Candidate Q&A: Arianne Slay, 22nd Circuit Court


Arianne Slay. Courtesy: Arianne Slay

Note to readers: The Sun Times News has made its media outlet available to candidates running for public office. Articles published do not reflect an endorsement by the STN. Submissions are from candidates who responded within our guidelines. In order to be as fair and equitable as possible, candidates can submit their responses to four basic questions.

  1. Who are you?
  2. Why are you running?
  3. What issues do you think are important?
  4. Why should we vote for you?

Candidate’s responses are printed as submitted.


1. Who are you? (What office are you running for? Your career/experience? Where you live. Etc.)

  • My name is Arianne Slay and I am running for the 22nd Circuit Court. Since law school, I have spent over ten years working on behalf of the citizens of Washtenaw County, first prosecuting incidents of domestic violence in the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office, and currently as a Deputy Ann Arbor City Attorney, where my portfolio includes justice reform, civil litigation, and liaising with the Independent Police Oversight Commission. I live in Ypsilanti with my husband, Sean, a schoolteacher and proud union member, and our two children.

2. Why are you running?

  • I am running for Circuit Court Judge because I believe in serving my community and actively working to improve the lives of those in our community. I am the daughter of two retired union municipal employees, who instilled me with a passion for public service from a young age.

3. What issues do you think are important?

  • I have three campaign priorities. They are transparency, civil justice reform, and criminal justice reform.
  • Like all government offices, the courts must be fully transparent with all members of the public. If elected, Arianne is committed to helping usher in the proper data systems to identify and address disparities in the system, promote efficiency, and ensure equal access to court related services for everyone in our community
  • Access to legal counsel in the civil division is not as consistent, which must be changed. Courtrooms are not welcoming; the forms can be confusing, and it requires the use of an entire book to explain the rules on how to appear before the court. I am committed to finding the appropriate balance so that everyone has 100% access to the court system and resources.
  • As a leading criminal justice reformer, I understand how reforming the way individuals interact with law enforcement and the criminal justice system can and will change our community for the better. In 2018, I started our County’s first criminal diversion program for adults located in the City of Ann Arbor. This program focuses on rehabilitation and addresses the root causes of one’s justice involvement with supportive programming. Since then, I also started a criminal deflection program and ushered in a criminal expungement program hosted in the City of Ann Arbor.

4. Why should we vote for you?

  • I have a well-rounded resume and career as a public servant. My practice areas include general civil, contracts, transactional, criminal, and labor law. I have extensive experience as a team member in the Mental Health Treatment Court, Sobriety Court, Drug Court, and former Women's and Street Outreach Courts Teams.
  • As a former Domestic Violence Prosecutor, I was not only responsible for the vertical prosecution of these offenses, but also the training and policy reforms in our county relating to intimate partner violence. I drafted county-wide police policies and protocols regarding domestic violence investigation and collaborations with our community partners.
  • Lastly, Diversity and representation matter to me. As a champion for equity, I have always made every effort to bring integrity and my authentic voice to every professional opportunity. If elected, I will be the only black female judge on the Circuit Court Bench. It is important for our community to see diversity in the courts and in the legal profession to inspire future attorneys, instill trust in our legal system, and bring different perspectives to the Bench.


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