A group of University of Michigan students recently launched Michigan Political Consulting, the first political consulting organization on campus. The non-partisan organization works with various state and national campaigns and currently comprises of an executive board and a small consulting team.
MPC Vice President Sam Burnstein, an LSA sophomore, said the group was founded to fill a gap in opportunities for campus involvement.
“There are over a dozen different business consulting groups that are well known and highly coveted by students pursuing those careers,” Burnstein said. “But there wasn’t even one for politics or campaign work.”
LSA senior Rachael Freedman is interested in campaigning and was intrigued by MPC’s mission.
“I believe that Michigan Political Consulting offers a niche, yet incredibly valuable, opportunity to Michigan students,” Freedman said. “I think political consulting would give students access to a variety of political perspectives, offices, causes and operations compared to one internship or job.”
The group works with various Michigan campaigns, including Senator Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign, Jon Hoadley’s congressional campaign for Michigan’s 60th district and Alberta Griffin’s state House campaign for Michigan’s 61st district. Hoadley is a Democrat, first elected to the House of Representatives in 2014. Griffin is also a Democrat and served a previous term in the state House, before being defeated in 2018.
MPC Recruitment Co-Chair and LSA junior, Taylor Smith, said the group has to adapt to each campaign's specific requests, but in general MPC works on social media, polling, fundraising and more.
“Every client will have a different set of needs,” Smith said. “But the work generally includes making social media posts for them, doing graphic design, data, polling, fundraising — a lot of different things.”
Burnstein talked specifically about MPC’s work for the Warren campaign and how they got connected.
“We got in touch with someone from the Warren campaign,” Burstein said. “She expressed an interest in working with us, and she connected us to the youth political director. He was keen on having us set up student groups on other campuses across the state of Michigan.”
Though MPC says they’re a non-partisan group, the majority of their current clients are Democratic campaigns. Burnstein emphasized that the group is happy to work with both Republican and Democratic campaigns, but acknowledged the difficulty of finding an ideologically diverse membership.
“By the nature of being in a college town, it begets a lot of progressive and democratic voices, which is the main composition of our executive board, unintentionally, of course,” Burnstein said. “I think it has been difficult recruiting students with non-mainstream voices and views.”
Freedman agreed having a group with diverse perspectives and ideologies is important in political organizations.
“It is absolutely vital to incorporate individuals from all political ideologies at one table,” Freedman said. “Executing effective political leadership and best representing those who elect an official is done with a diverse representation of ideologies present.”
The group hopes to grow this semester while providing quality work for their clients. They are receiving applications until Sept. 1