Statement on Resolutions DC-3 and DC-4 regarding the Dissolution of the Ann Arbor DDA
The Washtenaw Bicycling & Walking Coalition (WBWC) has serious concerns regarding the two resolutions to dissolve the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority (DDA) proposed for Ann Arbor City Council’s consideration on October 5, 2020. Dissolving this organization would deliver a significant blow to downtown Ann Arbor at a time of great financial vulnerability, amidst a public health crisis. WBWC therefore calls upon Ann Arbor City Council to oppose this resolution.
The DDA has played and continues to play a role critical to the strength and success of downtown Ann Arbor and the greater community. It has promoted numerous projects that foster economic vitality for Ann Arbor businesses and make downtown a vibrant and accessible place for all. It also funds a variety of human services in our community, including public housing and addiction rehabilitation programs. The DDA has demonstrated flexibility, expertise, and attentiveness to the needs of our community.
The WBWC is particularly concerned about the timing of these resolutions. The coronavirus pandemic has significantly hurt Ann Arbor businesses and poses an enormous public health challenge. It is critical that Ann Arbor businesses have an informed, experienced organization promoting their interests. Likewise, our community needs informed planning and advocacy regarding interactions in the downtown area to minimize threats to public health. The DDA has accrued the necessary experience and wisdom over the decades it has served our community. Now is a time to strengthen Ann Arbor, not to weaken it.
Given the numerous and diverse interests that intersect in a downtown, it is essential for our community that an organization like the DDA—devoted to downtown development—be maintained.