A shared sense of community
During her time on Council, Sabra Briere has focused on finding that balance between neighborhood preservation and pragmatic change and development. Safe, walkable, bikeable and inclusive neighborhoods make Ann Arbor one of the best places to live - and Sabra has worked hard to increase those qualities.
Sabra works to ensure that all development is consistent with the character of our community. From her first day on Council, she has opened the development process to include early and frequent resident involvement. We need to create and implement smarter guidelines and better rules to protect neighborhood character. Sabra has proven she can do exactly that.
We need to focus on improving the city we have right now. Our infrastructure, sidewalks and other city facilities need our attention. Sabra's collaborative style and grass-roots orientation give her real insight into our community's needs. She works with neighborhoods to fill sidewalk gaps and establish parking districts. She shapes City policy to improve customer services - and she never forgets that the customers are the residents.
Sabra's active efforts to address the Pall-Gelman plume has moved this issue to the forefront of discussions in Lansing. She continues to work with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to address the need for new standards for the cleanup of 1,4 dioxane.
Sabra is able to identify problems and find the creative solutions that help keep Ann Arbor vibrant. She looks to the residents of Ann Arbor for opinions and advice, and continues to be engaged in the community and aware of community concerns. In her view, good policy is good politics.
A brief autobiography
I was raised in a very small town in Indiana. I grew up poor, but didn't know it, as it isn't a part of Indiana with many wealthy people. I was surrounded by books and music at home and received an excellent education outside of school. I learned from my parents that I owe my community my labor and support -- and that my community owes us all dignity, respect, and equal access to services.
Now that both of my parents have died (my father in April, 2011, my mother in October, 2012 - I've put their obit on my blog) I have less reason to travel to Indiana. But my recent trip there with my son to visit my mother before her death taught me that even my views can change. Indianapolis is more interesting and vital than ever. I'll no longer be referring to it as India-No-Place.
My son and his wife
I moved to Ann Arbor in 1973, first to University Townhouses and later downtown, settling on the Old West Side. We lived there until 1986, when we bought our house on Broadway. I share that house with my husband and three cats. My son lives with his wife in California (they are pictured above). He attended Bryant, St. Thomas, Bach, MYA, and Community High School. (Middle Years Alternative was at Forsythe.) I encouraged my son to think creatively, work with his hands as well as his mind, and accept his faults. He learned to read and cook and garden and give back to his community, too.
Political and community involvement
My community involvement began with children and schools, where issues hit home first. I have been a cub scout leader, room mother, and PTO president. I was appointed to serve on school-system wide committees. I volunteered in local elections and became a precinct delegate, precinct chair, ward chair, and officer in both the Washtenaw County and Ann Arbor City Democratic Parties. I served as Chair of that last organization for two years. I have also volunteered with the Gilbert and Sullivan Society, the Kempf House Center for Local History, and the Washtenaw County ACLU -- serving as President of that organization, as well. I still volunteer at the Huron River Watershed Council and for the Natural Area Preservation / Parks as one of many park stewards.
Why I Serve
I believe the government was created by us to work for us -- and that we aren't supposed to be working for the government. I enjoy solving puzzles and problems. I like rules but also like to find ways to make them fit situations rather than apply them rigidly. I never forget that my job on Council is not to represent me, but to work for the people of Ann Arbor. I see my time on Council as one of service. I'm committed to a vision of a better Ann Arbor, and I hope to help us get there.
Responsive and Responsible
You should call - or email!
If you're reading this, you've been through enough of this webpage.
I know I was always hesitant to call my member of Council - before I was elected. Now I know better.
If you have a problem with the City that isn't easy for you to solve - or you want help finding your way to a solution, let me know.
If you are concerned about an issue involving the City, tell me your viewpoint.
If your neighborhood or your group has a need, we should meet.
If you have a solution - I have the problems. Let's talk.
I hold office hours, but I don't like thinking that I'm only available to you at my convenience. Instead, I'll make myself available when it is convenient for you. Just let me know, and I will be there. And of course, I'm often a phone call away - although it may take a day or so to get a response, I always call back.
I hold those office hours every Monday (Tuesday, if Monday is a holiday) at The Northside Grill from 7:30 am to 9:00 am.
For a quick response, of course, email really works.
My official Council email is: sbriere@A2gov.org
Reach me anywhere at firstname.lastname@example.org
Paid for by Sabra Briere for City Council, 1418 Broadway, Ann Arbor, MI 48105