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July 12, 1991 - Image 111

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-07-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

.101111100,

ANN ARBOR

Top

A two-term member
of the City Council has
(\= taken over as Ann
Arbor's mayor,

Ann Arbor Mayor Liz Brater.

MELANIE KOFF

Special to The Jewish News

F

rom her small, far-
from-majestic office on
the third floor of City
Hall, Ann Arbor Mayor Liz
Brater acknowledges the
responsibility she has as the
city's first woman mayor.
A wall on the second floor is
dotted with pictures of past
Ann Arbor mayors and city
administrators, almost all
white males.
"It is important to move
ahead with getting more
women in these positions
because it makes it look possi-
ble to younger people coming
along," said 40-year-old Ms.
Brater.
Change is the hallmark of
Democrat Liz Brater's ad-
ministration, which was
ushered into office April 9.
Ms. Brater captured 55 per-
cent of the vote_to upset two-

term Republican Mayor Jerry
Jernigan.
Her election pledge: in-
crease efficiency in City Hall,
reinvest in Ann Arbor's
physical facilities, and move
the city decisively into the
21st century.
"This city has sort of been
stuck in a rut the last 50
years, doing things the same
old way," Ms. Brater said.
"There are a lot of new ideas
out there waiting to be im-
plemented and a lot of net-
working that can be done
with other cities."
Ms. Brater has already
followed through on a promise
to make better use of tax-
payers' money. The fiscal
year's budget was recently
adopted, giving residents and
businesses a small tax cut.
An Arm Arbor City Council
member since 1988, Ms.
Brater was elected to her se-
cond term as a member of the
City Council last spring. Dur-

ing her first term, she co-
chaired a commission set up
to establish a Holocaust
memorial in Ann Arbor.
With a string of successes
on issues such as the environ-
ment and solid waste, Ms.
Brater decided running for
the city's highest office would
be the next logical step.
Ellen Offen, Ms. Brater's
campaign director, said, "Liz

Increased
efficiency at City
Hall was her
campaign
pledge

was always very good with
constituents whenever they
called and had an issue to
discuss. People realized she is
responsive and hard working
and that she. cares!'
Ms. Brater officially threw
her hat in the ring in
December. Her mayoral cam-

paign spent 15 percent less
than her opponent, and held
a $2-a-head rally, which was
attended by Sen. Carl Levin,
to mock Mayor Jernigan's
$200-a-person fund-raiser
that featured Gov. John
Engler.
Enoch Brater, the mayor's
husband, said the family took
a very active role throughout
the campaign. Enoch Brater
worked as a campaign fund-
raiser and their 13-year-old
daughter, Jessica, mobilized a
group of friends to work in the
campaign office. Hundreds of
supporters attended Ms.
Brater's election night vic-
tory party at Bird of Paradise,
a jazz club in downtown Ann
Arbor.
As the mayor's husband,
Enoch Brater proudly casts
himself in the role of "first
man" and welcomes the
responsibilities that have
been given to the wives of
former Ann Arbor mayors.

He explained, "It is impor
tant for children to see their
female parent in a leadership
role. One of the most impor
tant things is for each parent
to be mutually supportive of
the other's career!'
Ms. Brater grew up in a
Conservative Jewis h
household in Philadelphi a
and graduated from Univers
ty of Pennsylvania with a
bachelor's and master's in
history. She moved to Ann Ar-
bor in 1975 when Enoch
Brater was hired by the
English department at the
University of Michigan. The
Braters have two children
Jessica, and Jonathan, 7.
Ms. Brater worked as a
freelance writer and copy
editor in Ann Arbor until "I
became reactivated locally (in
politics) in the mid-80s on
historical preservation
issues!'
A priority of her a d-
ministration will be 0

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