Candidate:
Ann Arbor City Council – Ward 2

Kirk Westphal
Democrat



Kirk Westphal

Kirk Westphal is a videographer and urban planner, operating Westphal Associates LLC in downtown Ann Arbor. He is seeking his third term on Ann Arbor City Council and faces Kathy Griswold in the Aug. 7 Democratic primary. Councilmembers elected this year will serve a four-year term.

According to his campaign website, Westphal lists his priorities as a focus on neighborhoods, common-sense fiscal responsibility, and constructive, transparent communication. 

On council he has supported development of the city-owned Library Lot, advocated for nonpartisan council elections, and voted in favor of the deer management plan.

During his tenure on council, Westphal has sponsored or co-sponsored nearly 50 resolutions and ordinances. His co-sponsorships include resolutions to accept a settlement with developer Dennis Dahlmann over the former Y lot (passed), supporting Vision Zero implementation for pedestrian safety (passed), and switching to nonpartisan elections for mayor and city council (defeated).

In his capacity as councilmember, Westphal serves on the Ann Arbor Commission on Disability Issues, Board of Insurance Administration, Council Liquor License Review Committee, Council Rules Committee, and as liaison to the Washtenaw Area Transportation Study (WATS).

Westphal has served on council since November 2014, after defeating Nancy Kaplan in the August 2014 Democratic primary. He was unopposed for re-election in 2016. 

He initially ran for city council in 2013, when he was the Democratic Party candidate for Ward 2. In the general election that year, Westphal lost to independent incumbent Jane Lumm, getting 41.62% of the votes.

Before his election to council, Westphal served for several years on the Ann Arbor Planning Commission and Environmental Commission, and was on the leadership & outreach committee for the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority's Connecting William Street project.

Examples of his work as a videographer include "Insights into a Lively Downtown" and "The Council-Manager Form of Local Government."

Westphal has a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and a master's degree in urban planning from the University of Michigan. He is married to Cynthia Kortman Westphal, an associate professor of musical theater at the University of Michigan School of Music. They have two young sons and live in the Glacier Highlands neighborhood.

Mike Allemang, an attorney and board member of the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority, is serving as Westphal's campaign treasurer.

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

Kirk Westphal:  In The News

Ann Arbor council shuts down talks of privatizing trash pickup – MLive, May 24, 2018

Ann Arbor approves $5.2M deal to settle Y Lot dispute with Dahlmann – MLive, May 22, 2018

City Council passes 2019 Fiscal Year budgetMichigan Daily, May 22, 2018

Does Ann Arbor need a new tax to fund affordable housing? – MLive, May 15, 2018

Mayor claims Y Lot 'no' votes may have cost Ann Arbor big moneyMLive, May 2, 2018

Ann Arbor puts temporary moratorium on new marijuana dispensaries – MLive, April 16, 2018

Ann Arbor mayor and council candidates explain why they're runningMLive, April 15, 2018

Ann Arbor Mayor & City Council Candidate Forum (video)Community Television Network, April 12, 2018

Candidates for mayor and city council debate policing, campaign contributionsMichigan Daily, April 12, 2018

Ann Arbor council divided over retaining control of Y Lot's futureMLive, April 3, 2018

Ann Arbor rejects police recommendation that Scorekeepers bar lose liquor licenseMLive, Feb. 23, 2018

Ann Arbor Citizens Academy: An insider's look into local governmentAll About Ann Arbor (WDIV), Feb. 13, 2018

Should Ann Arbor shut down traffic lanes on streets to improve safety?MLive, Oct. 23, 2017

Ann Arbor council member's wife hits 2 deer while taking kids to school MLive, Jan. 31, 2017

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

No Contest – Ann Arbor Observer, August 2016

Candidates weigh in on cleaning up Ann Arbor's polluted groundwater – MLive, April 14, 2016

2016 Ann Arbor city council candidate forum (video & transcript) – University of Michigan Ford School of Public Policy, April 13, 2016

Attempt to recall Ann Arbor council member failsMLive, Dec. 17, 2015

Who runs Ann Arbor? Some council members call for reformConcentrate, July 29, 2015

Post-Party Politics: The Activist Coalition vs. the Back-to-Basics CaucusAnn Arbor Observer, September 2014

How Ann Arbor Council Races Were WonAnn Arbor Chronicle, Aug. 7, 2014

Three Critical Council RacesAnn Arbor Observer, August 2014

Council Election Finance 2014: Charts, MapsAnn Arbor Chronicle, July 26, 2014