Sabra Briere (b. 1950) is a long-time Ann Arbor resident, Democratic Party activist and Ann Arbor City Council Member. Briere has served as a Democrat on the Ann Arbor City Council representing Ward 1 since November 2007.

Sabra Briere at a June 2014 Ann Arbor planning commission meeting. (Photo courtesy of The Ann Arbor Chronicle.)

A former Ann Arbor Democratic Party Chair (in the early 1990s), she has been active in local politics since 1978. She was first elected to the City Council in 2007 representing Ward 1, and since then she has been re-elected every two years to that position. Her current term runs to November 2015. She also serves as the city council's representative on the Ann Arbor planning commission.

Briere was one of four candidates for mayor of Ann Arbor in the August 2014 Democratic primary. Other candidates – Christopher Taylor, Stephen Kunselman and Sally Petersen – were also sitting councilmembers. Taylor received 7,070 votes (47.6%) compared to Briere’s 2,967 (20%), Kunselman’s 2,447 (16.5%) and Petersen’s 2,364 (15.9%).

Briere's political campaigns are typically marked by her stance that she would be an "independent voice on Council." She introduced and Council passed the Citizens' Participation Ordinance in 2008, which mandates increased notification and citizen involvement in many proposed developments. This ordinance altered the approach to citizen input in just a few months.

Briere has identified herself closely with neighborhood issues, such as working to get the Lower Town Historic District created. She has also supported the Downtown Development Authority and downtown businesses. She supported the Library Lane underground parking structure but opposed the Police/Courts facility (now called the Justice Center), fulfilling a campaign promise. She opposed high-density student housing at 42 North, but in the end supported 601 Forest. She voted against the housing development at 413 E. Huron.

Briere grew up in Indiana and moved to Ann Arbor in 1973. She is married to attorney David Cahill, her third husband. The couple, who've been married since 1986, lives in an historic house in the Lower Town area. She has an adult son, John, from a previous marriage.

Timeline: Sabra Briere

  • Nov. 3, 2015: In the Ward 1 City Council general election Briere prevails in a race in which she is the only candidate on the ballot. No official write-in candidates had registered.

  • Aug. 4, 2015: In the Ward 1 City Council Democratic Party primary race Briere wins the nomination with 690 votes (70.5%)  compared to 682 287 (29.3%) for Will Leaf. Briere to appear on Nov. 3, 2015 Ward 1 City Council ballot against Independent Jeff Hayner. [need verification: Petitions for Ann Arbor Elected Office: Status doesn't show Hayner petitions yet submitted.]

  • Apr. 15, 2015: Briere participates in the Ford School debate of Ann Arbor City Council candidates.

  • Feb. 13, 2015: Briere formalizes her intent to seek re-election to her Ward 1 Ann Arbor City Council seat by taking out petitions to seek the nomination of the Democratic Party in the Aug. 4, 2015 primary election.

  • Aug. 5, 2014: Briere comes in second in a four-way Democratic Party primary election for mayor, losing to Christopher Taylor.

  • January 2014: Briere announces her intent to run for mayor of Ann Arbor.

  • 2013: Briere is re-elected to her fourth two-year term as a Ann Arbor city council representing Ward 1.

  • November 2012: Briere is appointed as the council's representative on the Ann Arbor planning commission, replacing Tony Derezinski, who lost the 2012 Democratic primary race in Ward 2 to Sally Petersen.

  • 2011: Briere is re-elected to her third two-year term as a Ann Arbor city council representing Ward 1.

  • 2009: Briere is re-elected to her second two-year term as a Ann Arbor city council representing Ward 1.

  • 2007: Briere is elected for the first time as a Ward 1 representative on the Ann Arbor city council.

  • 2002-2010: Works as administrative assistant at Corner Health Center in Ypsilanti.

  • 1999-2002: Works as office manager and website manager at Old House Gardens.

  • 1990-1999: Works as an administrator at the University of Michigan's Population Fellows Program. 

  • 1986-1990: Works as receptionist/secretary at the University of Michigan.

  • 1986: Briere graduates from the University of Michigan with a degree in history and a teaching certificate. She marries her third husband, local attorney David Cahill.

  • 1973: Briere moves to Ann Arbor.


In the news

Four for Mayor: The candidates to succeed John Hieftje have very different visions of the city – Ann Arbor Observer, August 2014

2014 Pre-Primary Finance: Donor Analysis – Ann Arbor Chronicle, July 28, 2014

Mayoral Election Finance 2014: Charts, Maps – Ann Arbor Chronicle, July 25, 2014

Mayoral candidate profile: Sabra Briere still proud to call Ann Arbor home after 41 years – MLive, July 21, 2014

Live Mayoral Forum: Affordable Housing – Ann Arbor Chronicle, July 15, 2014

Mayoral Candidate Forum: CTN Broadcast – Ann Arbor Chronicle, July 9, 2014

Column: Mayoral Folk, Easy Listening – Ann Arbor Chronicle, July 1, 2014

Chamber Forum: Ann Arbor Mayoral Race – Ann Arbor Chronicle, June 28, 2014

Ann Arbor Dems Mayoral Candidate Forum – Ann Arbor Chronicle, June 15, 2014

Candidate Forum Focuses on Downtown – Ann Arbor Chronicle, May 1, 2014

2014 Ann Arbor Hash Bash with Sabra Briere – Video recording by Rich Birkett, April 2014

VIDEO: Ann Arbor Mayor candidate forum – Michigan Daily, April 16, 2014

Sabra Briere announces intent to run for mayor of Ann Arbor – WEMU, Jan. 10, 2014

Sabra Briere talks about challenges city faces with Ann Arbor's downtown zoning –, May 15, 2013

Ann Arbor's future is concern of 1st Ward City Council candidates –, Oct. 25, 2009

Ann Arbor Chronicle articles tagged Sabra Briere

Contributing to this Page

For some existing timeline elements more precise dates would be desirable. Update strategy: Add timeline elements and news links as history unfolds.