Groundbreaking initiative will showcase video interviews of Detroit candidates on www.MiVote.org and Detroit Public TV

June 18, 2009

DEARBORN / June 18, 2009---The groundbreaking civic engagement Web site MiVote.org aims to connect voters with candidates for Detroit city council and Detroit city charter commission through an innovative showcase of video interviews this month.

The project is a partnership among the Institute for Local Government at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, ARISE Detroit!, WWJ Radio, the League of Women Voters and Detroit Public TV.

“Like many of my fellow Detroit residents, I am eager to be as informed as possible when I vote in the upcoming election that is so critical for Detroit’s future,” according to UM-Dearborn political science Prof. Dale Thomson, director of the Institute for Local Government.

All candidates certified for the August 4 primary will be videotaped during a five-minute interview answering two questions.

Detroit city council candidates will be asked the following:
1.    What specific experience qualifies you to play a leading role in determining the budget, ordinances and other public policies that will guide the city for the next four years?
2.    Tight budgets inevitably require sacrifice.  As a city council member, what programs or services would you be willing to cut in order for the city to focus on core services?

Charter commission candidates will be asked the following:
1.    What specific experience qualifies you to make recommendations on fundamental changes to the structure of city government in Detroit?
2.    What do you consider to be the most critical weakness of the existing city charter that must be addressed by the Charter Revision Commission?

All interviews will be taped June 22, June 23 and June 25 at the University of Michigan Detroit Center, located at 3663 Woodward Ave. in Orchestra Place.  

The videos of each candidate’s interview will be posted on www.MiVote.org and aired on Detroit Public Television beginning Monday, June 29.

This MiVote.org initiative is a public service and free to the candidates.  Videos also are available on the Web free of charge to the candidates, community groups and media.

For more information, contact UM-Dearborn’s Office of Government Relations at 313-593-5140.

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CONTACT: Jennifer Thelen
PHONE: 313-593-5644
The Office of University Relations
Room 1040, Administration Building
University of Michigan-Dearborn