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September 08, 1983 - Image 55

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-09-08

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 8, 1983 - Page C-3
ity politics swinging towards Democrats


-- I


Ann Arbor's
Ward Boundaries


University Teri



N. University


-4 I - I - U




* C





S. University

- U -4I~


- Now




Liberal politics in Ann Arbor continued a comback
this spring from a staunchly conservative spell in the
late seventies with democrats winning three of the
four city council races and taking one seat away
from Republicans.
Republican Mayor Louis Belcher, who grabbed 60
percent of the vote in the 1980 election, barely slipped
by Democrat Leslie Morris to earn his third term in
the city's top seat.
THE CONSERVATIVE trend that swept the nation
after 1975 and put Ronald Reagan into office in 1980
also had its effects on Ann Arbor city politics. In a
city with a big liberal reputation, Republicans had
held a 7-4 majority (including the mayor's vote) on
city council since 1977.
Democrats were worried in those years. There was
even occasional talk of a Republican dynasty in city
council. But since the city's voting districts were re-
drawn in 1981, Democrats have taken five of seven
council races, won the city's "swing" district both
years, and eased the Republican majority back to 6-5.
The swing will give Democrats more leverage to,
moderate the Republicans, said Lowell -Peterson,
(D-First Ward).
"I THINK we're going to see the Republican Party
not as unified as they seem," he said.
Peterson attributed the rising liberalism to a
wider, national movement.
"There is a broader trend," he said, "It has to do
with the reawakening of the left both locally and

THE TREND has been long in coming, he said,
with the national reaction to President Reagan and
some students who have begun to shrug off their
"This is basically a progressive city, but voters
have had the perception that their vote doesn't make
the difference," he said.
But even if Democrats were to gain control of coun-
cil, an unlikely prospect, they probably would not be
able to match the colorful liberal politics played out
in council chambers inthe early seventies.
THOSE WERE days when students took a voice in
city politics. Or at least they expressed their feelings
about city issues. One time, in 1972, that meant
tossing used chicken bones on the chamber floor,
another time it meant banging their feet on the
tables during a meeting.
The liberal student perspective was represented by
the Human Rights Party. Formed by a group of
students and anti-Vietnam war activists, the party
did its best to spice up city politics.
Members tried, but failed, to push through a
resolution asking President Nixon to end the Vietnam
war. They were soundly defeated on a bill that would
have set the fine for marijuana posession at only 25
cents. And council trounced them again when they
tried to get funds to send representatives to an anti-
war demonstration.
BUT THEY WERE able to pass several significant
pieces of legislation. The Human Rights Party, with
Democratic support, helped pass the $5 fine for
possession of marijuana that the -city currently
operates under.I

Long before women's and gay rights had become
prominant issues, the party supported laws
prohibiting sex or sexual preference discrimination.
And they were a strong force in pressing for tenant
and consumer protections.
Members also helped pass a bill that broke off the
city's diplomatic ties with the Soviet Union.
AS THE eighties approached and student activism
waned, liberal exploits on council grew less frequent.
The Human Rights Party's last councilmember
retired in 1976.
Although they have to abide by all the laws council
passes, live with all the housing ordinances, and
probably pay higher rent when property taxes go up,
students rarely show up for council meetings
and debates are usually rather calm.
But councilmember Raphael Ezekiel (D-Third
Ward), a University psychology professor, said he
sees a progressive spirit emerging in students today.
"1 SEE in the student community, a real resurgence of
progressive and radical thought and action," he said.
The city's Republican mayor also sees a liberal
trend but says it is part of a natural progression in
Ann Arbor politics.
"The pendulem tends to swing back and forth,"
Belcher said.
He said the conservative wave in the last several
years was partially the result of Democratic actions.
"The democrats tried to out-liberal the radicals and
they got a black eye from it."
AT THE SAME time he says that any conservative
trend in Ann Arbor is tempered by the community's
moderate views. "When I go to a mayors convention,
I'm a liberal," he says.

X 4 ~ I 4 I






Voting in Ann Arbor*

Ann Arbor pizza shops
make it band to resist

Gaining a vote in Ann Arbor's elec-
tion is no longer the rigorous task it
used to be..
Prior to 1971, University students
.had to go to city hall and prove they
were permanent residents of the city.
Students could prove residency in
several ways: showing they were free
from parental control, or that they
had no other place to go in case of
sickness, or that they were married.
TODAY, students only have to walk
down toCity Hall, at 100 N. Fifth Ave.,.
and tell the clerk they want to register
to vote.
It only takes a few minutes and
requires no identification. Simply
state that you are at least 18 years old
and live in Ann Arbor while you attend
school, then give your date and place
of birth, zip code, and signature. One
of the deputy city clerks will swear

you in and you're off to the polls.
To make registration even easier,
several student groups sponsor voter
registration drives in the dormitories.
The Michigan Student Assembly, the
Public Interest Group in Michigan,
and the College Republicans set up
their tables about a month before
each election.
After you register to vote, either at
city hall or in the dorm, the city will
mail you a voter card which about two
weeks to arrive. The card can be used
as proof of residency and U.S. citizen-
One word of warning, the city selec-
tes prospective jurors from the list of
registered voters. And Officials
rarely exempt students from duty, so
you could end up serving several weeks
in court paying for your to vote.

$5 marijuana law
survives repeal effort

It's been a long night studying at the
library and all you want is to go back to
the dorm and sleep. But just as you get
in the door, six people run down the hall
waving little pieces of paper - pizza
Two dollars off for a large, two small
pizzas for the price of one, two items
free, large cokes for only a dime with
every pizza.
HOW CAN YOU resist? With over 30
pizza stores in Ann Arbor offering free
delivery there is not much to stop you
from picking up the phone and sinking
your teeth into a hot (most of the time,
at least) pizza in less than an hour.
In fact, there appears to be very little
stopping anybody in town. Cottage Inn
Pizza on Packard sometimes delivers
600 pizzas in one night, and there are
three others in the chain that also
deliver, says manager Rick :Simon.
"We have the whole city covered," he
"This is the highest volume pizza
store in Ann Arbor," Simon adds. "We
don't put out a lot of coupons but we
keep up."
OTHER PIZZA stores, however, put
more stock in coupons.
"There's not a single special we
haven't tried," says Scott Fenton from
Snappy's pizza. "Students are always
looking for a deal. If they have a coupon
and a menu in front of them that's what
they're going to order. On campus
coupons are a tremendous help, they're
what keeps us going."
On any given night in Ann Arbor, you
can get pizza specials ranging from a
"meal deal" to "Monday Madness" to
"e.b.a." - "That's everything but an-
chovies, which hardly anybody ever or-

ders," says Domino's Pizza manager
Mike Rigdon.
Coupons help sell pizzas during the
week, but business really picks up on
the week-end.
"SUNDAYS ARE the busiest nights
because the students aren't fed in the
dorms," says Suzie Huizenga from
Domino's "but it's not too hectic
because we have an assembly line
system. The pizzas are made in about
ten minutes and delivered within 30."
"We make anywhere from 60 to 80
runs on a busy Sunday night," says
Larry Mitchel, a driver for cot-
tage Inn Pizza. He said he usually en-
joys delivering to the campus but ad-
ded, "It depends on whether people
meet you at the door or if they're phone
is busy when you call. Confirming the
pizza order is the hardest part of all."
Huizenga agrees. "Students are
notorious for not showing up at the door
when we call," she says "Every now
and then we'll have an extra that we'll
sell to someone else, but only if it was
recently made. We won't sell an old.
DOMINO'S AND Cottage Inn are two
of the most popular pizza delivery
stores among students. Both price and
quality are factors that help decide
which brand to order, and different
people are influenced by different fac-
LSA junior Darryl Renaud says Cot-
tage Inn has the best pizza, but usually
orders from Domino's because the
price is a little better.
"Also, once you're in the habit you
keep ordering from the same place."

;,,,Ann Arbor laws are seldom the focus
of national - or even local - media at-
Except in legal circles, they are
usually referred to only when broken,
and even then the attention shifts to the
&persons involved; the laws themselves
remain aloof.
UNLESS, that is, the legislation in
question is Ann Arbor's marijuana law.
p Still among the most lenient of the
nation's drug laws, the 11-year-old
amendment has generated more news
print than any other city action. And
much of it, city officials say, is un-
Possession or use of small quantities
f marijuana in Ann Arbor is
unishable by a $5 fine, which the of-
fender pays like a parking ticket.
FOR ARRESTS involving large
quantities or sale of marijuana, city
police have the option of prosecuting at
the county level under the much stric-
ter state laws. State law, which
violators can also be prosecuted under,
provides maximum penalties of 90 days
imprisonment and/or $100 fine for use;
1-year imprisonment and/or a $1,000 for
'possession; and 4 years imprisonment
and/or a $2,000 fine for distribution,
regardless of amount.
Though "smali quantities" has never
been defined explicitly, Ann Arbor
Police Chief William Corbett says the
city will only send the county
prosecutor cases involving more than
one pound of marijuana.
The law's history tells a story of both
student interest and'student neglect.
THE ORIGINAL $5 ordinance was
Mpassed by Ann Arbor City Council on
,May 15,1972.
Though Democrats say they were
working towards decriminalization
months before the law was passed, the
ordinance was proposed by University
students Jerry DeGrieck and Nancy
Wechsler, city councilpersons
representing the radical Human Rights
Council Democrats voted in favor of
the nordinance and it nased by a 6-5

Voters in student-dominated wards
provided the difference.
ANN ARBOR operates under that
1974 amendment today.
Despite allegations that the law sim-
ply is simply not that important,
decriminalization has affected Ann Ar-
bor's political arena.
A Republican push to repeal the law
during the 1982 city elections touched
off a slew of accusations aimed at both
Democrats and Republicans.
BUT THE sounds! of debate seldom
left the city council chambers. And
students, who more than any other
group gave the law its margin of vic-
tory nine years ago, sidestepped the
issue and avoided the polls.
Even without the student vote, the
1982 repeal effort failed, with voters
even in the city's staunchly Republican
Wards soundly defeating the measure.
The election provided an opportunity
for local political figures to air their op-
inions on the law.
SOME OF those opinions took the
form of the rhetoric that surrounded the
passing of the ordinance in 1972: The
law is a black mark on the city, a sign of
declining morality, and has turned Ann
Arbor into the "Dope Capital of the
The last phrase, originally coined 11
years ago, to some people still
represents the law's effects.
Others lauded the amendment as a
triumph of personal freedom. Some
said the law actually caused pot use in
the city to decline.
REGARDLESS of political leanings,
people saw the amendment as a rem-
nant of the rebellious 1960s and '70s-
a testament to the power of student
This widespread view towards the
law made it a prime target for
Republicans; by knocking down the pot
law, they would be symbolically
rescinding the liberal reforms of the
At least that's what the Democrats

A Cottage Inn pizza delivery car sits in front of the store waiting to escort hot
pizza all over campus. The drivers sometimes make up to 80 runs a night..

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