About Us

Ann Arbor is like any other city: It has good times and bad times, good government and bad. But one thing is sure. Ann Arbor can always be a better city.

Notice the word “city.” It is not “town.” It is not “subdivision.” It means urban. During this millennium, Ann Arbor has been making the move towards urban, and it frightens some people. There are those who like to reminisce about the days of Kline’s Department Store on Main Street and Jacobson’s on Liberty and the movie theater on South U. Those days aren’t coming back and some of us wouldn’t want them to.

Ann Arbor has, at times, had leaders who can point the city in the right direction. That right direction now is toward increased mass transit, employment opportunities, and downtown development. We seem to be in one of those “ebb” periods right now and the good leaders are being overshadowed by small groups opposed to change. How can this happen in a city dominated by the University of Michigan and filled with so many talented individuals? The sad fact is that it is hard to organize normal people. There is a complacent, if not always silent, majority here and those on the extreme edges of public discourse can have disproportionate influence because of an outdated city charter and the all-too-famous demise of our local newspaper.

I am hoping this site will inspire the good leaders, deter the bad, and make the change that is inevitable a little less scary.

I am devoted to making Ann Arbor a better a city. My husband and I moved here in 1986 from Miami, Florida. He is a doctor at the University of Michigan and I have practiced law and taught at the University. In 2000 I was appointed to the city council in Ward 2 when one of the councilmembers moved away. I lost my first election but came back again in 2002 and served through 2008. I also serve as a board member on the Downtown Development Authority.

My first career was as a journalist and that is something that never leaves you. So, here I am.

As a journalist, I believe in providing information, not in letting people who have no knowledge or expertise vent their gripes. There will be no comments on this site. If there are any real people with real names who want to talk to me, I am pretty easy to find.

Joan Lowenstein