Since its incubation in 2013, the Great Lakes Political Academy has trained more than 220 fellows in this intensive program. GLPA runs general programs and specialization programs that are highly regarded across the state of Michigan. 

Leadership, Education and Development (LEAD) is aimed at recruiting and training progressive candidates for state and local offices. Our LEAD candidate training program was introduced in 2020 and is open to current and future candidates across the state.

Our general program covers all campaign topics and is designed to prepare experienced rising campaign leaders to manage competitive campaigns. Our specialization program covers specific campaign areas and is designed to prepare less-experienced rising campaign leaders to lead campaign departments.

Contact Alexis Duling Hart and Max Lewis for opportunities at and, or visit

Michigan AFL-CIO COPE (Committee on Political Education) is how we fight back against laws that threaten our rights to unionize and against policies that favor the wealthy instead of the middle class. The COPE fund supports candidates who are supportive of Michigan’s working families at the state level of government, regardless of party affiliation. If a candidate expresses he or she wants to be a champion of Michigan workers and their families, Michigan AFL-CIO COPE will help that candidate get into office to do just that. Only lawmakers who stand up for working families deserve organized labor’s financial support!

When you and your co-workers come together to form a union, you get the right to negotiate with your employer over wages, benefits and working conditions. No matter what the industry you are in, or the labor law that covers it, the process for forming a union is similar.

  1. Get together with your co-workers who may share a common interest in organizing a union.
  2. Talk to a union organizer in order to strategize and to learn the next steps.
  3. Talk to your co-workers to build support for the union.
  4.  Show that support through an election or a card-check once you have a strong majority.

Once your union is official, you’ll choose your leaders and negotiate a contract. The process is democratic, and the more inclusive you can be, the stronger your union will be.