Was formed in the Fall of 2001 by a committee consisting of Evangelos Coufoudakis, Georgia Wralstad Ulmschneider, William G. Frederick, Charlie Belch, Vicki Bandor Braun, Philip Downs, Andy Downs, Sarah Downs Hill and Barbara Blauvelt. A fundraiser was held November 6, 2001 at the Scottish Rite Auditorium. The purpose was to serve as a clearinghouse for information on state politics. The goal of the center was to educate the public and encourage active participation in politics. The first board of directors included three members of the Downs family (Gabriel Downs, Philip Downs, and Sarah Hill) and four other members (Brian Stier, Paul Helmke, Elvis Netterville and Georgia Ulmschneider). The first board meeting, open to the public, was held on March 6. Andrew Downs, a son of Mike Downs, was selected as the first full-time director of the center which in 2002 was housed in the Helmke Library rooms 262-263. It was named as one of the Centers of Excellence.
Source: Communicator (October 31, 2001), volume 35, no. 10, 1; and (February 27, 2002), volume 36, no. 20.