Ann Arbor Primary Candidate profile: Anne Bannister, Ward 1


For those who didn’t know that Anne Bannister was running for city council, she made it pretty clear when she addressed the council during its July 3 meeting. The lifelong resident spoke during the general comments portion of the meeting wearing a “Bannister for City Council” t-shirt.

But it’s what she says and what she stands for that matters most – not what she is wearing. And what she is saying and stands for is exactly why she is running for the Ward 1 seat during the Aug. 8 primary.

“I grew up in Ann Arbor and have lived in Ward One for 27 years,” she said. “As you might imagine, when my neighbors asked me to run for City Council, I was honored and inspired. I was sure my skills, experience and progressive politics would be a good fit, but as a first-time candidate I knew that learning the ‘language’ of running for office would be a challenge. However, I was raised to believe we need to be involved and concerned citizens.”

While never running for political office, Bannister certainly has been involved in helping make her hometown a better place to live, work and visit. And she’s a quick study when it comes to learning political ‘language.’

“I’ve served as a Ward 1 Precinct Delegate, and I’ve helped candidates run for local, state-wide and national office,” said Bannister, who has been spending a lot of time recently out meeting the voters and listening to their concerns. “I was Democratic State Rep. Yousef Rabhi’s campaign treasurer while he was a county commissioner. One of Yousef’s inspirations, his mom Peggy Rabhi, a long-time resident of Ward One and Democratic political activist, is my campaign chair.”

Her “political experience” also includes eight years as a board member of the Ann Arbor Democratic Party.  From 2009-2016, she served as the group’s treasurer, co-chair, and immediate past co-chair.
She wants the good people of Ann Arbor to work together to:

  • Make sure development is harmonious with neighborhoods and local businesses
  • Protectthe Huron River from heavy metal/dioxane contamination
  • Make city government more transparent
  • Budget tax dollars in response to citizen priorities
  • Accelerate neighborhood sewer and sewer repairs
  • Manage the deer populationin a humane manner to protect our ecological balance and minimize the dangers of disease
  • Prioritizepublic safety, especially for school children

A financial educator, Bannister spent 30 years educating folks (including as a volunteer in the Ann Arbor public schools) in the field of personal finance, and financial literacy and capability. A certified financial planner, she is a Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor, a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, and a State of Michigan Insurance Licensee.

“These are skills and experience I would bring with me to city council,” she said.

A 1986 graduate from the University of Michigan, Bannister has spent the past 11 years as the director of personal finance education services, Inc., an Ann Arbor-based 501(c)(3) organization.  In 2009, she also became director of the Jump$tart Clearinghouse for Personal Financial Literacy, an online database and virtual library of financial education resources for pre-K-12 through college-age students.

“My neighbors have told me they want city council members who make common sense spending decisions that are focused on residents’ priorities,” she says. “Let’s work together to make sure we all have a voice in how to best develop and grow our Ward and our city.  The challenge is to make an already wonderful city an even better place for us all. Together, we can do it!”

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