ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Ann Arborites Aidan Sova and Catherine Hadley want to serve the Tree Town community by empowering the Ann Arbor District Library.
To do that, the two have announced their candidacies to join the library system’s Board of Trustees.
“As a low-income youth, summertime could be difficult due to lack of resources, transportation, and access. Luckily, my mother and I could lean on the library system as an oasis. After work, we’d read in the air-conditioned building, benefit from technology, and enjoy regular programming,” Sova said in a release.
“I am certain that this perspective would allow our disenfranchised residents to have active representation. If afforded this opportunity to serve, I would focus on sustaining our library’s community programming and creating strategic partnerships to benefit those underserved.”
Sova and Hadley each have experiences in community leadership, activism and organizing. They come from what their website describes as “non-traditional” backgrounds.
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Having settled in Tree Town after graduating from the University of Michigan, Sova is a City of Ann Arbor Human Rights Commissioner. He is a member of the Emerging Leaders Council of the Legal Services Corporation and a board member at Grow Jackson. The 23-year-old said that if he was successful, he would be the youngest Black person elected in Ann Arbor history.
A life-long Ann Arbor resident and mother of two, Hadley has been involved in community organizing for years. She previously interned for Michigan Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist, the Michigan Women’s Commission and the nonpartisan Patriotic Millionaires organization.
Hadley currently studies political science at the University of Michigan as a Truman Scholar and is the Vice President of Michigan Caregivers and Student Parents, which works to increase childcare availability at the U-M.
“The library is a vital community resource that has served me at every stage of my life. I owe my love for reading to our library system and its vast resources and I am grateful to the incredible institution that has spearheaded diversity, equity, and inclusion over the years. As someone who grew up with a learning disability, I am passionate about ensuring our systems are accessible to every community member,” she said.
“I am running because I love the library and see it as the heart of our community. I want to help continue to shape our library system with the focus of accessibility, inclusion, and diversity for Ann Arbor.”
Their joint campaign has already received praise from other Ann Arbor area leaders:
“Catherine and Aidan are dedicated community organizers who understand the value of an accessible and innovative library system for all. I am so excited for their visions for our community as we learn and grow together,” said current Ann Arbor City Council member Linh Song in a release. Song represents Ward 2 and was formerly Chair of the AADL Board of Trustees for two terms.
City Council member Travis Radina, who represents Ward 3 said, “Cat and Aidan are thoughtful, collaborative and proven community leaders who have already given so much back to Ann Arbor through their progressive advocacy and service. I’m proud to support them as our next AADL Trustees, because they are committed to maintaining excellence in our award-winning public libraries, expanding access to cultural, intellectual and recreational resources, and instilling a love for creativity and an enthusiasm for learning in residents of all ages.”
Jason Morgan, the former chair of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners and a current commissioner, agrees with Song and Radina.
“I strongly support Aidan Sova and Catherine Hadley for the Ann Arbor District Library Board and am thrilled that they are running,” he said. “They are passionate, thoughtful and fully engaged in our community. They show up, care, and will serve Ann Arbor exceptionally well.”
This November, Ann Arborites will have the opportunity to elect individuals for three seats on the Board. Trustees serve four-year terms that start on January 1 following their election.
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