Click for Ann Arbor, Michigan Forecast
Thursday February 23, 2017
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed
Print Comment E-mail

Who We Are

 

continued

In 1971 the radical, youth-oriented Human Rights Party won two seats on council, leaving us Democrats dependent on their cooperation to get things done. Their election had little real impact on the city's affairs, but it did change the climate in council meetings, leading to many dramatic post-midnight political confrontations. In March 1971, we passed the infamous marijuana ordinance that made possession and use of pot no more than a minor misdemeanor. The $5 penalty was a compromise between the $9 we Democrats wanted and the 25 penalty the Human Rights Party proposed. I remember at the end of the very loud and highly emotional evening of council debate and audience participation, one of my neighbors came up to me in tears, and said, "Bob, you have destroyed our town."

Fortunately, the town survived. And looking back, I'm proud that during those years of political and social turmoil, while some cities were calling out the National Guard to quell assorted scenes of violence, Ann Arbor remained reasonably well ordered and fairly free of dangerous and damaging turbulence. Much of this relative calm was doubtless due to the restraint exhibited by our city and university leadership, but that in turn was a reflection of the character and attitudes of the larger community. At a time when so many college towns throughout the nation were disrupted, most confrontations here were directed into raucous but reasoned discussion rather than violence. That's not a bad legacy for any community.    (end of article)

[Originally published in April, 2009.]

 

Bookmark and Share
previous  ·  1 l 2 l 3 l 4
all on one page
read more stories here -> Marketplace  l  Culture  l  Community  l  News

You might also like:

Ripple Effect - Broken glass displaces the Y cr... Ripple Effect - Broken glass displaces the Y cr...
A Dangerous Experiment - The first women studen... A Dangerous Experiment - The first women studen...
Batsheva Dance Company - Mesmerizing Batsheva Dance Company - Mesmerizing
Ann Arbor Education and History Ann Arbor Education and History
The Rock - I Spy: December 2016 The Rock - I Spy: December 2016
Ann Arbor Elected Officials Ann Arbor Elected Officials
Dexter Parks And Recreation Areas Dexter Parks And Recreation Areas
Super Pair - Ann Arbor's biggest elementary sch... Super Pair - Ann Arbor's biggest elementary sch...
Ann Arbor Nightspots: Oz's Music Environment Ann Arbor Nightspots: Oz's Music Environment
Software Blues - What happened to the city's Nu... Software Blues - What happened to the city's Nu...
Regent Hotel
custom blinds and window treatments, flooring, and furniture
top of the lamp. All your in home lighting needs.
Holiday Inn Ann Arbor. Comfortable Hotel, a home away from home.
Become of Fan of the Ann Arbor Observer on Facebook
Victors For Art February 18th through June 11th
A visitor's guide to Ann Arbor