Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Fight the Couch Ban

2. July 2004 • Scott Trudeau
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Local blogger Murph has issued a call to Mobilize for full couch ban resistance! July 19!

He posted The Old Fourth Ward Association’s email advocating the couch ban, including a note of support from city councilman Leigh Greden. And Murph concludes:

And, as long as you’re at it, remind everybody you know to vote against Greden in November—we don’t need anything else like this brought onto the agenda, and sacking a few anti-student councilmembers will send a message.

[If anyone is acting against this City Council action and wants to incoporate a relatively “disposable” couch in the activities, I have one available (scott at gmail dot com).]



  1. Are they trying to pass this law during the summer while the students are gone? If so that doesn’t seem very nice.

    You better make some serious noise at city council if you wan to see anything happen.

    Oh yah, and this might be a really good reason for folks around her to vote republican in local elections. We have a democratic super majority in AA, and so there is no opposition group to counter balance things. They feel they just have to worry about the base majority, so they can stay in power, no need to listen to the little guy (I’d suggest green or something else, but the last green party candidate I met in AA was so pathetic, just a joke).

    In Hawai where they also have a democratic super majority, the republican party ran these great ads I loved, they said ‘bring back the two party system’.

    A few years back when I was still living in Ann Arbor City, I was trying to work to get a dog park created so I didn’t have to fear another dog without leash ticket. I talked to every sitting council member and the then mayor, and no luck, they would listen but not do anything. Still to this day its an issue in the Ann Arbor area.
       —Just a Voice    Jul. 3 '04 - 06:42AM    #
  2. Uh, wasn’t Scott, the author of this post, the last Green council candidate? Excellent exercise of tact, JaV. :)

    And yes, they are explicitly trying to get this past during the summmer—the e-mail from the OFW says, “Let’s make this fire a wake-up call and join other college towns in banning this, before the students come back in September.” The fire, of course, is merely a convenient cover; earlier in the same e-mail (quoted in full on my blog), the author says, “the obvious reason for those of us who are permanent residents in student neighborhoods is that they’re unsightly”.

    I’m all for voting somebody in who isn’t a pawn of the OFW. JaV, you running?
       —Murph    Jul. 3 '04 - 06:58AM    #
  3. Since when do democraticly elected officials legislate against objects that they find “unsightly”. This is total bullshit, and I will do my best to get some people together and go to the meeting. If anyone has plans to protest this or whatever, I would help. email me or reply here.
       —Adam    Jul. 3 '04 - 11:02AM    #
  4. The candidate I saw was in about 1999 or so, they did a thing at CTN and all the candidates got a few minutes to talk. The only green party guy there was just pathetic. I’m sorry, but everyone working on the production, and everyone I know who saw it all felt that this guy did more harm to the green party than good.

    It would make sence for there to be a functional green party in ann arbor, with its liberal leaning voters, but until I see them actually do something the greens ruined thier image (in my eyes), by letting this guy represent them.

    scott, nothing personal, just how I view things
       —Just a Voice    Jul. 3 '04 - 12:07PM    #
  5. JaV,

    Which candidate are you referring to? There have been quite a few. Last election, there were three for city council, two men (me and Rob Haug). Before that, I remember the Greens running Mike Nowak… I don’t remember who they ran in 1999. I agree that the Greens haven’t always been great at candidate selection—once they got ballot access, a lot of folks would run anyone who showed up. When I was more active with the party, I did advocate for more strategic and rigorous candidate development and selection. Though I admit I ran last year simply because there was no Democrat on the ballot, which just seemed absurd to me.
       —Scott Trudeau    Jul. 3 '04 - 06:33PM    #
  6. Gee, what an anti-student initiative . . and it’s so sneaky too . . . this has vendetta written all over it.
       —Jared Goldberg    Jul. 3 '04 - 11:33PM    #
  7. Dave DeVarti (my boss) and I just started talking about doing something on the night of the 18th, camping out on couches in front of City Hall, to protest the ban.
    So Scott, maybe we’re up for some creative dissent?
    js
       —js    Jul. 6 '04 - 08:41AM    #
  8. Like I said, I have a couch to “contribute” to the cause. They I think showing up an hour or so before the meeting would be a better idea. Don’t want to get “cleared out” before council even shows up! =)

    I’m thinking perhaps showing up with a couch or three on the front porch of city hall with some placards (“Protect our veranda rights”, etc.) ... perhaps even trying to bring a couch up to the meeting to sit on, if the cops at the door will let us (though I suppose that does stretch our first amendment rights pretty far). =)
       —Scott T.    Jul. 6 '04 - 10:41AM    #