#nogreenroadbusyard / Meet your neA2 Neighbors

Meet your neA2 Neighbors, Sandy & Ray

SandyFamily-3

What’s your name?  
Sandy Aldrich

How long have you lived in northeast Ann Arbor?
About 11 1/2 years

Where did you move from?
My husband Ray and I moved with our two sons from Mountain View, California. Our third child was born at the University of Michigan Hospital.

Why did you choose this neighborhood?
We immediately fell in love with the King school neighborhood filled with mature trees, quiet streets, plenty of parks and highly rated, diverse schools. Our California experiences helped us to truly appreciate the value of diversity. When we became parents, the idea of being closer to our families quickly became very important. I struggled with the idea of moving back to Michigan because of how much we valued diversity. But I knew that Ann Arbor would be a welcoming place for our family and our children.

Tell us about your family
Ray was born and raised in Ann Arbor. I was born in South Korea, immigrated 46 years ago to Niagara Falls, NY and raised in Kalamazoo, MI. We are both UM undergrads and spent our early career years in Los Angeles and Silicon Valley. I came back to Ann Arbor between 1997-1999 to earn my MBA at UM.

I have a history of corporate marketing roles at Intel, Borders, T-Mobile and Wireless Vision. My current role is the Co-founder and COO of a local start-up called Stridepost located at SPARK Central in downtown Ann Arbor. After years as a PR executive in Los Angeles and marketing professional at Hewlett Packard in Silicon Valley, Ray is currently an Associate Director Business Development, Fast Forward Medical Innovation at the University of Michigan Medical School.

We have three children who are actively involved in youth hockey, dance and play a variety of instruments. The boys both participate in their school music programs and play in an Ann Arbor Music Center band, the Infernal Chimps. Our kids have an idyllic setting to ride their bikes, play at the park and just be kids in a welcoming, safe neighborhood.

What concerns you the most about the proposed bus yard?
The safety and the quality of the life for our neighbors and family are the biggest concerns for me. I was appalled to hear that the University had no studies on what impact the bus yard would have on the noise, air, light pollution in our neighborhood. As I talked to more and more people about what was going on, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, “This is the University and they do whatever they want. You can’t stop them and they don’t care. It’s called Eminent Domain.”  This just can’t be true. This is MY University of Michigan and they can’t be as callous as some are saying. Our neighborhood is such an amazing place to live and it’s worth caring about. I am hoping that this is all just an oversight. That when the University officials take into consideration what is around this proposed bus yard site, they will understand what an asset our neA2 community is to Ann Arbor and the University.

What would you like our University neighbors to know about neA2?
When Ray and I became engaged in 1991, we had a conversation with his dad that I will never forget. His dad was a wonderful, caring, open-minded and loving man. He talked to us about his concerns about our lives together. Not because we were from different cultures, but because he couldn’t imagine an accepting life for our kids. He asked us to “think about our future children.” That conversation haunted me for years.

Fast forward to another conversation I will never forget. We invited our in-laws to join our family at our first Glacier Highlands Memorial Day parade. They joined us for the parade through our neighborhood, for the reading of the names of fallen service people, for the playing of Taps, for the eating of donuts and for the coming together as a community to honor and celebrate.

It was then I realized that my in-laws’ Ann Arbor was very different from ours. They viewed Ann Arbor through the lenses of their generation and their social circles. My father-in-law said to me that day that “he never imagined such a sight.” He saw the diversity of our neighbors and how our children fit right in. He saw that he didn’t need to worry about his grandchildren. He saw the beauty in our neA2 neighborhood and I saw the joy in his eyes.

10_8 002

Our youngest with her Grandpa Bob in 2009

 

action items

  1. Continue writing letters! It’s working. If you’ve already written a letter to the UM Regents & President, please write another one with the following points:
    • Thank the President and the Regents for acknowledging the situation and putting the project pause.
    • Tell them that you look forward to working on a favorable conclusion. Our favorable conclusion being a non-residential location for the bus yard.
    • Reiterate any major concerns you may have about noise, traffic, watershed impact or other issues.
    • Request a plan from the University towards our next steps that involve our community input.
    • Inform them that you will be attending the April 21 UM Regents meeting.
    • Share your story about our neighborhood and the impact it will have on your family.
    • Invite them to the annual Glacier Highlands Memorial Day Parade on Monday May 30th at 10am.
    • If you are affiliate with the University in anyway, please call out in the letter.
    • cc: letters@nea2cc.org so we can share in our folder of letters.
  2. Continue working on getting your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, fellow sports team parents etc… to sign the petition. We have 700 signatures and need 300 to reach 1000 signatures by the April 21st Regents meeting.
  3. Print out this flier and post up on the community boards of local restaurants, stores, gyms, day cares, schools etc… Pass out to the parents on your kids’ sports teams, music lessons, swim lessons, tutoring centers  etc…. Help us continue to get the word out!
  4. Plan on attending the Thursday April 21st Regents Meeting in Ann Arbor and bring your family and friends!

 

 

 

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