Zachary Ackerman is a member of the Ann Arbor City Council, representing Ward 3

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.

Photo taken from Ackerman's 2015 campaign webs

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

  • 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


2015 Ward 3 city council campaign website:

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.