Getting to know Ann Arbor mayoral candidate Christopher Taylor

Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor. (Christopher Taylor)

ANN ARBOR – Incumbent Mayor Christopher Taylor (D) is running for his third term, a role he has served since 2014.

Prior to his first mayoral run, Taylor served three terms on City Council representing Ward 3.

The New York native moved to Ann Arbor in 1985 and earned four degrees at the University of Michigan, including his BA, BMA, MA and JD. During his time at the university, he served as editor-in-chief of the “Michigan Law Review.”

After spending some time on the East Coast, he moved back to Tree Town with his wife, who was born and raised in Ann Arbor. His children attended Ann Arbor Public Schools and now attend University of Michigan and Middlebury College, according to his campaign website.

A corporate and commercial attorney, Mayor Taylor is a partner in the Ann Arbor-based firm Hooper Hathaway.

The following interview was conducted via email.

What have been some highlights for you during your time in elected office in Ann Arbor?

One thing that I really enjoy about being Mayor is that folks will come up and talk with me about their City, about their neighborhood. Sometimes it’s a question, sometimes they have seen something that can be better, sometimes there’s something that they love that they just want me to know about. 

These conversations happen all the time, whether I’m in a bookstore, the grocery store, or just walking down the street. I so appreciate the engagement. There’s so much that’s right about Ann Arbor and so much opportunity for us to be even better.

I’ve also officiated around 320+ weddings as Mayor. Whether the couple has just turned 20, or if they’re well into their 80s -- people who love each other and want to spend their lives together, it’s a beautiful thing and such a joy to be part of their day.

Why did you decide to run for mayor again?

For the last eight years, we have focused on improving basic services and enhancing quality of life for all Ann Arbor residents. From increasing affordable housing funding, to investing in clean water infrastructure, we have made a lot of progress, but there is still work to be done.

We must continue sound financial stewardship of city resources, ensure our historic investment in roads translates to real, durable repairs, continue to make Ann Arbor more affordable for families, seniors, and small businesses, and ensure our public safety officers treat all people with respect. I believe I am the right candidate to see these policies goals to fruition.

What do you feel are the biggest issues that Ann Arbor residents face right now?

While not unique to Ann Arbor, we are facing an affordability crisis due to lack in housing stock and rising inflation. The lack of affordable housing is the legacy of redlining and restrictive covenants; it creates economic and racial segregation.

As of 2015, Washtenaw County was the 8th most economically segregated county in the country. With that economic segregation comes racial segregation, and for me that’s not acceptable. We need to increase housing supply to meet demand in Ann Arbor and we need to build housing that is affordable and attainable.

During my tenure, I have been a strong proponent of sensible development and for the use of City resources and land to create affordable housing. It’s a long process, but we are on the cusp of real progress. Over the next four years I expect that the City will approve 100s of new, affordable units in the downtown, with more to come!

What are some problems that the city will need to tackle in the next few years?

We deserve better roads. We get most of our road money from the state, and Michigan has for years been 50th out of 50 states in per capita road spending. Even with Lansing’s failures, however, due to several local millages we are able to spend $30M+/yr from our Local Streets; Major Streets; Road, Sidewalk, and Bridge funds.

We need to accelerate spending even further. This Spring before interest rates took off, we passed a road bond and so look for a major push in 2022/2023 – particularly on neighborhood streets!

How do you think Ann Arbor can get closer to its carbon neutrality goals?

Our A2Zero goal looks to achieve community-wide carbon neutrality by 2030. To get there, we will roll out a set of new programs to advance equity and fundamentally improve quality of life in a way that saves people money: Year-round composting; expanded residential recycling; community and rooftop solar programs; rental and low-income household energy programs; bicycle, and pedestrian transit infrastructure; neighborhood resource centers; electric vehicle infrastructure; and 1000s of new trees.

If reelected, I will continue to prioritize aggressively combating the climate crisis so that we can ensure that we are the best stewards of our community’s resources.

To learn more, visit www.taylorforannarbor.com.


About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.