Ackerman was elected to the Ann Arbor City Council on Nov. 3, 2015 while still a student at the University of Michigan. He was unopposed in the 2015 general election, gaining 730 votes (90.68%). In the Democratic primary on Aug. 4, 2015, Ackerman defeated incumbent Democrat Stephen Kunselman, who was running for re-election. He worked on Christopher Taylor's successful 2014 mayoral campaign, as well as Congressional campaigns for Debbie Dingell and Pam Byrnes. As part of his duties on Council, Ackerman serves as a planning commissioner, promoting affordable housing.
Ackerman has lived in Ann Arbor since he was 8 years old, attending Burns Park Elementary School, Tappan Middle School and Pioneer High School. His father, Mark Ackerman, is the George Herbert Mead Collegiate Professor of Human-Computer Interaction at the School of Information and the College of Engineering. His mother, Erica Ackerman, is a web developer and active member of the Ann Arbor Democratic Party.
Ackerman currently works for Denison Consulting, an Ann Arbor-based, global management consulting firm. He previously worked for Nutshell, a local tech start-up, and STAND, a DC- and London-based human rights organization, which advocates for civilian protection in warzones and the prevention of ethnic-based mass atrocities.
His campaign website states: "I’ve been an active Democrat since 2006, volunteering on my first campaign at the age of 13."
Timeline: Zach Ackerman
- Jan. 2, 2019: refuses a breathalyzer test before being placed under arrest in the back of a Novi Police Department cruiser about 5:35 p.m. Jan. 2 2019. Ackerman's blood alcohol level, tested at the station, measured 0.20% - more than twice the legal limit. He was sentenced to one year probation after pleading guilty to a lesser charge of operating while ability impaired.
- Nov. 3, 2015: Is elected to Ann Arbor City Council for Ward 3. Ackerman is unopposed on the ballot and received 730 votes (90.68%)
- Aug. 4, 2015: In the Ward 3 city council race, Ackerman receives 947 votes (51%), to incumbent Stephen Kunselman's 907 (48.9%), winning the Democratic Party nomination..
- June 13, 2015: Participates in Ann Arbor Democratic Party candidate forum, along with Ward 3 incumbent Stephen Kunselman.
- April 15, 2015: Participates in the Ford School's candidate debate.
- Feb. 24, 2015: Formalizes intent to seek election to represent Ward 3 on the Ann Arbor City Council by taking out petitions to seek the nomination of the Democratic Party in the Aug. 4, 2015 primary election.
- February 2015: Announces intent to become a candidate for the Ward 3 Ann Arbor City Council, running in the August Democratic primary. He will be facing incumbent Democrat Stephen Kunselman, who is running for re-election.
- January 2015: Starts serving as vice chair for legislative engagement on the Ann Arbor Democratic Party.
- January 2015: Resumes work as senior computing consultant for UM's Information & Technology Services (ITS).
- August 2014-January 2015: Works as deputy field director for Debbie Dingell's Congressional campaign, and serves as special assistant for transition after she was elected in November.
- June 2014: Begins working as national outreach coordinator for STAND, a Washington D.C.-based human rights advocacy group.
- May-August 2014: Works as field director for Christopher Taylor's mayoral campaign in the Democratic primary. Taylor prevailed in a four-way primary race and went on to win the November general election, defeating independent candidate Bryan Kelly.
- 2013-2014: Works as intern for Democrat Pam Byrnes' unsuccessful campaign for U.S. Congress.
- 2013-2014: Works as a coach at the Washtenaw Rowing Center.
- 2012-2014: Works as senior computing consultant for UM's Information & Technology Services (ITS).
- 2011-2015: Studies political science and history at the University of Michigan.
In the news
Zachary Ackerman: Only 12 of you know who I am – Michigan Daily, Sept. 23, 2015
CivCity's Eat This Election video, Ward 3 Edition – July 26, 2015
Ann Arbor Democratic Party candidate forum – June 13, 2015 video posted on YouTube
Ackerman picks up endorsements from Taylor and Hieftje in 3rd Ward council race – MLive, May 22, 2015
Student announces candidacy for City Council – Michigan Daily, Feb. 23, 2015
Opinion: Restrictive zoning laws perpetuate neighborhood segregation - Detroit News. July 16, 2020
2015 Ward 3 city council campaign website: http://www.ackermanforcouncil.com/
Zachary Ackerman personal websiste: https://zacharyackerman.com/
Contributing to this Page
For some existing timeline elements more precise dates would be desirable. Update strategy: Add timeline elements and news links as history unfolds.