Hello, Ann Arbor: Our liberal city is not immune to discrimination, lack of diversity

Lefiest Galimore, a Black Ann Arbor resident we spoke to recently, said that city government – ​​and the city in general – was more diverse 40 years ago.

Statistics bear this out: The Black population in Ann Arbor fell 5% even though the city grew by 9% overall recently, according to a story MLive published in Grand Rapids this week.

This trend is occurring just as many institutions are taking stock of their diversity — including the city of Ann Arbor.

Because of Ann Arbor’s progressive reputation, it came as a shock when former city administrator Tom Crawford left amid allegations of racial and ethnic discrimination. In the wake of the resignation, MLive reporter Ryan Stanton FOIAed all the discrimination complaints from the city for the past two years and analyzed data pertaining to the racial and ethnic makeup of city employees.

What he found was crushingly predictable: white people — particularly white men — still account for the largest percentage of the city’s workforce.

Ann Arbor isn’t just trending white. It’s trending rich, too.

The city is quickly becoming a place where only the affluent can afford to live. In another story Ryan reported this week, statistics show that wealth just keeps growing in Ann Arbor. The area median income for a four-person family has jumped by over $11,000 in the last year — up from $106,600 in 2021 to $117,800 for 2022. This concerns housing officials, who continue to worry about the lack of affordable housing in Ann Arbor.

Check out those headlines and many others below.

White men dominate Ann Arbor city government in hiring and promotions

Ann Arbor officials say they’re committed to diversity, but white men still dominate city government.

The city’s staff is overwhelmingly male and disproportionately white, and so are those getting management promotions, according to an analysis of personnel records showing the race and gender of more than 800 city employees.

MLive/The Ann Arbor News obtained the records, along with dozens of pages of workplace discrimination complaints documenting city employees’ concerns about workplace culture, through Freedom of Information Act requests.

See all the other stories from this story package:

Key findings of MLive’s reporting on Ann Arbor city hall diversity, discrimination

Ann Arbor workers tried using religion to avoid COVID vaccine, but city didn’t buy it

See Ann Arbor city hall racial and gender diversity by department

How Ann Arbor plans to recruit more minority police and firefighters

See Ann Arbor workplace discrimination complaints filed by city workers

New numbers show growing wealth in Ann Arbor, housing official calls it frighteningly bad

The Ann Arbor area’s population is continuing to grow increasingly wealthy and officials say that makes it harder for lower-income residents to find housing.

The area median income for a four-person family has jumped by over $11,000 in the last year — up from $106,600 in 2021 to $117,800 for 2022, new data shows.

That’s the largest-ever increase in area median income, said Jennifer Hall, Ann Arbor Housing Commission executive director, who said it will have ramifications for affordable housing providers and those seeking affordable housing.

See 60 years of custom woodwork in this unique former home of noted Michigan luthier

Local luthier, business owner and artist Herb David spent 60 years at 2585 Gladstone Ave., drawing on his expertise to create a custom woodworker’s paradise.

David brought the property from its humble beginnings as an early 20th-century cedar cabin into the modern era, working with local architects to build the home into the hillside overlooking the wooded backyard.

After teen’s drowning, law enforcement stress dangers of bridge jumping into Huron River

Local law enforcement are stressing the dangers of bridge jumping after a 16-year-old high schooler died Wednesday night after jumping off a railroad bridge into the Huron River in Ann Arbor with two other groups of high schoolers.

Two groups of high schoolers from Pioneer High School and Skyline High School were on the railroad bridge west of the park taking turns jumping into the river when one of the high schoolers, later identified as Pioneer High School 10th grader Alex Walker, went in the water and began to struggle, police said.

Ann Arbor firefighters were able to resuscitate the boy and find a pulse before paramedics arrived and took him to Michigan Medicine in critical condition, police said, undergoing treatment for several hours until he was ultimately pronounced dead shortly after 9 pm

Related: Ann Arbor teen killed bridge jumping into Huron River

High schooler shot at Ann Arbor park says he was playing popular ‘Water Wars’ game

An Ann Arbor high school student was shot Monday night in a public park believing he was going there to participate in a “Water Wars” social media game.

Police are investigating the shooting that occurred at 9:56 pm Monday, May 9, at the Gallup Park boat launch in the 3300 block of Geddes Road that left18-year-old Zachary Mayrend suffering from a gunshot wound.

Armed with a handful of water balloons, Mayrend and a friend made their way to Gallup Park in Ann Arbor Monday night expecting to be victorious in their ongoing game of “Water Wars.”

Being in one of 16 teams made up of Huron High School seniors participating in the student organized end-of-school-year event, they entered the park’s boat launch area just before 10 pm, ready to knock an opponent out of the game by getting them wet, he said.

With his water balloon in hand, Mayrend, 18, approached a car he believed to be a team participating in the game and was met with gunfire, being shot in the arm before the shooter drove away.

Related: Teen shot in Ann Arbor park while playing social media game, police say

Classes canceled, masks reinstated at Ann Arbor school after COVID-19 uptick

A K-8 school in Ann Arbor for academically gifted students canceled classes Monday, May 9, due to an uptick in teachers and students testing positive for COVID-19.

Emerson School made the announcement, urging faculty and staff who hadn’t received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis in the past 90 days to test for COVID-19 at the school on Monday. All teachers, staff and students must have a negative COVID-19 test to return to in-person classes Tuesday.

Want Michigan Stadium goal posts in your backyard? Place your auction bid now.

Yards can be full of all kinds of ornaments — gnomes, flamingos, fairy paraphernalia.

But University of Michigan football fans have the chance to add something unique to their outdoor space — goal posts from the Big House.

The Michigan Stadium goal posts are available in a University of Michigan auction that’s open through midnight May 16 from the UM property disposition department.

Dr. Fauci praises University of Michigan grads at belated 2020 commencement

University of Michigan alumni who had their opportunity for an official graduation deferred by the COVID-19 pandemic had a second chance Saturday, alongside one of the country’s leading immunologists.

More than 4,000 graduates from 19 schools filled Michigan Stadium May 7 for the university’s “Comeback Commencement” ceremony, honoring the Class of 2020 – and a smaller selection of Class of 2021 graduates.

600-unit mobile park development near Ann Arbor stalled pending lawsuit

A failed attempt to rezone land has led to an ongoing lawsuit by a developer against Ann Arbor Township.

JA Bloch and Company of Southfield, owners of land north of Warren Road near US-23, want to develop a 600-unit mobile home park on what is now zoned as agricultural land. The township denied the attempted residential rezoning of the land, leading to the developer suing the township in Washtenaw County Circuit Court.

Roe v. Wade reversal would be ‘nightmare scenario’ at University of Michigan, official says

A potential US Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade could come with a bevy of negative effects at the University of Michigan, Board of Regents Chair Jordan Acker said Sunday.

The 1973 ruling that legalized abortion could be nullified as a leaked US Supreme Court majority opinion states there is no constitutional right to an abortion. Many Michigan Democrats fear the overturning of Roe would activate a 1931 state law that makes any attempt to procure a miscarriage of a felony.

See inside the new $50M Ann Arbor facility for a global chemical company

A $50-million regional headquarters for a global chemical company has officially opened in Ann Arbor.

Wacker, a chemical research and design and development company, opened its new headquarters for its North and Central Americas region on Tuesday, May 10. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and several leading company executives were on hand to cut the ribbon.

The facility at 4950 S. State Road in Ann Arbor, has been four years in the making and will eventually house about 300 employees.

Meet the epidemiologist who presides over the Ann Arbor trivia scene

If you’ve ever been to a trivia night in Ann Arbor, chances are you’ve met Joshua Bosman.

Bosman, 27, is the host for weekly trivia at The Brown Jug, The Blue Leprechaun and The Circ Bar on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, respectively, in downtown Ann Arbor. He also hosts bingo on Sundays and Wednesdays at The Blue Leprechaun and The Brown Jug.

Despite building up an extensive hosting repertoire, Bosman did not originally plan to make a living off trivia. Bosman, 27, did both his undergraduate and graduate degrees at University of Michigan, graduating in 2021 with a master’s degree in public health with a focus on general epidemiology.

Road construction season is here in Washtenaw County. Here’s what’s coming

Flowers are blooming and leaves reappearing. With spring, comes road construction season in Washtenaw County, where a suite of projects are already underway for the 2022 warm weather window running through the fall.

Projects include rehab work on 130-year-old historic bridges, a trio of new roundabouts and safety improvements courtesy of the Washtenaw County Road Commission, tasked with maintaining roadways outside of city or village limits.

Thanks for reading and I’ll be back next Friday with another set of headlines.

About “Hello, Ann Arbor”: Each week, we deliver the big headlines straight to your inbox via our Friday [email protected] Ann Arbor newsletter. Sign up for the newsletter here.

John Counts is the News Leader for MLive in Ann Arbor. He can be reached at [email protected].

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