Environmental sustainability, government transparency and LGBTQ visibility are just some of the goals Washtenaw County Board member Jason Morgan is looking to check off before the end of his second term. Morgan made history in 2016 when he became the first openly gay man to be elected to the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners. He ran another successful campaign this year, winning 89 percent of the vote in November.
“It was really encouraging to win the election with 89 percent of the vote even though I had opposition on the ballot,” Morgan said. “It’s nice to see the constituents still support me and the things I advocate for.”
Morgan is a strong advocator for transparency and accountability in local government. In his next term, he plans to work on initiatives aimed at increasing civic engagement with the board.
“We’ve fallen into a place where we assume we’re doing the right things but don’t allow the community to see the decision-making process, to give input throughout the process,” Morgan said. “I want to change policies to say that we’ll have more community engagement and openness.”
Morgan is also on a mission to decrease Washtenaw’s carbon footprint. While the board pledged to prioritize environmental sustainability efforts outlined in the Paris accord, Morgan said an actual plan of action has yet to be formulated.
“By carbon footprint, I mean the energy use in buildings, facilities, the lights and electricity,” he said. “There are more efforts we can take to reduce the carbon footprint by building more sustainable facilities and tapping into other more renewable power sources.”