Ann Arbor’s Democratic mayor, Christopher Taylor, announced his candidacy for re-election Wednesday morning. Taylor has been the Ann Arbor mayor since 2014, and if re-elected in the fall, he will have been mayor of Ann Arbor for three consecutive terms.
“It has been my pleasure and honor to serve the people of Ann Arbor,” Taylor said in a press release. “We have a wonderful, welcoming community, and as proud as I am of our accomplishments, there’s more work to be done. I can’t wait to continue improving basic services and enhancing quality of life — for everyone.”
Taylor listed a series of goals for the upcoming term in his campaign with an emphasis on accelerating street construction, primarily in neighborhoods, as well as furthering efforts to implement an unarmed response team for the city of Ann Arbor.
Additionally, Taylor hopes to combat Ann Arbor’s housing crisis by providing a plan for more affordable housing in the city.
“We are one of the most … economically segregated counties in the country, and that is a result of primarily a lack of affordable housing, in, … our community,” Taylor said. “Through expansion and looking to build and approve over 1,000 units of new permanent affordable housing throughout the city, and to increase market housing as well, particularly along transit corridors (is a goal).”
During Taylor’s current term, there have been allegations against former city administrator, Tom Crawford, for creating a racist and hostile work environment, as well as for the use of discriminatory language used by City Councilmembers. Taylor said that for a successful workplace and city, equity needs to be at the foundation of every action.
“We need to have equity as the foundation for everything that we do with respect to a workplace. That means that we need to have city leadership and staff leadership who recognize the need for a diverse and supportive workplace, and have elected leadership that won’t accept anything else,” Taylor said. “We’ve had staff challenges in that regard and for me, that’s not acceptable. Some Councilmembers have made excuses for that. And I don’t think that’s right.”
During his current term, Taylor opened an external investigation into the city administration in hope to uncover the problems and allegations relating to the work environment.
Additionally, during his previous term, Taylor was faced with leading the city through an unprecedented pandemic where cases are still rising with the arrival of the omicron variant. Taylor said that while the city office is not responsible for the public health decisions, he believes city officials have a responsibility to uphold public health guidelines.
“As leaders of the … city, I think what we can do is we articulate values,” Taylor said. “We encouraged people to be vaccinated and boosted, which we know to be the best way to minimize the risk of hospitalization or death.”
The Democratic primary election will take place on Aug. 22, 2022, and the winner will move forward to the general election on Nov. 8, 2022. So far, Taylor is the only one to announce candidacy for the election.
“So many people tell me that Ann Arbor is the best place they’ve ever lived,” Taylor said in a press release. “I feel that way, too. We have a local government that works, built on service, equity and sustainability. Ann Arbor deserves a mayor who works every day with these values in mind, to help make our community even better. I do, and I will.”
Daily News Editor Shannon Stocking can be reached at email@example.com.