First leadership summit on good governance for Detroit coming to Wayne State University

"Building An Honest & Open Government in Detroit: Why Public Integrity Matters," is the theme of a leadership summit on Monday, Oct. 21, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Wayne State University Law School's Partrich Auditorium to be attended by leaders in business, government, nonprofit, foundation and the wider civic community.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is set to open the summit through a video-conference followed by a special "Gatekeepers Roundtable," featuring media stakeholders such as Detroit Free Press Publisher Paul Anger, discussing the role of the media in ensuring public integrity and good governance.

Quicken Loans Founder & Chairman Dan Gilbert will appear for a special conversation about Detroit and its prospects for the future including the role of the private sector in ensuring the public trust as well as Federal Bar Association President Michael K. Lee, Detroit Regional Chamber CEO Sandy Baruah, and Detroit Council of Baptist Pastors General Counsel Rev. Bertram Marks, Wayne Law Dean Jocelyn Benson, Wayne Law Professor Peter Henning among other headline speakers. Detroit Inspector General James Heith is expected to address the summit.

Summit convener U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade, Eastern District of Michigan, underscored the significance of the summit saying, "Public corruption is so harmful because it erodes trust in government, which makes government less effective. This forum will provide an opportunity to share ideas about ensuring the honest government that all of our citizens deserve."

Summit moderator, Bankole Thompson, editor of the Michigan Chronicle applauded the effort at a time when Detroit is seeking new leadership as it wriggles in unchartered waters.

"This summit is timely because Detroit needs to make public integrity and accountability the central focus of its governance aspirations," Thompson said. "What this city has gone through in the last decade should not repeat itself because leaders owe it to the next generation to leave a legacy of integrity and enduring positive achievements. And that begins by building an honest government."

Dean Benson stated, "An honest and open government is the most basic part of maintaining the public trust and reinforcing the democratic process. Wayne Law is thrilled to be hosting this event focused on how the public, private and non-profit sectors can work together to ensure municipal government in Detroit is transparent and accountable. My mentor, Judge Damon J. Keith, once said, 'Democracies die behind closed doors.' They are strengthened by a well-informed electorate."

FBA President Michael K. Lee stated, "The power of elected officials is derived solely from the willingness of the people to agree to that governance. That willingness is contingent on the credibility of those in public office as seen through the eyes of that populace. A primary tool that a populace uses to measure that credibility is transparency, by which a populace can measure honesty and integrity."

To register for this event, visit and click RSVP.

Published: Wed, Oct 16, 2013


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