News & Events

News from OWOF – March 2024

Spring is in the air!
Please forward this newsletter to friends and family you think might be interested in the social justices issues that OWOF covers in Western Washtenaw County. To be added to our newsletter list, please contact


Chelsea Expo
Saturday, April 13, 2024

We’ll be staffing an information table at Chelsea EXPO again this year. We need a couple volunteers to spend an hour talking to folks about OWOF and increasing our newsletter email list. It’s a fun time and a great venue to visit. Show up to help OWOF then browse all the other vendors and exhibits. Please email or contact Debbie Osborne or Joanne Ladio. Saturday, April 13. 10am-2pm Washington Street Extension cafeteria.


Public Safety Strategic Planning Group to Present to City Council – April 1@ 7pm

Chief Kazyak will present the Chelsea Police Department’s 2024-2029 Strategic Plan to Chelsea City Council at the regular Council meeting on April 1. Plans include eventual dissolution of the Strategic Planning Group and a call for an ongoing Implementation Group to include three members: Police Chief, Council Liaison, and Community Member at Large. This is police reform at work and important to the entire community.

Community Convos on Housing Affordability

The Western Washtenaw Regional Advisory Group (WWRAG – formerly CAPT/DART) will hold four housing-focused meetings in 2024.
Notes from the Feb 1 meeting will be available on City of Chelsea website here. Next meeting May 2 (see below).

April 12Region K Michigan State Wide Housing Plan (MSHDAA ). Overview of Regional Action Plan with updates from workgroup leads. Public meeting at Washtenaw Community College.

April 26Ann Arbor SPARK will host housing discussion at Saline City Hall. This will be a continued investigation and regional discussion regarding how expanding housing affordability drives economic growth.

May 2WWRAG Housing Meeting – Representatives from MSHDAA Region K will give updates on the MI Statewide Housing Plan and regional goals. Additional topics will include learning more about Michigan Senate (SB13 of 2021) and House (HB4116) Community Capital Campaigns that would provide a first in the nation income tax credit equal to 50% of any investment made in any Michigan business by Michigan residents and examples of groundbreaking Michigan projects utilizing innovative funding options. Public meeting 7pm at the WAVE offices on Jackson Road.


City of Chelsea Planning Commissioner Open Seat – this directly affects housing!

Application available online here.

For more information on any meeting, contact OWOF.

Public Safety and Mental Health Preservation Millage

The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners (BOC) is considering a renewal of the county-wide Public Safety and Mental Health Preservation Millage that expires in 2025. The BOC heard public comment at a recent meeting urging them to consider modifications to the renewal. This millage affects Chelsea in two ways
1. We, along with taxpayers county-wide, receive services funded by the millage through Community Mental Health and the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s office and
2. As one of the communities that have their own law enforcement agency, we receive a rebate to spend as we see fit.
The Chelsea City Council has had ongoing discussion about the Chelsea rebate funds and is working on a multi-partner proposal to use the monies as a part of a blended funding solution to pilot a Community Social Worker (see Sun Times article here). The millage renewal is very much “in play” when talking about all types of mental health and public safety issues that directly impact Western Washtenaw residents.

Another social justice group active in Washtenaw County is WeROC – Washtenaw Regional Organizing Committee. They are working on criminal justice reform and mental health issues, and although their work is mostly focused on Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, they are also actively working on the Mental Health/Public Safety millage.

Additionally, the Washtenaw County Sheriff will be up for election this Fall (see MLive article here). WeROC, and other interested community members, are asking candidates many questions about how the millage funds are spent through the Sheriff’s office. The City of Chelsea hosted a Town Hall with Community Mental Health and the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office about the millage in January 2024 and there is some talk about the Chelsea District Library hosting another forum in the future. We will be following the news about the millage campaign and will keep you apprised of action opportunities locally. Keep an eye on the Sheriff’s campaign.

Working with the Chelsea Human Rights Commission

The Chelsea HRC is proposing a number of activities for the upcoming program year including a Civility Month program a little earlier in this election year and well as bringing together community groups for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. There is strength in coordinating and collaborating.


OWOF will eagerly work with the HRC for Chelsea’s benefit.
THERE IS AN OPENING ON THE HRC. If you live in the City of Chelsea, please consider joining. The application is here.

Regional Activism and Solidarity

The Livingston Diversity Council is reaching out to area & rural social justice groups to increase our communication and to see if there is any room for collaboration. OWOF was invited to join. Would you like to help represent us? The group will be meeting regularly to support each other and develop joint projects. About 10 organizations are currently involved!

Upcoming Meetings to Note

  • Conflict Resolution 101 – Carolyn Stillwell OWOF board member and Dispute Resolution Center mediator, will lead free class date TBD
  • The Power of Visioning – OWOF members will lead a free group session inspired by the actual Zing Train Visioning seminar TBD
  • OWOF Annual Meeting – look for more details for a late Spring outdoor gathering

Please consider a donation to help OWOF sponsor important programs and discussions in our community. Click here for online or mail in donation instructions. Thank you very much! Your financial support helps keep social justice matters on the radar!

Please remember to check the OWOF Facebook page!
“Like” the posts so that we can get higher circulation.

What is Disability Pride Month?

July is Disability Pride month!

Great day for the UNITY Walk - for the Dispute Resolution Center. OWOF supports conflict management and restorative justice. This was a great way to support the organization that brings this to our court system.

Both the City of Chelsea and the State of Michigan have designated June 7 as Gun Violence Awareness Day to stop the needless deaths by guns. Here is recent legislation that is going into effect:

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