Defend Teachers – Fight for a Secure Retirement

When: Thursday December 1, 2:30 – 7:00 PM
Where: 4141 Jackson Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48103-1827
Facebook event

The Republican leadership of the Michigan Legislature is mounting an attack on educator pensions during the “lame duck” session. We all have a stake in fighting to preserve, and expand good pension programs that provide a guarantee benefit and security after a lifetime of hard work. We all have a dog in this fight. Our opponents hope we will divide and fall. If public sector, including K-12 teachers’ pensions are attacked successfully this time, we can expect emboldened attacks on all our benefits at the bargaining table. People who work for a living need to stand together at moments like this. Join us as we call our sisters, brothers, and friends across Michigan and organize them against these attacks.

We will call our members across the state to mobolize them against this effort. We’ll be able to patch them through to their legislators and spread the message that working people don’t want policies that undermine people’s retirement security.

Wendy Fields, Democracy Initiative Thurs Dec 8

Sisters and brothers,

One of our biggest challenges over the next four years will be to protect and advance democratic values in the more hostile political environment that Trump has already helped to create.

One important element of our response must be to build stronger coalitions of progressive organizations. That is the mandate of The Democracy Initiative, a coalition of 58 progressive organizations.

Come and hear from its Executive Director, Wendy Fields, what strategies she believes offer the best hope of strengthening such a coalition and, in the process, our democracy.

Fields will tell us about the work and plans of the Democracy Initiative, then respond to suggestions and questions. The event will be held on the evening of TH, Dec 8, from 7-9pm, in the University of Michigan’s East Quad, Room 1405. Light refreshments will be provided.

Please save this date in your calendar and tell your friends. This talk and discussion is open to the public, so please share widely. We hope that everyone who cares about the future of democracy in this country (and beyond) comes and participates in what should be a stimulating and hopeful discussion.

Event flyer (PDF)

In solidarity,
Ian Robinson
President, HVALF

Campaign Canvassing Kick-off Sat Oct 1

When: Saturday October 1, 10 AM
Where: Liuna Office, 3080 Platt Road, Ann Arbor, 48108
Facebook event

This Saturday, the Huron Valley Area Labor Federation will begin knocking doors to encourage people to vote for pro-education, pro-labor candidates in November. We will campaign for Donna Lasinski for the 52 nd district of the Michigan State House, and also for the re-election of UM Regents Laurence Deitch and Denise Ilitch.

We need pro-labor representatives in the State House so that they can prevent further anti-labor legislation and start putting forth pro-labor laws! And having Regents who support us will give GEO and LEO a lot more power at the bargaining table! Each of these campaigns is winnable, but we have to knock as many doors and talk to as many voters as we can!

Statewide, AFT has a goal of knocking on 350,000 doors—which comes out to about 1 (~3-hour) shift for every 50 union members. For GEO that’s about 26-28 shifts, which is very doable! In fact, we could do it in one day (and again every week after that)! Any number of shifts you can take will be appreciated, and the more shifts you can take, the better we’ll do! Other unions, including UM-LEO and EMUFT, will be knocking doors with us, so we need to do our part as well.

If you have any questions about the canvassing, please feel free to contact Rebecca Thomas ( or Jesse Holloway ( If you plan on coming out to knock doors, please RSVP to this event!

If you can’t make it on Saturdays, come to knock doors on our dedicated UM walk nights on Thursdays, 4-7pm.

Fall 2016 HVALF Endorsements

Brothers, Sisters, Friends:

This election is vital for working families. We desperately need an economy that works for all people. To get such an economy, we need to help elect people who will fight for fairness and equity in our communities! On Tuesday, November 8 ,you have an opportunity to vote for candidates who have fought and will fight for us. It’s vital that we all turn out and support worker-friendly candidates this November. Below, you will find a list of our endorsed candidates.

The process we used to identify labor-friendly candidates had several steps:

  • As candidates approach us about endorsements, they complete an on-line survey to get our consideration. This survey covered a range of issues that matter to our members: wages, healthcare, retirement benefits, prevailing wage, and others.
  • The HVALF’s Committee on Political Education (COPE), which includes all members of our Executive Committee plus other delegates interested in participating, read each response.
  • We then met briefly the candidates who filled out our survey. This allowed us to ask follow-up questions and gave the candidates a chance to add to what they wrote in the survey.
  • With this information, supplemented with additional research where we thought it useful, the COPE made recommendations to the HVALF’s Delegate body at our monthly meeting.
  • The HVCLC Delegates discussed and voted on the COPE’s recommendations, with the results you’ll see on our list of endorsed candidates on the opposite side of this page.
  • Would you like to read candidates’ answers to our on-line surveys? As a member of one of our affiliates, we are happy to share that information with you. Just contact Ian Robinson at and he will send you a link to the HVALF shared documents folder where the responses are stored.

    Questions? Want to help our volunteers phone bank or canvass before November? Contact Jake Altman (734-730-4356).

    Here is a printable version of the endorsements list (PDF).

    State-Level Endorsements

    2016 State House

    • State House #52 (Washtenaw): Donna Lasinski
    • StateHouse#53(Washtenaw):Yousef Rabhi
    • State House #54 (Washtenaw): Ronnie Peterson
    • State House #55 (Washtenaw): Adam Zemke
    • State House #64 (Jackson): Ronald Kenneth Brooks

    Michigan Supreme Court

    • Debra Thomas

    State Board of Education

    • John Austin
    • Ismael Ahmed

    University of Michigan Regents

    • Larry Deitch
    • Denise Ilitch

    Michigan State University Trustees

    • Dianne Byrum
    • Diann Woodard

    Wayne State University Board of Governors

    • Mark Gaffney
    • Yvette Anderson

    2016 Local Government Endorsements

    Washtenaw County Sheriff

    • Jerry Clayton

    Washtenaw County Treasurer

    • Catherine McClary

    Washtenaw County Commission

    • District 1: Kent Martinez-Kratz
    • District 2: Michelle Deatrick
    • District 4: Felicia Brabec
    • District 6: Ricky Lee Jefferson
    • District 7: Andy LaBarre
    • District 8: Jason Morgan
    • District 9: Conan Smith

    Washtenaw County 14A District Court

    • Robin Stephens

    Washtenaw County College Trustee

    • Dilip Das
    • Marisa Huston

    Washtenaw County Millages

    • Washtenaw County 1.2-mill for Regional Transit

    Ann Arbor City Council

    • Ward 1: Sumi Kailasapathy
    • Ward 2: Kirk Westphal
    • Ward 3: Julie Grand
    • Ward 4: Graydon Krapohl
    • Ward 5: Chuck Warpehoski

    Ann Arbor School Board

    • Jeff Gaynor
    • Hunter Van Valkenburg
    • Harmony Mitchell

    Ypsilanti City Council

    • Ward 1: Lois Elizabeth Richardson
    • Ward 3: Peter Murdock

    Ypsilanti Township

    • Supervisor: Brenda Stumbo
    • Treasurer: Larry Doe
    • Clerk: Karen Lovejoy Roe
    • Trustees (4 seats): Jimmie Wilson Jr., Stanley Eldrich,Heather Jarrell Roe and Monica Ross-Williams
    • Park Commissioner: Gloria Peterson

    Pittsfield Township

    • Supervisor: Mandy Grewal
    • Treasurer: Pat Scribner
    • Clerk: Michelle Anzaldi
    • Trustees (4 seats): Linda Edwards Brown, Gerald Krone, George Ralph, and Yameen Jaffer

    Superior Township

    • Trustee: Rodrick Kevin Green

    Livingston County Commission

    • Dennis Andrzyczak District 4
    • Kristina Drake District 8

    Hamburg Township (Livingston County)

    • Trustee: Dan Luria

    Brighton Township (Livingston County)

    • Trustee: Jim Sarna

Ian Robinson speaking on TPP Tues 9-13

Tomorrow night, Tuesday Sept 13th, HVALF President Ian Robinson will be talking with labor movement activists in Detroit about why we should oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and what we can do to stop efforts to ram it through during the lame duck session of Congress. John Sloan III from Black Lives Matter will also speak, explaining why BLM opposes TPP, and where that opposition fits into its larger program.

The event will be held at the Detroit Public Library, 5201 Woodward Ave., in the Explorer’s Room, from 6-7:30pm, Tuesday Sept 13.