Events — June 5, 2013 at 10:42 am

THIS SATURDAY: The Michigan Summit gathers Michigan’s progressive community for ACTION!


Be there or be conservative

The premier progressive event of the year in Michigan is Progress Michigan‘s Michigan Summit. This impressive conference offers a chance to network, learn and become inspired in your work as a progressive organizer and activist in our state.

This year’s Michigan Summit takes place this Saturday, June 8, 2013 beginning at 8 a.m. at Brody Hall in East Lansing, MI.

The keynote speakers this year are UAW President Bob King and Partnership for Working Families Executive Director Leslie Moody. Here are their bios:

Leslie Moody helped found The Partnership and has served as Executive Director since 2007. Prior to this national role, Leslie spent 15 years changing Colorado’s organizing and political landscape, including a decade as the first woman president of the Denver Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO. Her union and community leadership built a unified movement which transformed the state political alignment, raised the minimum wage, and elected a new era of leaders at all levels of government. She co-founded the Front Range Economic Strategy Center (FRESC), and co-chaired the successful community benefits campaign at the Cherokee-Gates brownfield redevelopment. Committed to building a diverse and effective movement, Leslie has helped train thousands of union, community and student organizers; led organizing and policy campaigns impacting tens of thousands of low-wage workers; and helped block millions of dollars in public subsidy to Wal-Mart and other low-road employers.
Bob King was elected UAW president in June, 2010. Known for his activism and passionate belief in social and economic justice, King also served three terms as a UAW vice president. First assigned to lead the union’s National Organizing Department in 1998, he assisted more than 80,000 workers in organizing with the UAW and pioneered neutrality and majority signup agreements.

From 1989 to 1998, King served three terms as director of UAW Region 1A, in the Detroit area. He joined UAW Local 600 in 1970 when he was hired at Ford Motor Co.’s Detroit Parts Depot and began his electrical apprenticeship in 1972. He was elected vice president in 1981 and president in 1984. He was re-elected in 1987 and twice elected chair of the UAW Ford Negotiating Committee.

King has led delegations to all corners of the world to stand in solidarity with the oppressed. In 1990, he supported trade unionists and church members in El Salvador who were victims of a long campaign of deadly bombings, death-squad murders and disappearances carried out by Salvadoran soldiers trained by the U.S. military’s School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Ga. He has long supported efforts to close the school.

A 1968 graduate of the University of Michigan, King received his law degree in 1973 from the University of Detroit. He’s a U.S. Army veteran, a life member of the NAACP and a Michigan Democratic Party precinct delegate.
He lives in Ann Arbor, Mich., with his wife, Moe Fitzsimons, and has five children: Jennifer, Kathlene, Jackson, Bernadette and William.

Sessions this year are organized under three main topics or “tracks”:

I. Connecting with Democracy Track

  • The Crisis of Unequal Representation
  • Shining a Light on Dark Money: Connecting Dark Money to the Everyday World
  • Voter Empowerment, Election Administration Challenges and Solutions

Tools and Skills for Action Track

  • Connecting Your Data with Taking Action
  • Collaborative Leadership
  • Methods of Change, Organizing for Power

Connecting with Each Other: The Communication Track

  • Connecting with Legislators
  • The Art of the One on One
  • Effective Communications and Messaging with Social Media Tools

Read more about the sessions and view the full agenda HERE.


Like I have in the past (2011 HERE and 2012 HERE), I will be liveblogging the Michigan Summit throughout the day. Hopefully this year I won’t land in court from it like I did last year!

I hope to see you there.