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Reading The Cannabis Leaves Of A2's Future

Reading The Cannabis Leaves Of A2's Future image Reading The Cannabis Leaves Of A2's Future image
Parent Issue
Day
6
Month
January
Year
1975
OCR Text

You don't need a seer to see which way the future's blowing. As 1975 opens in Ann Arbor. MONEY dominates both personal conversations and the mass media. Despite the unsupported promises of economists that the auto industry will piek up by the end of the year, UNEMPLOYMENT is likely to remain a major problem locally throughout the new year. With thousands of auto workers already out of jobs, it won't take long for most other local businesses and institutions (including the University of Michigan) to feel the pinch. Belt-tightening is likely in most Ann Arbor households throughout the year. As one character on the televisión situation comedy GOOD TIMES, said, "The PRESIDENT said he was going to bring us all together. No one knew the place would be the bread lines." Not all the news in the coming year is predicted to be so glum. While longterm solutions to current economie problems will require national (and international) solutions, some creative local programs may come with a change of power at City Hall. JAMES STEPHENSON, a minority mayor when he was elected two years ago, will be swept from office through a combination of voter dissatisfaction with the Republican regime and PREFERENTIAL VOTING. (At this point, while both sides are preparing for a possible challenge to the new voting system, it looks like an actual court test will not result.) With the great Republican fall (following on the heels of their loss of power nationally in November), Ann Arbor is likely to see its first black Mayor, Democrat ALBERT WHEELER. a local doctor and member of the Model Cities Policy Board. Along with Wheeler, Democrats should take three of the five Council seats elected in April, giving them a clear majority of Council votes. (If Republicans take the two conservative ward seats, which is expected, Council will have a total of six Democrats, four Republicans and one Human Rights Party member.) While the HRP may gain votes across the city, the chances of one of their candidates winning a seat this year are slim. Along with the Dems may come such ideas as canning PÓLICE CHIEF WALTER KRASNY, and reorganizing the pólice department, more money aimed at human services, strengthening and enforcing the city's human rights ordinance, and less influence by bankers and businessmen in city affairs. Other programs aimed at solving the economie problems ol the city should push Arm Arboi towards being one of the most liberal and innovative cities in the U.S. The first problem the incoming Democratie majority will be forced to deal with, is of course, money. The city was forced to lay off people last year, as well as make other budget cuts. The tight money situation is sure to continue through. 1975, with residents less willing than ever to vote for a TAX INCREASE. The city will be forced into a delicate balancing game to fund new and needed programs, while still having money for repairing potholes or collecting garbage. Elsewhere in the city, money is already available for some nice things, whlch should come into being in 1975. One is DIAL-A-RIDE, wliich will be operating city-wide, day and evening by fall. The other is park funding. voted in two years ago. Most of this money will finally be put into park developing during '75, including the new system of parks along the HURÓN RIVER near the Broadway Bridge. Money problemi ;no going to plague the UN1VERSITY OF MICHIGAN in ll75 as well. Witli cutí from the state. and continuing decline in fedeial aid to higher education, the Big U is going to look tor more money trom sttulents a TUITION HIKE and trom employees. by avoiding pay raises. Witli two unions sitting at the bargaining table (GRADÚATE EMPLOYEES UNION ANDCONCERNEDCLERICALS FOR ACTION UNITED AUTO WORKERS). administratorswill spend much of their time ihreatening layoffs and extreme cutbacks m services. Somehow. the University will find the funds for requested Pay llikes after a couple of crippling STRIKES. Witli tuition going up and financia] aid going down. college will no longer be a part of the All-American Dream. The U will have less MINORITY STUDENTS, despite their promises year after year, and both lower and middle income students may find school expenses impossilile this year. Michigan's expansión has probably come to an end. Life will continue to be mostly quiet on campus, with students more concemed witli studies than social causes. A few people may get involved around the issue of growing WORLD FAMINE. hut action will tend towards fasting and lectures, with no return to the mass movements of the late 60s. Outside the University, activism is continuing at much the same levéis as last year. One promising development will continued on page 26 Local Forecast continued f rom page 15 be the voluntary community fund, LOCAL MOTION. whicli should be operating by early spring. The money this group raises will help stabilize various services, sueh as child care. health care and legal aid. These programs will be needed more than ever in '75. as individuals have less spending money to pay for sucli necessities. For the first time, the alternative community may have a stable financial base. Another community service, the PEOPLE'S BALLROOM. may become a reality in 1975. eit lier tlirougli settlement of the lawsuit against city Republicans who rescinded Ballroom funding, or through a more sympathetic Democratie Council. The MUSIC scène can be expected to expand in general, along with other areas of entertainment, like MOVIES. More concerts at the U, more local bands, all aimed at meeting the growing needs of people to escape from depressing economie realities. As individuals put together a fantasy world outside their working (or this year, non-working) daily lives, the costumes of the "glitter" and "NOSTALGIA" scènes already prevalent elsewhere may finally hit Ann Arbor. While much of the year promises to be depressing, the possibilities foj real change may finally be closer to becoming reality. Individuals, disillusioned with existing government and institutions, will be seeking alternatives. Now more than ever, a FOOD COOPERATIVE will help people cut costs, or communal living may mean the difference betwee'n being able to afïord a home or live in the streets. Those alternatives which have been developing in Ann Arbor for years may become the necessities of 1975, thus offering hope that a better people-oriented economie system may be the reality of the future.