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Education Policy Fellowship Program

The Role of Advocacy Organizations in the Policy Process

May 18, 1998
2:00 pm
Kellogg Center

Resource Person: Lana Pollack
Michigan Environmental Council

Lana Pollack grew up in Ludington, Michigan, and later attended the University of Michigan, where she earned a B.A. in Political Science and an M.A. in education.

An active political organizer and former teacher of dance, Pollack was elected to the Ann Arbor School Board in 1979. In 1982, the voters of Washtenaw County sent her to the Michigan State Senate, where she served until 1994 on the Appropriations, Finance, Education, Criminal Justice and Urban Affairs committees.

The Senate's only Democratic woman for eight years, Pollack became a leading advocate for the environment, children and women's rights. She also earned praise as the architect of Michigan's landmark 1990 polluter pay statute which, before it was repealed in 1995, saved taxpayers $100 million by forcing polluters to pay for the cleanup of toxic waste. Pollack also established state-wide coalitions to prevent gun violence and teenage pregnancy.

In 1994 Pollack narrowly lost the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate and retired from public office. She then founded Michigan Monthly and served as the magazine's publisher until selling it in 1996. Pollack also worked as a consultant for the Washington, D.C.-based National Democratic Institute.

Lana Pollack was a founding trustee of the Michigan Women's Foundation and served in that capacity for ten years. She now serves on several governing boards including the Center for the Education of Women and the Hillel Foundation at the University of Michigan. In the fall of 1997, she was a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

Lana Pollack has been a student of music throughout her life. She has lived in the United States, England and Zambia and traveled in Africa, Europe, North and South America, Asia and Antarctica. She is married to Henry Pollack, a Professor of Geophysics at the University of Michigan, and they are the parents of an adult son, John, a writer.

Resource Person: Wendy A. Wagenheim
Legislative Affairs Director
American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan

Wendy Wagenheim is responsible for planning and implementing the legislative program for the Michigan affiliate of the ACLU. As an advocate for ACLU policies, she works with the Michigan Legislature, its committees and staff, and the State Board of Education to inform them of the civil liberties implications of proposed legislation and public policy. Through testimony before these bodies and meetings with numerous community groups and professional organizations, she represents the interests of the ACLU's members and leaders.

In her public awareness and speaking roles, she has addressed topics such as Parental Rights, School Vouchers, Community Notification of Sex Offenders, Internet Access and Censorship, Charters and Schools of Choice, and Teaching About Values.

Wendy has also been a consultant and rehabilitation counselor, and has extensive experience working with emotionally, physically and mentally disabled clients. She has worked with traumatically brain injured clients on the development of interpersonal skills and has served as a trainer of rehabilitation professionals.

She is active at the community level and has served in leadership and policy roles for several organizations including the National Council of Jewish Women and the Jewish Community Council. She is currently Chairperson of the national "Promote the Vote" campaign for the National Council of Jewish Women. For several years she served as a parent representative on advisory committees for the Birmingham Public Schools.

Wendy earned a B.A. in Multidisciplinary Social Science from Michigan State University and an M.A. in Rehabilitation Counseling from Wayne State University.

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