Ford School welcomes local and state elected officials to boost collaborative work

February 16, 2023

Elected officials from local, county, and state government came to the Ford School to hear about the potential for collaborations with their offices and the School’s faculty, research centers, and students. 

Fifteen members of the Michigan State Senate and House of Representatives, the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners, and the Ann Arbor City Council heard from Dean Celeste Watkins-Hayes, Associate Dean for Research and Policy Engagement John Ciorciari, and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Luke Shaefer, as well as the heads of the research centers. The Ford School has had active engagement with government officials, providing research, data, testimony, and student support on issues including education attainment, the effects of environmental pollution on children, disparities in economic development, the misuse of technology in preventing violent crime, and the challenges of administering elections, and many other topics.

Among other speakers, they heard from Christina Weiland, faculty co-director of the Education Policy Initiative, about its management of the Michigan Education Data Center; from Tom Ivacko, executive director of the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy and the Michigan Public Policy Survey, now in its 24th year; and from Mara Ostfeld about research at Poverty Solutions and the Center for Racial Justice into reducing excessive use of force in policing

A recap of the resources available to public officials can be found here.

“It’s great to know that we can have the support and resources of the Ford School in doing our work,” said Ann Arbor Councilmember Cynthia Harrison. 

Echoed State Representative Carrie Rheingans, “I am sure having access to more fact-based policy analysis can help us in Lansing.”

At the conclusion, Watkins-Hayes told the assemblage, “The Ford School looks forward to continuing this dialogue and expanding our relationships and collaborations with local and state officials across Michigan.”

Any interested policymakers can contact Associate Director of Policymaker Engagement Cindy Bank at: [email protected].