Our old friend Andy Levin, Congressman Sander’s son and Senator Carl’s nephew, is running for Michigan's 9th Congressional District, his father’s current seat. Here at Heartland and the SVA, we’ve worked extensively with Andy over the years. The Levin’s, of course, have been formidable champions of workers’ rights, civil rights, good health care, fair trade and responsible financial regulations, and many of the most important issues of the last five decades. They fought to save the auto industry and manufacturing in 2008, 2009; if US Auto had failed, one million Americans could have lost their jobs.
Andy has followed in their giant footsteps. As Deputy Director and Acting Director, Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (2007-2011), Andy was Michigan’s first Chief Workforce Officer, Andy created “No Worker Left Behind,” helping 152,000 Michiganders get training and 120,000 get new jobs during the bottom of the Great Recession. He worked with building trades apprenticeship directors to create training programs such as Road Construction Apprenticeship Readiness to prepare people for union apprenticeships. He greatly increased the budget of HRDI, the workforce training organization tied to the Michigan AFL-CIO.
As President of Lean & Green Michigan more recently, Andy has spearheaded a statewide Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program that has retrofitted amazing buildings and supported responsible contracting projects, creating many construction jobs and helping the environment. These two endeavors alone should be enough to support Andy.
But Andy’s been working for working families for decades, campaigning for organizing and bargaining campaigns, state and federal legislation and regulation, and the right to organize. In his earlier years, he worked for SEIU, the UAW, and the AFL-CIO. He started out as an organizer and lead organizer for SEIU for five years and later worked in the UAW Health & Safety Department. Andy was a staff attorney to President Clinton's Commission on the Future of Worker-Management Relations. ln the office of Labor Secretary Robert Reich, he worked on federal labor and employment laws. At the AFL-CIO, he created and directed both the Union Summer program and the Voice@Work campaign, which won nearly universal Democratic support in Congress for the Employee Free Choice Act, a law that would have overhauled America's labor laws to increase union representation dramatically and facilitate bargaining for better wages and working conditions.
I’ll let Andy say it: "I believe it's time to put what's good for workers at the center of every policy decision in Washington. Too many well-paying jobs have been off-shored, contracted out, privatized and made part-time or temporary. We can create better jobs by demanding that we improve living standards as part of all trade deals and policies on taxes, regulation and economic development. We must restore the freedom to form unions and bargain collectively and fend off all attacks on federal workplace and contracting standards. I will fight to protect Michigan's jobs and to expand our workforce by growing the economy, restoring our roads, bridges and sewers, and building new infrastructure."