Our programming targets three stakeholder groups that are critical to effective local governance--elected officials, public servants, and citizens.
We serve these groups through training technical assistance and other capacity-building activities.
Workshops and Training Seminars
Since the spring of 2004, the core activity of the Institute for Local Government has been training seminars and workshops. Our training targets include volunteers, staff, and board members of non-profit groups, neighborhood association leaders, local elected and appointed officials, and others involved in community strengthening and development. Some appeal to a broader audience of both elected officials and the public servants working in local government.
Some seminars cover practice, policy, and professionalism in local government, focusing on issues that have special relevance to public officials in southeast Michigan. Other workshops include obtaining grants, building an effective plan, and developing a strategy. The seminars are designed to help participants serve their constituents effectively and responsibly.
Our seminar model includes light refreshments and networking followed by an interactive dialogue among our faculty and participants. Our faculty focus on providing practical information that participants can use immediately. We promote both learning and collaboration. By bringing together local officials to share a meal and discuss the issues they face on a daily basis we hope to build understanding. Most of the workshops are held at the University of Michigan Detroit Center or at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.
Participants leave our seminars with a better understanding of the topic covered and a sense that their challenges and opportunities are similar to those faced by officials throughout Southeastern Michigan.
YOUng GOvernment LEADers (You-Go-Lead)
The Institute for Local Government’s (IFLG) YOUng GOvernment LEADers initiative seeks to increase the participation and representation of young leaders in the decision-making bodies of local and state government. The initiative engages college students, recent graduates, and young citizens to build their interest in, and capacity to, run for/serve in local/state elected office, get appointed to local boards or commissions, or serve as staff to public officials.
You-Go-Lead includes a variety of learning, networking, and other developmental opportunities to build a cadre of new, young leaders throughout the region. For example, working with other organizations and schools, we hold an issues forum in which students learn about and then select the issues most salient to them. We follow that up by taking students up to Lansing on lobby day. We also select students who then shadow an elected official for an up-close view of what various governmental jobs entail.
The cornerstone is the You-Go-Lead symposium held twice a year, in which students listen to, and interact with, young elected leaders and staff.