Looking Forward

Looking Forward

New Leaders Council August Newsletter

Dear NLC Family,

I could not be more proud of our New Leaders Council family.

This past weekend, we hosted our sixth annual NLC National Leadership Retreat, a two-day intensive session where NLC leadership, alumni, and Fellows gathered to plan the future of NLC and the progressive movement. Together, leaders from across the country focused on building progressive gains across America. These achievements span private sector advances that serve progressive goals, progress in state and local governments, and finally the incredible advance of NLC as we look to the next year of Institutes.

Anytime that you can get over 200 young progressive leaders in one room, you know the energy will be electric. When I reflect on the dedication I felt in that room, I know that NLC is the vehicle for change. And the members of the NLC community will be the ones to effect progressive change everywhere—from local schools and nonprofits all the way to breaking the paralysis in Washington.

Coming out of Sacramento, we now know that this is our moment.

We learned from some of the leading lights of the progressive movement’s broad coalition. Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb spoke on being a progressive leader in red America, and former California Assembly Speaker Robert Hertzberg explained his vision for the future of our largest state. From the private sector, David Cohen, Executive Vice President of Comcast, reminded us of the importance of being engaged and building leadership capacity outside of normal channels. From the civic sector, Simon Rosenberg, President of NDN, challenged the NLC community to lead America in “raising its game” against the challenges of the 21st Century. Christine Pelosi of Democracy Partners delivered her outstanding take on communicating progressive values through practice. From the entertainment world, Lesley Chilcott, Producer of many excellent documentaries such as An Inconvenient Truth, explained the intricacies of using storytelling to convey complex problems.

Christine Pelosi after her remarks

David Cohen's NLC selfie

Hon. Robert Hertzberg

Former Sen. Jim Webb (VA)

Lesley Chilcott

Will Marshall

Our challenging panel discussions on key issues facing progressives prepared our team for the coming year. Leaders such as Will Marshall, President, Progressive Policy Institute; Sally Kay from Uber; the Hon. Roger Dickinson, Assembly Member, State of California; and the Hon. Steve Hansen, Sacramento City Council Member covered the challenges of establishing progressive economic policy.

We also hosted a truly unique panel on new quantitative data developed through the NLC community and other progressive polling projects with Alexandra Acker-Lyons, Youth Engagement Director, The Democracy Alliance; Margie Omero, Director of Research, Purple Strategies; and Jill Hanauer, President & CEO, Project New America.

Sara El-Amin and Bryan Blum

Progressive Polling panel

Brittany Ballard, NLC Los Angeles

Justin Braz, NLC New Jersey

NLC Fellowship

Sally Kay, Uber

We looked inward through workshops on building chapter Strategic Plans while also reviewing the NLC budget and our fundamental governing principles. These in-depth discussions help to build a stronger NLC, one that will lead the progressive movement into the future.

You can see more photos from our 2014 Retreat here.

Now that the 2014 Leadership has concluded, we turn our eyes toward the 2015 Institute recruitment and application period. This year’s set of Fellows will enter into an NLC that is primed and ready to seize the moment, so recruitment is more important than it has ever been. The 2015 Institute will occur in nearly 40 chapters nationwide, adding approximately 700 new Fellows in the process.

As we continue to extend our reach to new communities and to emerging leaders in our existing regions, we continue to need your help. Applications and nominations for the 2015 institute will open on Tuesday September 2. At that time, you will be able to go to our website and nominate a young leader to apply, or if you’re a young leader, apply yourself.

Keep an eye out for details about events in your local community during the recruitment period as we approach these important dates:

  • September 2: Applications Open
  • November 11: Applications Close*
  • * October 14: Optional early close date for some chapters (please check the website)

The energy to change the status quo and make our country a more just and equitable society is palpable. We are certainly ready for the fight. If we stick together we will win. It is our time to make the world a better place.
Thank you,

Chris Kelly

Chairman, New Leaders Council