MiVote.org to visit 16 Michigan cities to interview candidates in key races

June 14, 2010

DEARBORN / June 14, 2010 ---The groundbreaking civic engagement website MiVote.org has been updated with new interactive content that will empower and prepare the citizens of Michigan for the upcoming elections. MiVote.org is a non-partisan, interactive, video-based website that allows Michigan citizens to connect directly with candidates, share their opinions, debate fellow voters and upload their own opinion videos. The project is a partnership between The Center for Michigan, Detroit Public Television and the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

Throughout the 2010 election season MiVote.org will highlight the top political issues in the State and include candidates running for Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State and Supreme Court in Michigan and open Congressional, State House of Representative and State Senate races.

"This is one of the most important elections in Michigan’s history," said Rich Homberg, president and general manager of Detroit Public Television. "MiVote will provide the citizens of Michigan young and old with the information they need to be empowered and informed when voting."

“This roadshow and the five-minute videos on MiVote.org offer terrific and convenient ways for Michigan voters to get a feel for where their future legislators stand on the big-picture issues in this important campaign – the economy, education, and reforms,” said John Bebow, executive director of the Center for Michigan. “In an age when money is tight for all non-profits, this partnership between Detroit Public Television, the Center for Michigan and UM-Dearborn shows the value and leverage in multi-group collaboration.”

To collect content and track the political climate throughout the state, MiVote: On The Road will travel to 16 cities June 14 – July 13, 2010 to interview more than 200 candidates running in open State House of Representatives and State Senate races. During the MiVote: On The Road tapings candidates will be asked to comment on a single, uniform set of questions addressing the issues that are most important throughout the state - education, jobs and the economy, balancing the budget and their views on government reform. Videos will be posted on MiVote.org within 24 hours of capture for news outlets, politicians, and community members to view, comment on and download.

Michigan political pollster Tim Kiska will be blogging about the political climate in Michigan as he tours the state with MiVote: On The Road at www.MiVote.org/blog.  “MiVote.org provides a great opportunity to get students at UM-Dearborn and around the state involved in this election,” said Kiska, associate professor, communications at UM-Dearborn and producer/editor, WWJ-AM. “I am excited to get out in the state with MiVote: On The Road and begin speaking to candidates and citizens to hear what really is important to them as we move towards the elections.”

Members of the media can visit www.MiVote.org/media to view materials and visit http://media.mivote.org to download hi-definition videos for broadcast. Media is also invited to attend the daily tapings to speak with MiVote representatives and the candidates about this important voter information tool.

Throughout the primary and general election season MiVote.org will continue to be updated with new interactive content, including content relating to Great Debates 2010, which will provide Michigan citizens an in-depth, issues-oriented look at the candidates for governor and dozens of Michigan House and Senate. An unprecedented partnership of 20 leading trade organizations and public broadcasters across the state, Great Debates 2010 will provide three one-hour gubernatorial debates, 50 half-hour legislative debates and several multi-candidate legislative forums.

MiVote.org was launched during the 2008 Presidential campaign as a partnership between the University of Michigan-Dearborn and Detroit Public Television, as a way for students and others in the community to express their views on issues important to them in the ongoing campaign. The site was also utilized during the 2009 Detroit City Council races to profile candidates.

About The Center for Michigan
The Center for Michigan is a "think-and-do tank" founded by Phil Power in early 2006. A 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, The Center's objective is to assist our state through its current period of wrenching economic trouble and to lay the foundation of informed hope for a better future Michigan. It will help develop and execute comprehensive, long-range and, in some cases, radical policy solutions to transform Michigan's business, economic, political and cultural climate. In so doing, it will work to help reform the structure and workings of Michigan's political system.

About Detroit Public Television
WTVS Detroit Public Television is the viewer-supported PBS member station serving the nation's 11th largest television market and committed to sharing the power of media to provide knowledge and understanding by providing outstanding programming; educating and preparing children and adults for productive and satisfying futures; enriching the lives of individuals through history, the arts, and science; offering vital information for the health, safety and welfare of our community and helping community institutions achieve their goals.

About University of Michigan-Dearborn
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.

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CONTACTS:
Ken Kettenbeil
Director of Communications
University of Michigan-Dearborn
O) (313) 593-5518
C) (313) 732-1169
kketten@umd.umich.edu

or

Beth Marmarelli
Assistant Director, Communications
University of Michigan-Dearborn
O) (313) 593-3542
C) (248) 752-8586
bethmar@umd.umich.edu