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Max Milstein elected chair of ophw democratic club

March 4, 2019

Max Milstein, 34, of Oak Park recently was elected to a two-year term as chair of the Oak Park-Huntington Woods Democratic Club, succeeding previous chair Dennis Nordmore.

Milstein takes inspiration for his political activism from his late grandmother, Esther Milstein, who was herself quite active in local Democratic Party politics. Born in Oak Park, Milstein grew up in the West Bloomfield and Farmington Hills area, graduating from The Roeper School in Birmingham before attending the University of Michigan (U-M). A political science major, he recalled going to anti-war protests on the Ann Arbor campus, including taking part in the “largest-ever, human peace sign on the diag.” Another college highlight for Milstein in 2004 was interning in the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa. He graduated two years later and completed law school at U-M in 2009.

Milstein moved to Eagan, Minn., to work for Thomson Reuters, the publisher of Westlaw, an online legal research tool. In 2012, he volunteered on a Democratic Party campaign to defeat a ballot initiative seeking to amend the state constitution by limiting marriage to heterosexual couples. The campaign succeeded, and Minnesota became one of only two U.S. states to reject such an amendment. Milstein was encouraged by his group activism and began participating in political meetings. He continued supporting the Democratic Party after returning to southeast Michigan in 2015 to be closer to his family. His current position as legal editor with Westlaw allows him to telecommute from home.

In Michigan, Milstein helped with organizing local volunteers for Project 83, the Democratic Party’s attempt to engage with and register voters in all 83 of the state’s congressional districts (CDs). He also worked last year on the party’s One Campaign, which elected and re-elected many Democrats to state and local offices, as well as national candidates representing the 14th, 11th and 9th CDs.

Milstein, who enjoys music and board games as pastimes, makes his home with his bride, Ksenia, in the same north Oak Park neighborhood where he was born. It’s less than a mile northwest of where his Milstein grandparents lived in Huntington Woods.

He is active in local politics because he has a stake in the area where he lives. As club chair, Milstein said, “I hope to keep our group active and engaged in the concerns of our community.

“There was this huge increase in interest in politics after 2016; I want people to see that when they vote, when they get involved, their contribution matters,” he said. “The last thing I want to see is all the people who have been coming to our meetings wind up disillusioned. Democracy doesn’t work unless the people show up.”

Story by Ester Ingber