Some of the region’s youngest elected officials will visit UM-Dearborn on March 26 to encourage people 35 and younger to increase their participation and representation in state and local decision-making

March 19, 2010

DEARBORN / March 19, 2010---Have you ever wondered what it takes to run for, and serve in, public office?

On March 26, some of the region’s youngest elected officials as well as veteran leaders and campaign experts will visit the University of Michigan-Dearborn to encourage individuals 35 and younger to increase their participation and representation in state and local decision-making by encouraging them to run for local or state elected office or get appointed to local boards or commissions.   

The program, called “You-Go-Lead” Young Government Leaders Symposium, will be held from 12:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at UM-Dearborn, 4901 Evergreen Rd., in Room 1600 of campus’s Social Sciences Building. The symposium is free and open to the public but registration is required by visiting or by calling Kelly Young-Raymore at 313-436-9179.     

“We've assembled a great group of panelists and presenters, including many of Southeast Michigan's youngest elected leaders for a discussion of the opportunities, challenges and rewards of public service,” according to assistant Prof. Dale Thomson, director of UM-Dearborn’s Institute for Local Government, which co-sponsors the program with Comerica.

Speakers scheduled to attend the symposium include city council members Lisa Platt Auensen from Berkley; Brian Hartwell from Madison Heights; Kazi Miah from Hamtramck; Melanie Piana from Ferndale and Andre Spivey from Detroit. In addition, Eric Bacynski of the Plymouth Library board of trustees and Jenice Mitchell-Ford of the Detroit Charter Commission will attend. County Commissioners Jessica Ping from Washtenaw and Dave Woodward from Oakland also will participate. Michigan Sen. Tupac Hunter and Rep. Andrew Kandrevas will share insights on serving at the state level. Public policy and political consultant Trisha Stein and former Detroit City Council member Sheila Cockrel round out the list of committed participants. Other young elected state and local officials have also been invited to participate.

Participants will learn about the range of electoral and appointment opportunities available to them and gain knowledge to help them assess whether or not seeking an elected or appointed position is a viable option for them now or in the future. They also will gain valuable insights on how they can begin charting a course to help them capitalize on the available opportunities.

Discussions will include an overview of opportunities in local elected or appointed office; essential duties of elected and appointed officials and the skills and characteristics necessary to do well once in office; strategies for getting appointed to boards and commissions, and the basic strategies and costs of running a campaign for local or state office.

About University of Michigan-Dearborn

The University of Michigan-Dearborn is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout the 2009/2010 academic year. Founded in 1959 with a gift of just over 200 acres of land and $6.5 million from the Ford Motor Company, UM-Dearborn has been distinguished by its commitment to providing excellent educational opportunities responsive to the needs of southeastern Michigan. The university has 8,700 students pursuing undergraduate, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, business, education, and public administration. With a faculty devoted to teaching, and students committed to achievement, UM-Dearborn has been shaped by its history of interaction with business, government and industry in southeastern Michigan, and is committed to responding to the needs of the region in the future. 



Ken Kettenbeil
Director of Communications
PHONE: 313-593-5518

Jennifer Thelen
Public Relations Representative
PHONE: 313-593-5644

The Office of University Relations
Room 1040, Administration Building
University of Michigan-Dearborn