Some basics, in order.

Decide which party you are running with. Almost everyone in recent years runs as a Democrat, which means that if you get elected as another party you could have an entire caucus room to yourself.

Start with the Ann Arbor City Clerk. Get a packet of forms and petitions; this is called "pulling petitions". Get 100 to 200 qualified people to sign your petitions; "file petitions" for a party position for the primary by the deadline (last year, May 11, 2010 at 4:00 p.m.) or as an independent for the general election by the next deadline (last year, July 15, 2010 at 4:00 p.m.)

The clerk has a checklist you need to manage - you have to affirm your identity, you have campaign finance rules (of certain but unfathomable complexity) to manage, and there are other forms.

See also

In the news

Or one could imagine a nice nuts-and-bolts rundown of the mechanics of an Ann Arbor city council campaign. That link currently leads to a page that doesn’t exist.