Ann Arbor City Councilmember and U alum announces re-election plans

University alum Zachary Ackerman talks to supporters at the Ann Arbor Brewing Company in 2015 after he was elected to City Council as a Ward 3 representative.

University alum Zachary Ackerman talks to supporters at the Ann Arbor Brewing Company in 2015 after he was elected to City Council as a Ward 3 representative. Buy this photo
Zoey Holmstrom/Daily
Thursday, February 16, 2017 - 3:18pm

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Ann Arbor City Councilmember Zachary Ackerman (D–Ward 3) announced in a Facebook post he will be running for re-election in 2017, earlier today.

Ackerman, a University of Michigan alum, became the youngest councilmember in over 20 years when he won the 2015 general election with 90.68 percent of the vote while he was still a student.

The 2017 election will be the last municipal election in an odd year, as a result of a successful November ballot proposal extending City Council term limits from two to four years. Councilmembers elected in 2017 will serve a three-year term, making their next election year even.

As of the time of publication, no one else has announced candidacy for the Ward 3 seat.

In the press release announcing his re-election bid, Ackerman pointed to his successes as a councilmember in the areas of transportation — helping to develop a plan to repave several of the city's major roads — and housing — helping facilitate a program to improve the city's low-income public housing. He acknowledged, however, that there is still progress to be made in those areas, which is what motivated him to run for re-election. 

“We have a roads plan, but many streets remain dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists,” the press release read. “We have rehabbed our public housing system, but we have done little to build new workforce housing — housing for our teachers, retirees, restaurant workers, and young professionals.”

Recently, many residents have expressed frustration with the city's lackluster progress on pedestrian safety after a local high school student was killed while crossing the street on his way to school.

In a February meeting of City Council, Ackerman supported a resolution to review President Donald Trump's executive order ceasing federal grants for “sanctuary jurisdictions,” while expressing concerns about the future of public housing.

“We need to be wary of slashes to federal funding, and I'll only say, to me, that comes in the form of federal funding to our Section 8 programs," he said. “These are programs in the city that distribute up to 1,300 vouchers for housing to those who otherwise may be living on the streets.”