Mary Morgan is founder and executive director of The CivCity Initiative, a nonprofit focused on increasing awareness of and participation in local government and civic life. Via CivCity, she operates AnnArborVotes, an online local voter resource. She also is featured on Civic Matters, a weekly segment. that airs on NPR's WEMU Morning Edition each Monday. 

Mary Morgan (2014 photo by Myra Klarman)Morgan publishes a weekly newsletter for CivCity focused on local action items and other civic information. She also writes occasional columns on news of civic interest that are published on Medium. She was the inaugural Community Leader in Residence for the University of Michigan Ginsberg Center in 2016-17 and serves on the Blue Ribbon Advisory Group for the Ann Arbor Public Schools.

In 2008, Morgan co-founded and served as publisher of the Ann Arbor Chronicle, an online news site covering local government and civic affairs that operated through 2014. She previously worked for The Ann Arbor News, serving as opinion editor and business editor. She began her tenure at The News in 1996 as a business reporter.

Morgan was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. She received undergraduate and graduate degrees from Indiana University (Bloomington). She also served in the Peace Corps, teaching English and training teachers in the Central African Republic. After graduate school she worked for two years teaching English in the People's Republic of China.

Morgan is married to Dave Askins, who is currently working as a reporter at the Capital Journal in Pierre, South Dakota. She lives on Ann Arbor's Old West Side.


Timeline: Mary Morgan

November 2014: Starts a nonprofit called The CivCity Initiative, focused on increasing participation in local government and civic life.

September 2008-September 2014: Is co-founder – along with Dave Askins – of The Ann Arbor Chronicle, an online news site featuring in-depth reporting on local government and civic affairs. Serves as publisher, as well as covering several public entities, including the Ann Arbor District Library board, Washtenaw County board of commissioners, Ann Arbor planning commission, and the Ann Arbor park advisory commission, among others.

2006-2008: Works as opinion editor at The Ann Arbor News, overseeing the editorial and opinion pages.

2003-2006: Serves on the board of the nonprofit Women's Center of Southeastern Michigan.

2001-2005: Works as business editor and columnist at The Ann Arbor News.

2000-2001: Works as a reporter covering the University of Michigan for The Ann Arbor News.

1996-2000: Works as a business reporter for The Ann Arbor News, covering technology businesses, banking & finance.

1993-1996: Works as a business reporter for the Rochester Business Journal in Rochester, N.Y.

1990-1992: Works as an English teacher at Xi'an Medical University in the People's Republic of China, teaching doctors and nurses who intend to study or work in English-speaking countries.

1989: Receives a master's degree in linguistics from Indiana University (Bloomington).

1985-1987: Serves in the Peace Corps, teaching English and training teachers in the Central African Republic.

1984: Receives undergraduate degree in English & political science from Indiana University (Bloomington).

In the news

City hosts dialogue on increasing civic engagement – Michigan Daily, March 8, 2018

Against Civic Apathy: Mary Morgan and The CivCity Initiative – Crazy Wisdom Journal, May-August 2017

Interview with CivCity Founder Mary Morgan on Community Television Network's FYI (segment starts at the 6-minute mark) – April 2017

Ginsberg Center Announces Inaugural Community-Leader-In-Residence – University of Michigan News, March 2016

Interview on the Lucy Ann Lance Show (WLBY–1290AM) – Dec. 30, 2015

The Executive Director of The CivCity Initiative Speaks Out on Voting: Mary Morgan wants to inspire current voters – Current magazine, November 2015

CivCity's quest to rescue American democracy, one community at a time –, Sept. 8, 2015

Cultivating engaged citizenry in A2 – The Ann, August 2015

University of Michigan School of Information Google Lecture Series (video) – April 23, 2015

Mary Morgan & Dave Askins: Getting people to care more about local government – Ann Arbor Observer, February 2015

 Chronicle founder reflects on Ann Arbor news media’s past, present and future – Concentrate, Oct. 15, 2014

Interview with Mary Morgan – SLICE Ann Arbor, Sept. 30, 2014

The Ann Arbor Chronicle news site will shut down next month – Michigan Radio’s Stateside with Cynthia Canty, Aug. 18, 2014

Alternative Ann Arbor daily closes doors – Newspapers & Technology, Aug. 18, 2014

 The Ann Arbor Chronicle, a quirky local news startup, is shutting down after six years – Harvard University’s Nieman Journalism Lab, Aug. 12, 2014

Ann Arbor Chronicle to close in September – Michigan Daily, Aug. 10, 2014

End of Ann (Arbor) Era – The Chronicle Closes – Local in Ann Arbor, Aug. 9, 2014

Ann Arbor Chronicle to Stop Publishing Regular Content in September – WEMU, Aug. 8, 2014 to stop publishing Sept. 2 – Crain’s Detroit Business, Aug. 8, 2014

Money is the bug that crashes local digital news efforts – Crain’s Detroit Business, March 23, 2014

Local Online Pubs Still Toughing It Out – NetNewsCheck, Sept. 24, 2013

Why I Subscribe to The Ann Arbor Chronicle (Part 2) – Jon Udell, Aug. 1, 2013

Chronicling government requires hard work and a dash of idealism – The Ann Magazine, July 2013

A news future in feisty upstarts? – Christian Science Monitor, Nov. 11, 2012

Why I Subscribe to The Ann Arbor Chronicle – Jon Udell, Oct. 30, 2012

Audit Notes – Columbia Journalism Review, Sept. 20, 2012

Four Years Later, The Ann Arbor Chronicle Is Still Weird & Wonky – and It’s Growing – Harvard University’s Nieman Journalism Lab, Sept. 19, 2012

The Newsphere: Understanding the News and Information EnvironmentHow The Ann Arbor Chronicle Creates Value – section in the 2012 book by Christine M. Tracy.

Hyperlocal Heroes – American Journalism Review, September 2011

Even When the Press Fails, We Win – Poor Mojo’s Newswire, April 7, 2011

Michigan’s Morphing Media – The Quill (Society of Professional Journalists), Feb. 2, 2011

In Hyperlocal News, Where’s the Urgency? – Poynter Institute, The Biz Blog,  Sept. 17, 2010

Three Things a Citizen News Site Can Teach Us – Technically Journalism, Aug. 17, 2010

Passion Is What Helps Pay for The Chronicle – Crain’s Detroit Business, July 19, 2010

Media Landscape Shifts Online in a Wired Town – PBS Newshour’s Patchwork Nation series, Dec. 8, 2009

WordPress, Twitter, the Elks Club: 10 new routines at a news startup – Harvard University’s Nieman Journalism Lab, Sept. 11, 2009

That’s All, Folks! See You Online – London Sunday Times, Aug. 23, 2009

Ann Arbor Entrepreneur Went Online-Only Before Her Former Paper Did – PoynterOnline, Aug. 17, 2009

Ann Arbor Kills Its Newspaper – To Save It – Time, Aug. 17, 2009

Newhouse’s Enters a Crowded Field Next Week – PoynterOnline, July 14, 2009

Businesses We Can Be Passionate About – Current, April 2009

Recession? Local News Sites Are Hanging Tough – Online Journalism Review, Feb. 26, 2009

Stories by Mary Morgan on the Ann Arbor Chronicle.