ANN ARBOR – Jenn Cornell Queen has announced she will be running to represent Ward 5 in the 2022 Ann Arbor City Council election.
Queen has lived in Ann Arbor since 2017 and has spent the past 15 years working in the city.
“I started at an agency here and was a consultant,” said Queen. “I worked with a lot of Ann Arbor institutions like the Art Center, the Hands-On Museum and really connected to the city that way.”
Now Senior VP of marketing, communications and events at Ann Arbor SPARK, Queen said she became inspired to run for City Council through her work.
“I have the awesome job of getting to promote Ann Arbor as a destination for businesses, for people looking for jobs, for people to come here and want to live here and be part of the community,” she said. “It’s my love of Ann Arbor and everything that makes it so great – all the things I get to talk about at work, I want to see that continue and I want to build on it and strengthen it.”
Queen said she feels there is a disconnect between the values the community holds and the way the city is currently being governed.
“We want to be a green city but not necessarily adopt measures that encourage different modes of transportation,” she said. “We want to have a community where people want to live and work and be inclusive but the actions that Council takes don’t necessarily reflect that all the time.
“So, encouraging different types of housing, different ways to get around town, green spaces – all these things can coexist but it’s almost become an either/or situation without compromise.”
Queen said she feels City Council has lost its respectful dialogue -- something she’d like to play a role in restoring.
“I don’t think, from a values perspective, there’s the respect, the listening, the compassion and empathy -- all of the things you would attribute with being a leader -- (those) aren’t necessarily displayed on the council table right now,” she said.
Queen, who volunteers for A2Zero and is on the board of the Ecology Center, said several issues like the environment, green spaces, clean water, sustainability, transportation and attracting businesses and talent to the city are high priority for her.
“I think we need to encourage people who want to live here to work here but also have the jobs here available to them,” said Queen. “I think that there’s a perception that if we encourage density and we encourage people to live here and be a part of our community, that somehow property values decrease or there isn’t room for all of us, and I don’t necessarily think that that’s factual.”
The Belleville native said she moved to Ann Arbor from a rural area, and immediately loved the tight-knit community in her neighborhood.
“I love walking around my ward,” she said. “I really like the diversity of housing in the ward and I like the families -- that was a big thing to me.”
Queen lives with her husband David, two daughters and a stepdaughter and stepson.
To learn more, visit www.a2jenn.org.