Although constrained by resource scarcity and the structures established by state and federal law, local government at its best works to take responsive and creative action to improve basic services and enhance quality of life. As many of us become increasingly disillusioned with state and federal institutions, people look to local government -- where the barriers to entry and influence are low -- to reflect their priorities and to help create a community that meets common aspirations. Through the lens of Ann Arbor (and the Instructor's experiences as a member of its City Council and, now, its Mayor), students will learn about local government and politics, and engage issues including policing, gentrification, affordable housing, resident activism, equity, economic development, zoning, infrastructure, water, University-City relations, climate action, transit, and campaigns. The class will be discussion-based, featuring guest speakers, student leaders, and role-playing exercises.
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