ANN ARBOR – Travis Radina (D) is running for the Ward 3 city council seat.
He first moved to Ann Arbor in 2004 to study at the University of Michigan and then returned in 2014.
Radina is the president of the Jim Toy Community Center and LGBTQ Liaison to the Mayor.
He currently works as the Director of Global Alumni Communities at the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan.
The following interview was conducted via email.
In your opinion, what are the main issues in your ward? How do you propose to solve them?
Throughout this campaign, I’ve been privileged to speak with hundreds of my neighbors throughout Ward 3 about the issues that matter most to them. As you can imagine, depending on the life experiences and individual circumstances of every person, the main issue for them and their families may differ.
They’ve expressed concerns about how we will recover from the ongoing pandemic, disappointment with the Council’s factional bickering and — at times — lack of professionalism, and disgust over the unexpected and expensive removal of our previous city manager.
My neighbors have also spoken to me passionately about the need to tackle housing affordability, to fix and adequately maintain our roads and pedestrian infrastructure, to keep our water safe and clean, to address the global climate crisis and preserve our environment, to improve on racial and economic equity, and to fundamentally change our approach to policing.
Pervasive throughout these conversations; however, has been a consistent frustration by residents who feel they are not being heard by Council.
I believe it is the most basic responsibility of an elected official to show up, listen to residents, and to respond to the needs of our community. I have experience working in government, finding solutions to complex challenges, and getting results for the people my office served. If elected to represent them, I understand my first responsibility is to be accessible and always listen to — and truly hear — the residents of Ann Arbor’s 3rd Ward.
What do you feel are the biggest issues in Ann Arbor?
While Ward 3 has some unique issues, many of the issues highlighted by neighbors while canvassing are the same issues that need to be addressed city-wide. A few of those issues rise to the top.
Specifically, Ann Arbor is in the midst of a housing crisis. While we often take pride in being a welcoming and inclusive community, far too many of our friends and neighbors can no longer afford to call Ann Arbor home. This results in Ann Arbor having 80,000 commuters (pre-COVID) driving to/from the city each day — significantly contributing to our carbon footprint and making our region one of the worst int he nation in economic segregation and income inequality. It is unacceptable that so many hardworking people come to Ann Arbor for work, but are forced to leave at the end of each day to live, raise a family, pay taxes, and retire elsewhere.
Ann Arbor residents also pay for — and…