2017 Year in Review

2017 Year in Review

2017 has been a remarkable year for New Leaders Council. Riled by the 2016 election, progressives from across the country stepped up this year for what is right.



2017 has been a remarkable year for New Leaders Council. Riled by the 2016 election, progressives from across the country stepped up this year for what is right. Through the NLC Institute and programming, our community members are fighting for a more equitable and fair society. NLC alumni are the future of this country. Our core-constituency, millennials, will soon be the largest voting bloc in American history (~83 million voters) and will be the generation to truly change our institutions in American society.

The following provides a snapshot of NLC's work over the past year. To help ensure we can continue this work in 2018, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to NLC before year’s end.


Last week, NLC announced our largest and most diverse Fellows class ever. 861 entrepreneurs and elected officials, nonprofit leaders and activists, journalists and educators will beginning their Institute experience in January. These leaders self-identify as 63 percent non-white, 61 percent female, and 17 percent LGBTQ+. NLC Fellows are next generation leaders who believe they can make an impact in their communities, will fight to change the status quo, and will work to inspire others to take action to support progressive values and policies.


NLC trained more than 800 progressive, political entrepreneurs through 43 Institutes across the United States, expanding our community to nearly 6,000 alumni from coast to coast. Through these Institutes and with additional events, NLC hosted over 300 training and organizing events. From entrepreneurial goal setting to strategic communications and digital outreach, economics, finance and fundraising to management and coalition building, progressive policy to diversity and inclusion, the NLC Institute is preparing the next generation of progressive changemakers to believe, change and inspire our communities.


NLC was proud to welcome chapters in Columbus, Dallas, and Oklahoma to its growing community across the country this past year. Additionally, we laid the groundwork for additional expansion into new states and communities for 2018, providing access to training and resources to more progressives across the country. With the addition of these new chapters, NLC is running 44 Institutes in 29 states plus the District of Columbia.


2017 brought the launch of the NLC Black Caucus and a relaunch of the NLC Women’s Caucus. Both Caucuses held organizational meetings at the 2017 NLC National Leadership Retreat in Pittsburgh in July and have been providing meaningful programming to their members and communities throughout the fall, such as the NLC Women’s Summit in New York City.


In 2017, NLC announced the additions of Florida State Representative Loranne Ausley, Columbia, South Carolina Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin, and Cook County, IL State's Attorney Kim Foxx as NLC Honorary Co-Chairs. They join U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (VA), DNC Vice-Chairman and New York Assemblyman Michael Blake, and California State Board of Equalization Representative Fiona Ma as ambassadors for NLC's mission to recruit, train and promote the next generation of progressive leaders.


NLC celebrated the victories of 25 NLC community members in their bid for public office in 2017. From school board to State Senate, NLC members made big strides across the country with voters clearly turning their backs on hateful and divisive rhetoric and policies, and turning to those with positive messages of inclusion and progress. New Leaders Council is proud of the many individuals in our community who stepped up and ran for office and for those who put in their blood, sweat and tears to get progressives elected.


In 2017, NLC rolled out the Millennial Compact with America, a one-of-a-kind policy agenda: created by passionate advocates at the grassroots level, focused on the future, and designed to bring a spirit of entrepreneurship and inclusiveness to our politics. Starting with regional events in Boston, Atlanta, Houston, and Los Angeles, the Compact was released during two-days of policy discussion and collaboration in Chicago this past fall, that included Senator Dick Durbin (IL), NLC Co-Chair Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and many more influential leaders and thinkers. Through community feedback, the Millennial Compact will become a comprehensive statement of Millennial policy in 2018.


NLC leaders and community members converged in Pittsburgh in July for the annual NLC National Leadership Retreat. From Spark! Talks to Caucus meetings, from leadership training to inspiring speakers and panels, the 2017 National Retreat was a way to reenergize and plan for the coming year. Highlights included engaging with Senators Jeff Merkely (OR) and Bob Casey (PA), Assemblyman Michael Blake (NY) and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto.


This month, New Leaders Council, in partnership with CALinnovates announced the launch of the Millennial Policy Initiative (MPI), to empower a generation of leaders, thinkers and elected officials to solve public policy problems and seize opportunities. By connecting NLC community members with prominent thought, business and organizational leaders, MPI will develop modern policy ideas for long-term institutional change. MPI will be a vehicle for focus on pressing issues such as criminal justice reform, democracy and voting rights, education, healthcare, climate change and energy, gender equity, and the future of work. The Millennial Compact with America, The New Leader and the newly announced Millennial Policy Initiative Senior Fellowship will complement MPI’s programming.


In 2017, NLC leaders stepped up across the country to spread their voices and demand change in their communities. Whether it was contributing to NLC’s journal of policy and politics, The New Leader, or serving on a cable news panel, we heard NLC community members demand for progressive change loud and clear.

Additionally, many NLC community members have been making waves and headlines for their commitment to their communities. Aaron Carr, NLC NYC ‘15, was recently highlighted in the Wall Street Journal for his work at the Housing Rights Initiative, developed from his Capstone Project, where he organizes class-action lawsuits against landlords who break rent-stabilization laws. Rendel Solomon, NLC Chicago ‘16, was just named as the People’s Choice winner for Ebony’s Power 100 for his Capstone Project, One Stock One Future, a nonprofit organization expanding access and opportunity to underserved youth by turning them into public company shareholders. Rendel is joined by Luvvie Ajayi, NLC Chicago ‘10 on that list. These are just a couple of the many NLC alumni and community members doing phenomenal work to advance our progressive principles.

New Leaders Council is the national hub for Millennial training and a platform to elevate Millennial voices across sectors and communities. Members of the millennial generation are stepping up and demanding changes to our society and our government. NLC is the vehicle to provide the training, networking, and policy development to support this generation and to develop them into the leaders of the future. We look forward to the change our community makes in 2018.

If you could support NLC with a donation of $25, $50, $100, or $500 by our December 31st fundraising deadline, it will go toward help fund our Institutes and programming for 2018. Don't forget - your donation is tax deductible.

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