Growing and strengthening west Michigan's middle class
LANSING February 9, 2017– In 2015, the Michigan AFL-CIO launched a pilot program, Local Elected Assistance Program (LEAP), to engage central labor bodies and affiliated unions in supporting pro-labor candidates for local office. That work included coordinating strategic targeting and LAN universes, providing and organizing resources and volunteer efforts, drafting and managing L2L mailings and other communications, and other operations to support local efforts. The program had a 77% success rate, working with 26 local candidates and proposals in five central labor councils in the state.
During the same period, the National AFL-CIO piloted their Path To Power program, tackling the same purpose, in two states.
Throughout 2017, the Michigan AFL-CIO and labor councils across Michigan (including the West Michigan Area Labor Council) will partner with the National AFL-CIO to identify, recruit, and elect candidates to run for local government offices in 2017 and beyond. The purpose is to shift the power in local government to favor stronger pro-worker policies and develop a bench of candidates to move into higher office.
Path to Power will work with affiliates, local labor bodies and close partners to identify union members and progressive, pro-working-family candidates who can run winning campaigns in identified races. Working together, they determine which races and which areas of the state to focus on.
Path to Power is a comprehensive program that follows the candidate through all stages, from recruitment to governing:
What resources can Path To Power provide? The Path to Power program can provide the following to designated Path to Power candidates:
Who can be a Path to Power candidate? The Michigan AFL-CIO strongly encourages union members to run for political office. It’s also recognized that many labor supporters may not have an opportunity to join a union at their workplace, so the Path to Power program provides space for both union members and union supporters to run successful campaigns. The Path to Power program is specifically for candidates who do not currently hold office, or current electeds who are running for higher office.
How is someone selected as a Path to Power candidate? Path to Power candidates must apply for consideration by submitting an application and questionnaire. They must be invited to and participate in an official Path to Power candidate conference. They must then receive the formal endorsement of the State Federation or other endorsing labor body. After this, they are eligible for selection as a Path to Power candidate.
What are the next steps? The Michigan AFL-CIO is hosting leadership trainings in 2017 to help in the identification and recruitment of candidates into the Path To Power program.
Save the date:
Path To Power Orientation: Saturday, February 25, 2017 9AM–4PM
Location: Iron Workers, 25150 Trans X Drive Novi, MI 48376
A West Michigan training date and location is to-be-determined.
If you are interested in participating in the orientation in Novi on February 25, or would like more information, please email Steve Veldheer at steve@KICLC.org.