DEARBORN — With all seven seats on the City Council up for grabs this election, Councilwoman Erin Byrnes is looking to hold on to her seat by running for re-election.
Having been born and raised in Dearborn, Byrnes went on to graduate from the University of Michigan-Dearborn before going on to graduate school and serving as a middle school special education teacher in New York City from 2008-2010.
Since returning to Dearborn, Byrnes said she has been committed to the place she calls home.
“I am running for re-election to Dearborn City Council to enhance quality of life by ensuring great neighborhoods and high quality city services,” she said. “I am committed to working with residents across the city to solve problems and move Dearborn forward. Since returning home, I have worked as an educator at the University of Michigan, I served as chair of the City Beautiful Commission and was a member of the Downtown Dearborn Promotions Committee prior to being elected to City Council in 2018.”
Byrnes also said that she strives to make Dearborn a welcoming environment for everyone in the community.
“My campaign is focused on connecting with voters across our city to determine their needs, hopes and concerns and to then take action based on their feedback,” she said. “During my first term, I have worked hard every day on behalf of our residents and have responded to thousands of emails and phone calls. My goal is to be accessible and responsive, and to be on the front line of service for the people of Dearborn.”
Inspired by her first term, Byrnes said she hopes to continue the work she has started.
“My first term on Council has been incredibly rewarding and I am running for re-election to advance the work I’ve started around diversity, equity and inclusion. I am committed to providing high-quality city services while seeking out innovative ways to support our neighborhoods and hard-working families. It is an honor to serve my hometown and I will continue to be actively engaged with and responsive to residents as we work to make Dearborn an even better place to live.”
With COVID-19 hitting Dearborn as a continuous hotspot for the virus, Byrnes said that she wants to focus on community health.
“Moving forward, I plan to focus on resources for mental health and public health services,” she said. “We must allocate more funding to provide support around mental health needs and the ongoing challenges we face as a result of COVID-19. A healthy community is a strong community and strengthening our existing air quality ordinance is a key part of that work. Holding corporate polluters accountable and using our power on the local level to reduce toxins is the right thing to do and residents can count on me to support this work if I am re-elected. Recreation is a key element of life in Dearborn, and I will continue to support investments in our parks and pools, walking and bike paths, and green spaces in every area of the city.”
With many community concerns involving traffic safety and economic development, Byrnes said that she believes these are some of the priority issues.
“Traffic safety is an important issue in Dearborn and the Council must work with the Dearborn Police Department to ensure safe roads and neighborhood streets,” she said. “A strategic plan around education and enforcement will keep people safe and minimize accidents. Economic development is key to Dearborn’s future and involves supporting existing small businesses and attracting new businesses to our city. A mix of retail and restaurants in walkable downtown districts that provide outdoor gathering spaces will make Dearborn a destination and a place where businesses can thrive. Economic development also provides more dollars in our city budget, which we can reinvest in our neighborhoods to enhance quality of life across the city.”