 24th, 2005
The Kang campaign just sent me a piece of literature they have been distributing in Ward 2 with a letter from Eugene and his platform for City Council. Here’s the text:
EUGENE KANG FOR WARD 2:
WAKE UP THE CITY COUNCIL!
My name is Eugene Kang, and I am running for Ann Arbor City Council. I am proud to have lived in Ann Arbor for my entire life. And I am proud to have spent almost my entire life right here in Ward 2.
Many people have asked me why I want to run for office. The answer is simple: I want to give back to this wonderful community. I attended King Elementary School and Greenhills School for 6-12th grades. Next year I’ll be a Senior at the University of Michigan, majoring in English and Philosophy.
I am energetic, dedicated, and I know I have a lot to learn. I hope that I can serve a unique role as someone connected to both U of M students and to the greater Ann Arbor community. Because the City Council should be more responsive to your concerns, I have launched a precinct-by-precinct listening tour. Together, we can make Ann Arbor an even greater place to live.
As a lifelong resident of this community, I am aware of the challenges facing Ann Arbor. And, on the next page, I have identified key areas in which I plan to focus my attention. I look forward to listening to your concerns and working for you in the future.
And his platform:
Increasing Fiscal Responsibility
• Our city budget has been in deficit for the past five years and expenses are expected to exceed revenue for at least the next two years. We need to close this gap – but not on the backs of taxpayers who are already paying more than their fair share.
• The cost of living in Ann Arbor is already significantly higher than that of similar cities in the Midwest, and higher taxes will only make it more difficult for people, especially new homeowners, to remain in our City.
• I am committed to balancing Ann Arbor’s budget and look forward to meeting with you to discuss your priorities and listen to your ideas.
Making Ann Arbor More Affordable
• Making Ann Arbor a more affordable place to live is critical to the City’s future. We cannot allow our middle-class and economically disadvantaged citizens to be pushed out of our City because of sky-high housing prices.
• Ann Arbor spends $5.6 million dollars a year to discourage Ann Arbor residents from moving away. Unfortunately, we spend only 10% of that amount to encourage people to live in our City by making housing more affordable.
• To curtail urban sprawl and enable people who work in Ann Arbor to live here as well, we must provide incentives for residents to remain in the City.
A Practical Approach to Downtown Density
• Downtown density is inextricably connected to the issue of affordable housing. While I recognize that building taller structures downtown would create more space for residential and commercial enterprises, I am sympathetic to how these structures would change the downtown aesthetic.
• I support a pragmatic case-by-case approach that would carefully consider each proposal and weigh the benefits of density with the costs to aesthetics. It is Ann Arbor’s sense of community that makes it so special. We must not alter the City’s unique appeal as we work to make sure as many people as possible can afford to enjoy the Downtown area.
Listening to Every Voice
• The Arbor City Council is not representative of Ann Arbor’s population. University of Michigan students are Ann Arbor residents. Their views should be represented on the City Council. An accusation often leveled against my generation is that we are politically apathetic. My peers and I are working hard to change this perception.
• Young people do care about politics and I believe that the student body does care about the greater Ann Arbor community.
Contact us at kangforcitycouncil at gmail.com or (734) 972-7254