Thursday, November 7, 2013

A plea for UM students to vote local

I, too, retained my home address in Redford Township throughout undergrad. It's useful, because your bills and tax refunds then go safely to your parents instead of that weird kid who subleased your room for the summer. Changing it requires effort and a trip to a poorly constructed Secretary of State site (and it you're from out of state, you're still searching hopelessly for the DMV). And if you're from almost any Detroit suburb or anywhere else non-urban, you probably maintain the old excuse: "They need me more over there!"

Nope! Sorry. I know there's something heroic about imagining yourself offsetting the closeminded old white people in your hometown, casting the vote that tips the district, the state, and indeed the country for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Way cooler than joining the hundred thousand other liberal sheep in Ann Arbor, in a county that hasn't gone red since 1984 (apparently Washtenawites had a thing for Reagan).

Monday, November 4, 2013

Do planners need social media?

Oh, Facebook.  After six years of being part of the beast, I sometimes get tired of looking at all the faces and consider getting rid of the whole kit and caboodle. But, aside from the fact that I like seeing the designs everyone has carved into their pumpkins, I have a little devil that appears on my shoulder and whispers Carolyn, think about your career!

 Wait! you say. Urban planners don't putz around on social media. They, you know, draw maps and plan things other stuff.

But this funny thing happens in jobs I have, where I become a communications lady-planner hybrid. I manage facebook pages, and when I do I like it. Also, people like me! Over and over again. Creating pithy transit-related sound bites isn't the worst job in the world, and when your followers count sours into the several-hundreds, you feel kind of warm and fuzzy inside. It's a strange thing, really.