Alumni activists gather for citizenship symposium
As a student in LSA’s Residential College in the mid-1990s Vincent Keenan almost missed a chance to vote because he did not realize he needed to update his voting record when he moved. Keenan’s experience prompted him to develop the voter information Web site www.publius.org.
In 1998, his Publius site became the first in the country to give public access to electronic voter rolls. Last year, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission declared the system a best practice and recommended it throughout the country.
Keenan is one of more than a dozen distinguished LSA alumni activists participating in the Michigan Alumni Citizenship Symposium “Profiles in Citizenship: New Ways of Thinking and Doing” March 9.
Beginning at 9 a.m. in the Palmer Commons Great Lakes Room, the first panel discussion, “Citizens in Action: The Local and Regional Contexts for Effective Engagement in Public Life,” will include Keenan and alumni Marc Dann, Ohio State Attorney General; Jane Campbell, former Mayor of Cleveland; and Ruth Galanter, a former Los Angeles city council member, who won her first election from a hospital bed after a near-fatal stabbing.
At 10:30 a.m. the second panel in the Palmer Commons Forum Hall, “Raising Voices; Being Heard: Shaping Public Discourse for Civic Action,” will include alumni Elizabeth Bunn, Secretary-Treasurer of the United Auto Workers and Phillip Bowman, director of the U-M National Center for Institutional Diversity.
The free symposium is part of the LSA Theme Year, “The Theory and Practice of Citizenship: from the Local to the Global.”
For more information go to www.lsa.umich.edu/citizenship/.