Director of Communications
Michigan Municipal League
(734) 669-6317; C: (810) 874-1073
[email protected]; www.mml.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 24, 2019
Former Birmingham Mayor Honored for Ethics and Civility in Local Government
Parliamentarian Eleanor “Coco” Siewert Receives Prestigious Strude Award from Statewide Attorneys Group
LANSING, Michigan (Oct. 24, 2019) — Former Birmingham Mayor Eleanor “Coco” Siewert recently received one of the most prestigious awards given by the statewide Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys (MAMA).
Siewert last week was honored with the William L. Steude Ethics and Civility in Local Government Award during MAMA’s Municipal Law Program Annual Meeting in Lansing. She is a nationally renowned parliamentarian who served stints as Birmingham mayor and city council commissioner in the 1980s and 1990s. Siewert was recognized for her work with the Michigan Municipal League as the League’s Parliamentarian and traveling extensively to participate in and teach at gatherings of elected and appointed officials.
“I cannot think of a more fitting recipient of an award that is focused on ethics and civility, for they are the essence of what Coco has brought to countless local governments in Michigan,” said William Mathewson, who nominated Siewert for the award. Mathewson is the former general counsel for the Michigan Municipal League and frequently speaks with Siewert to local government officials about how to properly conduct meetings, Robert’s Rules of Order, and general parliamentary procedures.
“Yet, what makes her most qualified is her deep understanding and appreciation of civility in a municipal setting,” Mathewson said in his nomination letter of Siewert. “Frankly, many of the city and village councils we have addressed have been challenged in their functioning and personal interactions. Coco, from her background in dispute resolution as well as just her demeanor, always seems to find a way to facilitate productive dialogue among the members of the councils, no matter how adversarial they may be.”
The William L. Steude Award honors individuals for significant and tangible achievement in the field of local government ethics and civility. It is awarded to those who have earned the highest level of respect among their colleagues. The award is dedicated to the memory of William L. Steude, former general counsel of the Michigan Municipal League and a good friend of the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys.
Fittingly, moments prior to getting the award, Siewert led an education session at the MAMA event, titled “Parliamentary Procedure.” In the training she reviewed the latest updates to the procedures, the basics of running a local government meeting, and common mistakes made. In accepting the award, Siewert said she personally worked with Steude—the honor’s namesake—so she understood the significance of it.
“Bill Steude was an outstanding individual who personified ethics and civility in local government, and to receive this award bearing his name is humbling and a tremendous honor,” Siewert said.
Her resume is as equally impressive as it is long—member of the Birmingham city commission for several years and serving as the mayor in 1988-89 and again in 1995-96; special assistant for external affairs to then President David Adamany of Wayne State University and assistant to the Dean of Wayne’s Law School; parliamentarian with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Volunteer Council; and Member of the Women Officials Network. She’s also received numerous awards for her work, including the Special Award of Merit in 2008 from the Michigan Municipal League, an honoree in the Wonder Woman Awards by the Women Officials Network Foundation, and the First Citizen of Birmingham and A Phenomenal Woman by the Junior League of Birmingham. After moving to Birmingham in 1967 with her husband Robert, Siewert has been a Girl Scout leader, Library Board member, and served on numerous community boards and committees.
For photos of Siewert receiving the award go to this Michigan Municipal League album on flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/michigancommunities/albums/72157711479858282. Photos can be downloaded from the League’s flickr page for free. We just ask that the following photo credit be given: Michigan Municipal League/mml.org.
About the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys: The Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys (MAMA) is a chartered section of the Michigan Municipal League, which is a Michigan nonprofit corporation. MAMA was established in 1935 as an affiliated organization of the League. The Association is governed by a Board of Directors elected by the member municipal attorneys. Membership consists of every city and village attorney who represents a member of the Michigan Municipal League, their deputies and assistants, and League staff members duly admitted to practice law in the state of Michigan. Any attorney admitted to practice law in Michigan who has a substantial interest in municipal law may become an associate member upon application and approval by the Board of Directors. Any student enrolled in a recognized law school may be a law student member upon application and approval by the Board of Directors.
For more information, contact Matt Bach, director of communications, at [email protected] or 810-874-1073.
About the League: Michigan Municipal League is dedicated to making Michigan’s communities better by thoughtfully innovating programs, energetically connecting ideas and people, actively serving members with resources and services, and passionately inspiring positive change for Michigan’s greatest centers of potential: its communities. The League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services. Learn more at mml.org.