Date & time

Nov 13, 2023, 6:00-7:00 pm EST


This is a Virtual Event.

Join this virtual mayors panel via livestream or in person at the Watch Party hosted at the University of Michigan's Taubman College 


The 2023 Mayors Forum will focus on topics particular to Big Ten college cities including development of infrastructure that promotes social cohesion, challenges and opportunities of creating an infrastructure for urban technology, and campus and community participation in local elections. Join us for a conversation with Mayor Fazlul Kabir of College Park, MD; Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway of Madison, WI; and Mayor Christopher Taylor of Ann Arbor, MI; moderated by Jim Throgmorton, Professor Emeritus University of Iowa School of Planning and Public Affairs and former mayor of Iowa City. This annual event brings together mayors virtually to discuss timely topics of national importance that manifest at the municipal level and insights on how leadership at the city level shapes our national approaches to some of the most pressing issues of the day.  

Confirmed Participants

  • Fazlul Kabir, Mayor College Park, MD
  • Satya Rhodes-Conway, Mayor of Madison, WI
  • Christopher Taylor, Mayor of Ann Arbor, MI

    Moderated by Jim Throgmorton, Former Mayor of Iowa City, IA and author of Co-crafting the Just City: Tales from the Field by a Planning Scholar Turned Mayor, with welcome remarks by University of Michigan Taubman College Dean Jonathan Massey and Ann Arbor, MI.

Live Watch Party

This virtual event will have a live watch party for the University of Michigan community at the Art and Architecture Building Auditorium (Room 2104), 2000 Bonisteel Blvd, Ann Arbor. Portions of the event will be filmed and live-streamed from the watch party. All are welcome to attend; dinner/sandwiches will be provided.

Watch Party Schedule
 5:30 P. M.  In-person guests arrive to grab dinner (sandwiches)
 5:40 P. M.  Doors to Art & Architecture Building Auditorium (Room 2104) open for seating
 5:55 P. M.  Doors to Art & Architecture Building Auditorium (Room 2104) close for seating
 6:00 P. M.  sharp! Event begins with live introductions from the Art and Architecture Building Auditorium
 7:00 P. M.  Event concludes


  • Big Ten Collaboration: Democracy in the 21st Century
  • Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy, University of Michigan (CLOSUP)
  • Democracy & Debate 2023-’24, University of Michigan
  • Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan
  • Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning, University of Michigan


    Dr. Fazlul Kabir currently serves as the Mayor of College Park. Before his mayoral role, Dr. Kabir held the distinction of being the longest continuously serving member of the City Council for the past 12 years. Dr. Kabir holds a Ph.D. in Engineering and he taught at the University of Maryland for eight years.

    In close collaboration with residents and the City Council, Dr. Kabir co-founded College Park Day, restarted the College Park Parade, initiated the new “Here & Now” College Park newspaper, and launched a Farmer’s Market and a community garden. He successfully advocated creating a new Duvall Field, a Dog Park, protected bike lanes, affordable housing, and a community center. Furthermore, he championed funding for local schools and a reduction in the city's property tax rate.

    Dr. Kabir led College Park by uniting the community, enhancing transparency, and fostering trust. His advocacy focused on improving the quality of life with strong public safety measures, enhanced code enforcement, smart economic development, support for new small businesses, sustainable and green programs, solutions for aging-in-place seniors, improved school education, and increased availability of affordable housing.
    Dr. Kabir has been running a daily blog,, since 2009.

    Satya Rhodes-Conway is the 58th Mayor of Madison. Her administration is focused on affordable housing, rapid transit, climate change and racial equity. She has extensive experience in local policy and practice, having worked with mayors across the country for over a decade, and having served three terms on the Madison Common Council. Elected in 2019, she is the city’s second female mayor and the first out LGBTQ person to serve as Mayor of Madison. She is also the chair of Climate Mayors, an appointed member of EPA's Local Government Advisory Committee, a founding member of Mayors for a Guaranteed Income and a member of Mayors Against Gun Violence. She serves on various committees and task forces for the US Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities. Mayor Rhodes-Conway provided testimony  to the U.S. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis on Building Climate Resilient Communities in June of 2021.

    Mayor Rhodes-Conway was born in New Mexico and grew up in Ithaca, New York. She has degrees from Smith College and the University of California - Irvine. She moved to Madison in 2002 and has lived here ever since.

    Before being elected Mayor, Rhodes-Conway was the Managing Director of the Mayors Innovation Project and a senior associate at the Center on Wisconsin Strategy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for 13 years. She worked with cities across the country to implement innovative policy and researched and wrote extensively about local policy that promotes sustainability, equity and democracy. Rhodes-Conway served on the Board of the UniverCity Alliance and is a member of AFT Local 223.

    Before her time at UW, she analyzed state endangered species programs for Defenders of Wildlife, researched and wrote about progressive environmental policy at the State Environmental Resource Center, and taught undergraduate biology and ecology.

    Christopher Taylor has served as Mayor of Ann Arbor since November 2014, after serving three terms on Ann Arbor City Council.  He believes that local government's mission is to improve basic services and enhance quality of life. During his tenure, Ann Arbor has worked to accelerate road maintenance, modernize drinking water infrastructure, expand storm water detention, beautify parks and natural areas, and deploy unrelentingly professional police and fire services. Beyond this focus on the fundamentals, Mayor Taylor has led initiatives to promote non-motorized transportation; develop an unarmed public safety response program, utilize municipal land for 1000+ units of new, permanent affordable housing; and develop the funding, staffing, and political will necessary to establish and achieve a goal of community-wide carbon neutrality by 2030.

    Professionally, Mayor Taylor is an attorney. He is a partner at the Ann Arbor law firm of Hooper Hathaway, where his practice focuses on estate planning and small business representation. He has earned four degrees from the University of Michigan. During his years at the University of Michigan, Mayor Taylor served as Editor-in-Chief of the Michigan Law Review and as president of the Inter-Cooperative Council, a 550-member housing cooperative.

    James A. Throgmorton (a.k.a. “Mayor Jim”) received a B.A. in history from Notre Dame, a M.S. in community development from the University of Louisville, and a Ph.D. in urban and regional planning from UCLA. He taught urban and regional planning at the University of Iowa for 24 years until retiring as an emeritus professor in 2010. He is the author of Planning as Persuasive Storytelling, co-editor of Story and Sustainability, and author of dozens of articles in scholarly journals and edited books. As a resident of Iowa City, he has actively contributed to numerous state and local nongovernmental organizations and has written dozens of op-eds for local newspapers. He served as an elected member of its city council from late-1993 through 1995 and again from 2012 through 2019. During the last four years of his council term he also served as mayor. “Mayor Jim” vigorously led efforts to foster a more inclusive, just, and sustainable city. He tells the tale in his recently published book, Co-Crafting the Just City.