Ann Arbor City Council – Ward 2

Kathy Griswold

Kathy Griswold

Kathy Griswold is a former trustee for the Ann Arbor Public Schools, an advocate for pedestrian safety, and a retired info tech consultant. This is her first bid for a seat on the Ann Arbor City Council, and she is uncontested on Nov. 6 ballot. Councilmembers elected this year will serve a four-year term.

She defeated incumbent Kirk Westphal in the Aug. 7 Democratic primary, winning 50.45% of votes cast – a margin of 53 votes. No Republican is running for this seat.

On the issues section of her campaign website, Griswold cites improving roads and neighborhoods, supporting citizen priorities, accelerating neighborhood sewer and road repairs, prioritizing public safety and sustainability, and levying taxes "only when absolutely necessary and through a process that is completely transparent."

Griswold previously served in elected office as a trustee for the Ann Arbor Public Schools from 2001-2005. She lost an election to the AAPS Board of Education in June of 2001, but was appointed to the board later that year to fill a partial term caused by the resignation of Henry McQueen. In June 2002, she ran successfully for a three-year term as an AAPS trustee, a nonpartisan position.

During her tenure, she co-chaired the AAPS student achievement committee and supported building the district's newest high school, Skyline High. She also has served for over a decade on the district’s Transportation Safety Committee, starting prior to her election to school board. 

Griswold did not seek re-election after her initial term but continued her involvement with AAPS, serving on the PTO Council and other groups. She is a member of A2 Safe Transport, a group that advocates for pedestrian safety improvements in Ann Arbor.

Griswold is a frequent speaker during public commentary at Ann Arbor City Council and other public meetings. Her commentary has covered a range of topics, including pedestrian safety issues and advocacy for the city to improve streetlights, especially at school crosswalks.

Griswold helped lead successful opposition campaigns against several tax proposals over the years, including the 2012 bond proposal to build a new downtown library, and a 2009 school "enhancement" millage. She served as campaign treasurer for both of those efforts.

She was also active in campaigns against a proposal to expand local transit services in 2014 and opposing a 2016 proposal to increase Ann Arbor City Council terms to 4 years. In 2017, she was campaign treasurer for a group opposing the countywide millage for public safety and mental health services. Each of those three ballot proposals were passed by voters.

Griswold has supported current Ann Arbor City Council members, including Jack Eaton (Ward 4) and Sumi Kailasapathy (Ward 1).

In other community work, Griswold is chair of the Friends of the Michigan League and serves on the League's Board of Governors. She has served on the Ann Arbor Kiwanis board and strategic planning committee.

In the 1980s Griswold worked for Unisys Corp., serving as director of information services. She also worked as a consultant – SQC Associates – focused on medical info tech systems. She holds an MBA and a master's degree in social work, both from the University of Michigan.

Griswold lives near King Elementary School on the city's east side. She is married to Joe Machak, a retired University of Michigan assistant professor who serves as her campaign treasurer. They have two grown children and have been foster parents to six other children.

Click here for a description of the mayor and city councilmember jobs, as well as links to other council candidate profiles.

Kathy Griswold:  In The News

Audubon Society raises concerns over migratory roost for protected birds Michigan Daily, Sept. 26, 2018

The Daily sits down with incoming City Councilmember Kathy GriswoldMichigan Daily, Sept. 16, 2018

378 streetlights in Ann Arbor being converted to energy-saving LEDsMLive, Sept. 6, 2018

Griswold wins 2nd Ward Ann Arbor council race by 53 votesMLive, Aug. 7, 2018

'Dark money' attacks on Ann Arbor candidates raise concernsMLive, Aug. 5, 2018

Getting to know Ann Arbor City Council candidate Kathy Griswold WDIV, Aug. 4, 2018

Summer of Discontent: The August 7 primary will decide the fate of Mayor Taylor and his council majority Ann Arbor Observer, August 2018

Candidate Position Summary Regarding Police OversightTransforming Justice Washtenaw, July 2018

Soapbox Summer 2018WEMU, July 17, 2018

Ward 2 Candidate Forum (video)Orchard Hills-Maplewood Homeowners Association, July 15, 2018 

Candidate Comment (video)Community Television Network, July 10, 2018

2nd Ward Ann Arbor council candidates differ on Library Lot, taxes – MLive, June 27, 2018

League of Women Voters Wards 2 & 3 Ann Arbor City Council Candidate Forum (video) –Community Television Network, June 26, 2018

Insufficient street lighting and crime continue to be a concern in student neighborhoodsMichigan Daily, April 4, 2018

Stop-start but safer: Study reveals results of increased crosswalk enforcementMichigan Daily, Nov. 6, 2017

Debate over Ann Arbor's crosswalk law heating up againMLive, Sept. 7, 2017

City Council unanimously approves pedestrian safety resolutionMichigan Daily, Feb. 21, 2017

Tragedy on Fuller Road: The death of Justin Tang and the future of pedestrian safetyAnn Arbor Observer, December 2016

Local pedestrian safety group voices concerns at Ann Arbor budget meetingMichigan Daily, Dec. 12, 2016

Fatal crash highlights concerns over pedestrian safety funding in Ann ArborMichigan Daily, Oct. 27, 2016

2 groups take different sides on Ann Arbor election reform proposalMLive, Oct. 10, 2016

Does Michigan need a statewide crosswalk law? Ann Arbor debate moves to LansingMLive, March 11, 2014

Ann Arbor DDA Embraces Vinyl Art WrapsThe Ann Arbor Chronicle, Oct. 5, 2013

Whose Library Is It Anyway? Why the bond failedAnn Arbor Observer, December 2012

Ann Arbor downtown library bond proposal defeated: What now?, Nov. 7, 2012

One for the books: Voters will decide Nov. 6 whether to build new downtown Ann Arbor, Oct. 25, 2012

Group forms in opposition to $65M bond proposal for new downtown Ann Arbor, Sept. 17, 2012

"Everything is on the table”: The schools grapple with budget cutsAnn Arbor Observer, December 2009