Democratic City Council Candidates for Ward 2 participate in virtual forum

Thursday, June 4, 2020 - 10:25pm

Ward 2 Democratic candidates speak to Ann Arbor residents on their platforms.

Ward 2 Democratic candidates speak to Ann Arbor residents on their platforms. Buy this photo
Navya Gupta

The Democratic candidates for Ward 2 of City Council participated in an online forum via Facebook Live Thursday evening. Participants included Jane Lumm, D-Ward 2, who is running for re-election and Linh Song, board president of the Ann Arbor District Library, who is running against Lumm. Around 75 people attended the forum virtually. 

Jane Lumm, Democrat for Ward 2

Lumm, who ran unsuccessfully as a Republican for mayor in 2004, was first elected to City Council as a Republican in 1993 and served until 1998. She has represented Ward 2 as an Independent since 2011 and is now running for re-election as a Democrat.

Lumm said she believes while the City Council encourages greater citizen participation from all communities, there is room for improvement on the council in terms of representation in boards, commissions and staffing. 

“We need to do our part to embolden our local community and ensuring greater representation at the citizen and staffing level,” Lumm said. 

Lumm’s platform focuses on addressing concerns regarding infrastructure expansion, raising fire response time, improving pedestrian safety, achieving continuous economic growth and improving operational efficiency in solid waste and recycling programs.

Lumm, who decided to run as a Democrat this year, said she was urged to run for re-election as a Democrat by six of the nine ward representatives on council and has supported numerous Democrat representatives in elections.

Lumm said she believes factionalization within the council is overblown and she emphasized the value of diverse opinions.

“Today we have people who represent different views and I think that’s really healthy,” Lumm said. “We have robust discussions in the council. If someone disagrees with you, I think that that’s value added.”

Linh Song, Democrat for Ward 2 

Song has been working as the executive director of the Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation since 2014. She is an alum of the University of Michigan and is currently a lecturer at the School of Social Work. 

Song said City Council needs to think about creating more inclusive zoning and constructing affordable housing in order to advance justice in Ann Arbor. 

“There’s a lot of work to do,” Song said. “There’s a lot of work to look back on and hopefully plan forward from so that we can work out of being the eighth most economically segregated community in the entire country.”

Her platform focuses on addressing community concerns including delays in infrastructure repairs, driving violations in school zones and small business support. 

Song, who said she has been a Democrat since she was 9 years old, believes that being a Democrat involves listening to communities speak about the injustices they have faced and then working to solve problems. 

“To me, being a Democrat in Ann Arbor means being a progressive Democrat,” Song said. “It means much more than just aligning yourself on a platform. It means putting Democratic ideals into action.”

Daily Staff Reporter Navya Gupta can be reached at itznavya@umich.edu.