- 1 Background
- 2 Union Organizer and Workers’ Rights Expert
- 3 Advocate for Human Rights and Diversity
- 4 Environmental Activist
- 5 Person of Faith
- 6 Family Man
- 7 Proud Levin Family Son
- 8 Career
- 9 Department of Labor & Economic Growth
- 10 2006 DSA support
- 11 Socialists lament loss
- 12 National Nurses United endorsement
- 13 Head of Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth
- 14 Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center
- 15 DSA endorsement
- 16 CPC new members
- 17 References
As the former director of worker training for the state of Michigan, Levin created and ran No Worker Left Behind, the largest job-retraining program in the country. No Worker Left Behind provided training to 162,000 Michiganders during the great recession, the majority of whom went on to get good paying jobs.
Later, Levin founded his own clean energy business, creating good jobs while reducing carbon emissions and improving public health, air and water quality.
- Most importantly, Andy Levin brings an authentic desire to unite Americans in a quest for a just society. That means pursuing bottom-up economics to restore the middle class; fighting a moral and economic crusade to save our planet; recognizing the need for full rights and opportunities for everyone; and reviving our democracy to bring everyone’s voice to the table.
Andy Levin served on the board of the National Skills Coalition until the fall of 2017 and continues to advocate passionately for the right of all workers who lose their jobs or need new skills to obtain the training they need to prosper.
After leaving state government in 2011, Levin founded and continues to run his own company, Levin Energy Partners, LLC. He has created a statewide market to finance clean energy building improvements called Lean & Green Michigan. Andy came up with the idea of building a statewide program to implement newly available property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing – and has been implementing it across Michigan, largely with sweat equity. In the process, he has gotten 34 local governments to join the program, steering completely clear of the politics of division.
Every kind of jurisdiction has joined, usually by unanimous votes of their legislative bodies – from the Upper Peninsula to Kalamazoo County to Huron County at the tip of the Thumb to Wayne County; from the most conservative to the most liberal; from rural to suburban to urban. Today, 68 percent of all Michiganders live in a Lean & Green Michigan jurisdiction, and they are starting to choose energy efficiency, water efficiency and renewable energy projects on every manner of business and non-profit building.
Union Organizer and Workers’ Rights Expert
Andy Levin helped striking cap and gown workers as a sophomore in college by getting Williams College seniors to agree to graduate unrobed rather than wear robes made in a factory where workers were on strike. He has never stopped advocating for workers since. From 1983 to 1988, he organized health care workers in America, helping hundreds of workers in Michigan, Indiana, Massachusetts and Rhode Island join the Service Employees International Union, always against the fierce and often intimidating opposition of their bosses.
Levin later served as Assistant Director of Organizing for the national AFL-CIO for 11 years, helping workers across the country organize for a better life with a wide variety of unions. He created the Union Summer program, which put more than 1,000 young people on the front lines of union campaigns in the summer of 1996. Union Summer has lived on and been copied and emulated for over 20 years by unions, universities, and law firms.
In 1994-1995, Andy Levin served as staff attorney to President Clinton’s Commission on the Future of Worker-Management Relations. At the AFL-CIO, Levin created and directed the Voice@Work campaign, which won nearly universal Democratic support in Congress for the Employee Free Choice Act, which would have overhauled America’s labor laws to allow employees to bargain for better wages and working conditions. Andy has been involved in many acts of civil disobedience to demand workers’ freedom to form unions.
Advocate for Human Rights and Diversity
Andy Levin has advocated for human rights across the globe, as well as celebrating diversity at home. In college he was a leader of the Williams Anti-Apartheid Coalition, which conducted a weeklong hunger strike that garnered national attention in an effort to convince the trustees of Williams College to divest from companies that did business in South Africa.
Levin traveled to Hong Kong and China during the summer of 1989 and published photographs and writings about his eyewitness observations of the Chinese crackdown on dissent in Chengdu during the Tiananmen Massacre. He published a lengthy, exclusive interview with and a newspaper article about the Dalai Lama when he won the Nobel Peace Prize for seeking human rights for Tibetans in their own land.
Andy has been especially active on human rights in Haiti. He learned to speak Haitian Creole while organizing Haitian nursing home workers in Boston, and served as an observer to the first attempt at presidential elections in 1987 after the end of the Duvalier dictatorship. He watched in horror as anti-democratic forces shot at voters lining up at the polls and viewed the aftermath of a massacre of voters at a school. He spent the summer of 1992 in Haiti for Human Rights Watch and was the principal investigator and writer for that organization’s book-length report, Silencing a People. He has published writings on Haitian civil society and what an effective U.S. policy to support democracy and economic development in Haiti would look like.
Andy Levin joined the campaign to close the Rowe Yankee nuclear plant near his college almost 40 years ago and has remained active on environmental causes ever since. A true believer in the spiritual and economic importance of wilderness, Andy’s idea of a good time is to hike or paddle as far from civilization as possible and live off what he and his companions can carry and catch. He was involved in the campaign to prevent drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, where he once paddled for two weeks with four friends. He believes we have a moral obligation to protect and preserve our natural resources.
Person of Faith
Levin grew up in a rather secular Jewish household, but has been very committed to Judaism in adulthood. He has been a board member and leader of Jewish congregations in suburban Washington, DC and Detroit. He is currently president of Congregation T’chiyah. He also serves as chair of the steering committee of Detroit Jews for Justice, an organization he helped create to activate Jews of all ages to fight for racial and economic justice in Detroit.
Proud Levin Family Son
- Andy has been steeped in politics almost from birth – when his dad was Oakland County Democratic Party chairman. He remembers meeting Hubert Humphrey, Ed Muskie, and other Democratic luminaries as a child, often in his family home or station wagon. Andy has spent his life debating politics and policy with others in the family, and observed closely how Sandy and Carl Levin operated in Michigan and Washington. Their legacy of integrity, humility, moral purpose and hard work in public service are his biggest influence.
Andy Levin started his career advocating for nursing home workers throughout Michigan. He is currently Of Counsel at the Southfield law firm of Klimist, McKnight, Sale, McClow, and Canzano, P.C.
At the national AFL-CIO, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the Presidential Commission on the Future of Worker-Management Relations, Levin helped "create programs and lead innovative policy campaigns to improve economic security for working families and create business-labor partnerships. In addition, Levin's experience studying and working in Haiti, India, and China will bring additional strength to the Governor's efforts to attract business to Michigan from all over the world."
Department of Labor & Economic Growth
On January 11, 2006 - Governor Jennifer Granholm and Director Robert W. Swanson announced the appointment of Andy Levin as a Department of Labor & Economic Growth deputy director, overseeing workforce development, career education and other key programs.
"DLEG is focusing its considerable strength and expertise on ensuring that ‘no worker is left behind' in our state's transformation to a 21st century economy," said Granholm. "With his deep commitment to public service, his knowledge of labor relations and his passion for connecting high-quality education, higher education and good jobs to Michigan workers, Andy is the perfect person to lead this effort for us. He will be instrumental in ensuring both that we have a 21st century workforce to attract new jobs and employers and that every Michigan citizen has the tools they need to take those jobs of the future."
Levin would be overseeing a number of bureaus, including: Workforce Programs, Career Education, Labor Market Information & Strategic Initiatives, Michigan Rehabilitation Services, the Michigan Commission for the Blind and Michigan Commission on Disability Concerns. Deputy Director Sharon Bommarito will return to overseeing the Unemployment Insurance Agency, Wage & Hour, Worker's Compensation and other labor-related agencies. Acting Deputy Director Doug Kalinowski would return to his position as director of Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
2006 DSA support
The Agenda for the November 4, 2006 Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America meeting at the Royal Oak Senior/Community Center, 3500 Marais Avenue, included item (8) Electoral projects
- Lisa Brown campaign
- Andy Levin campaign
Item 10) "Canvassing for Andy Levin from 1-3 p.m. (We will meet at Andy’s campaign headquarters located at25 W. Fourteen Mile Road—near the intersection of Main and Fourteen Mile—in Clawson)".
- DSA’s goal this election cycle is to help the Democrats take control of both the state house and state senate. We do this work, not because we are sycophants of the Democratic Party, but because only in the context of a Democratic majority do we have the political space necessary to pursue our agenda (.e.g., fixing the flawed minimum wage legislation, pursuing universal health care).
- Our strategy is to choose races in which the focused efforts of a small, but determined, group such as ours can play a decisive role in electing a progressive candidate.
- We have endorsed two candidates in this election cycle: Andy Levin who is running for the state senate seat in District 13 (Royal Oak/Troy/Birmingham/Clawson/Bloomfield Hills) and Lisa Brown who is running for the state house seat in District 39 (West Bloomfield/Commerce Township).
- DSA members Adam Sokol, Catherine Hoffman, Brandon Moss, Lon Herman, Earl Mandel, Helen Samberg, Bob Frumkin, David Green, Frank Goeddeke, David Ivers, Gary Benjamin, Al Benchich, Eric Ebel, David Elsila, Bill Helwig, Paul and Garie Bass, Selma Goode, and Mo Geary have come out for several campaign dates in September and October. Our volunteers canvass door-to-door, make phone calls, and stuff envelopes with campaign literature for our endorsed candidates.
- Our last campaign date is on Saturday, November 4 (immediately following our general membership meeting) when we will be canvassing and phone banking for Andy Levin.
- We will meet at his campaign headquarters (located at25 W. Fourteen Mile Rd.—near the intersection of Fourteen Mile andMain Street inClawson) at12:45 p.m. and will work from1-3 p.m. To volunteer for this activity, call David Green...
- We are also looking for volunteers to work on getting out the vote in Lisa Brown’s district on election day (Tuesday, November 7). Volunteers will be collecting names of voters as they register at the polling places, matching them against a list of Lisa Brown supporters, and calling those supporters who have not yet voted to urge them to do so.
Socialists lament loss
- Detroit DSA focused its resources on two legislative races: Lisa Brown’s race for the state house seat in District 39 (West Bloomfield/Commerce Township) and Andy Levin’s race for the state senate seat in District 13 (Royal Oak/Troy/Birmingham/Bloomfield Hills).
- DSA volunteers canvassed door-to-door, stuffed envelopes, made phone calls, and mailed friend-to-friend postcards. We also organized a fundraising house party for Lisa Brown which raised over $2300. Despite our best efforts, Lisa lost by 188 votes. We can take consolation in the fact that DSA was one of the main sources of organizational support for Lisa.
- We proved that this district can be “flipped” from the Republican column. It would behoove our friends in the Democratic Party hierarchy to pay attention to this district in terms of candidate recruitment and early infusion of resources when planning electoral strategy for 2008.
- Andy Levin’s race was even more disappointing. He lost by 788 votes (0.6% of all the ballots cast). What was particularly disturbing was that the Green Party candidate (who did not actively campaign) received more than three times as many votes as the margin of victory for the Republican candidate—John Pappageorge.
National Nurses United endorsement
National Nurses United 2018 endorsements included Andy Levin MI 9.
Head of Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth
In July 2010 Gov. Jennifer Granholm said that current director Stanley “Skip” Pruss will retire and that Andy Levin will become the department’s acting director. Levin had been a deputy director of the department since 2007.
Skip Pruss had led the consolidated state department for the past two years.
Levin "currently oversees operations of the Bureau of Workforce Transformation, Michigan Commission for the Blind, Michigan Rehabilitation Services, Commission on Disability Concerns, Labor Market Information & Strategic Initiatives, and the Bureau of Employment Relations. In October 2009, Granholm appointed Levin Michigan’s first chief workforce officer."
“Andy Levin will continue Skip Pruss’ groundbreaking efforts to make Michigan a leader in the emerging green economy,” Granholm said. “Andy is a proven leader who has overseen the No Worker Left Behind (NWLB) initiative that has become a guidepost for national workforce policy, helping No Worker Left Behind workers get long-term training that can change their lives.”
Pruss said Levin has helped create a more efficient, capable and strategic state workforce agency within DELEG by eliminating the outdated bureaus of workforce programs and career education and replacing them with the Bureau of Workforce Transformation. He also led efforts to create Michigan’s Green Jobs Initiative, produce a rigorous report on green jobs, and establish the Academy for Green Mobility.
Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center
In 2009, Andy Levin was a member of the Host Committee for the Essential: Advocacy for Community Justice Reception & Silent Auction which was held at the Atlas Global Bistro, Detroit. The reception, which was held on Nov. 18, 2009 is the annual fundraising event to benefit the far left National Lawyers Guild-affiliated Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice. Remarks were made by Steve Tobocman and the Maurice Sugar Voice for Justice Award was presented to Marilyn Mullane, Executive Director, Michigan Legal Services.
Van Jones award host committee
On November 18, 2010, the far left Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice presented "The Maurice Sugar Voice for Justice Award" to Van Jones "Human Rights Activists and Green-Jobs Advocate", at the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, 660 Woodward Ave, Suite 300.
Members of the Honorary Host Committee were;
- Jeffrey Breslin, RN, President, Michigan Nurses Association
- Hon. Hansen Clarke, Michigan Senate
- Hon. Kenneth V. Cockrel, Jr., Detroit City Council
- Diana Copeland, Executive Director, East Michigan Environmental Action Council
- David Elsila, Retired Editor, UAW Solidarity Magazine
- Leslie Fields, National Director of Environmental Justice, Sierra Club
- Michael Garfield, Director, The Ecology Center
- Ponsella Hardaway, Executive Director, MOSES
- W. Kim Heron, Editor, Metro Times
- Charity Hicks, Detroit Black Community Food Security Network
- Hon. Brenda Jones, Detroit City Council
- Bob King, President, UAW International
- Chris Kolb, President, Michigan Environmental Council
- Andy Levin, Acting Director, Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth
- Hon. Claudia Morcom, Retired Wayne County Circuit Court Judge
- Kary Moss, Executive Director, ACLU of Michigan
- Hasan Newash, Palestine Office of Michigan
- Fred Redmond, International Vice President, United Steelworkers
- Hon. JoAnn Watson, Detroit City Council
- Ed Wendel, General Counsel, United Food & Commercial Workers
- Saundra Williams, President, Metro Detroit AFL-CIO
- Diann Woodard, President, American Federation of School Administrators
From Metro Detroit Democratic Socialists of America newsletter July 2018.
Electoral Committee Updates
- The next meeting of the Electoral Committee will be TOMORROW, July 16 at 7.00 pm, to discuss how the primary activity is going and start organizing for the general election. ALL MEMBERS WELCOME, email Gillian at email@example.com for meeting location info.
- For the first time ever we have endorsed FOUR candidates running in Democratic primaries who are Chapter members! They are:
- Rashida Tlaib, running for Congress, 13th District
- Mike McDermott, running for State Rep, District 16
- Michele Oberholtzer, running for State Rep, District 4
- Joel Batterman, running for Wayne County Commission, District 2
- In addition, we have jointly endorsed Andy Levin and Ellen Cogen Lipton in the 9th Congressional District, finding both equally deserving of support. Members are encouraged to support either candidate and the Chapter will support whichever of the two candidates wins the primary election.
- There is less than a month until the primary on Tuesday, August 8 and much work to do to help our DSA candidates succeed.
CPC new members
2018 Congressional Progressive Caucus new members included Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Deb Haaland, Veronica Escobar, Jesus Garcia, Joe Neguse, Andy Levin, Mike Levin.
- DELEG press release. Governor Granholm and Director Swanson Announce Appointment of Andy Levin as a DLEG Deputy Director
- DELEG press release. Governor Granholm and Director Swanson Announce Appointment of Andy Levin as a DLEG Deputy Director
- GDDSA newsletter archives, 2006
- GDDSA newsletter archives, 2006
- GDDSA newsletter Jan. 2007
- [http://michiganenergynews.com/andy-levin-to-head-michigan-department-of-energy-labor-and-economic-growth/072010/ Andy Levin to Head Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth David Hill | July 17, 2010]
- Sugar Law Center website: 2009 Essential: Advocacy for Community Justice Reception & Silent Auction (accessed on Feb. 11, 2011)
- Sugar Law Center for Economic k Social Justice website, accessed Jan 25, 2011