Are you considering serving in non-profit leadership or municipal elected office? Do you have an interest in public service? Do you wish to expand your leadership skills? Or do you want to understand our governance system better from those who have lived it?  If so then the Public Office Seminars are for you.

Our initiative recognizes that formal classroom learning has important but limited value in understanding the politics of elected governance. This is a subject that is best learned from the experiences of practitioners. For this reason the Seminars will have some formal teaching but will be mostly insights and case studies from those who have experienced elected governance first hand.

Each semester of seminars will have ten weekly sessions designed as flexible opportunities appropriate for prospective candidates who are already fully engaged in work or community service.

The first hour will feature Guest Lecturers who are former elected officials. They will share their insights and experiences, successes and failures and lessons learned. The lecturers will be mostly former public officials, but will also include campaign professionals and engaged academics.

All participants are encouraged to attend Council Meetings and consultation processes as well as engage in self study on relevant topics.

Case study sessions with former officials:

  • What led to public life
  • Lessons on winning and losing
  • Case studies on successful and unsuccessful initiatives
  • Examples of the role of mentors
  • High points and low points
  • Advice to prospective candidates
  • Balancing friends and family
  • Exit strategy

Formal class study topics:

  • Historical context on adversarial politics
  • Philosophical issues
  • Structure of government
  • Media and social media
  • GOTV getting out the vote
  • Effective public speaking
  • Ethical issues
  • Politics and the law

The cost of the program is $470.4 (inc tax) for the 10 week semester. Some sponsorships are available for full semester or portions.

To inquire about registering please contact Lynn Zanatta with a summary about your background and what interests you about this project.

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Videos and Notes from Previous Seminars

Session One: March-April 2019

Class Notes from Session One

Session Two: September-November, 2019

Videos from Session Two