Northeast Conversation 2014

Northeast Conversation 2014

This past weekend, we held a hugely successful Northeast Conversation in Jersey City, New Jersey and New York City with over 250 passionate, next generation leaders in attendance. In this month’s newsletter, I want to share with you a brief recap of events, as well as a look ahead to our other upcoming regional conferences and spring events.

2014 Northeast Conversation

Last Saturday was a landmark day for New Leaders Council.  The New Jersey, New York City and Philadelphia Chapters, along with all the New Leaders Council Chapters in the Northeast, hosted NLC’s second Northeast Conversation. New Leaders Council Fellows, alumni and board members joined with local leaders and community activists to share their commitment for a more progressive northeast corridor.

Thank you to all of our participants – members of the community new to NLC, NLC alumni, Fellows, and board members from all of NLC’s eight northeast chapters – from Washington DC to Boston – who came together to share ideas on solutions to the pressing issues of the day in the northeast corridor.

Thank you as well to our keynote speakers, community leaders Mayor Steven Fulop, Mary Kay Henry (International President of SEIU), U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, Simon Rosenberg (Founder and President of NDN), NJ Assemblyman Troy Singleton and Jonathan Soros (CEO of JS Capital Management) who shared thoughts on the state of our democracy, of the progressive movement, and on building a progressive majority.

The day contained several panels and breakout sessions in which we discussed topics from the launch of the Affordable Care Act to LGBTQ Equality to the Role of NLC in Building a Better Northeast, and everything in between. Thank you to elected leaders such as NJ Senator Joseph F. Vitale, NJ Assemblywoman Mila M. Jasey,  NLC NYC boardmember Jack Schnirman, City Manager for the City of Long Beach and leaders of progressive organizations like Corey Blay, Brotherhood Prep; Cornell Williams Brooks, New Jersey Institute for Social Justice; Kwame Floyd, Leadership for Educational Equity; Michael Anne Kyle, Greater Newark Health Coalition; Jennifer Long, Garden State Equality; Zerlina Maxwell, MSNBC; Analilia Mejia, New Jersey Working Families Alliance; Kate McDonough, Girls for Gender Equity; NLC Philadelphia boardmember Paul Nedeau, New Jersey Department of Education; John Raskin, Riders Alliance; George Simpson, Empire State Pride Agenda; Ben Spinelli, President’s Hurricane Sandy Recovery Task Force; Giancarlo Tello, New Jersey United Students; Tobin Van Ostern, Young Invincibles; Kyle Williams, Urban League for facilitating these ideas and conversations.


By all measurements, this conference was a huge success. As was evidenced by the energy and commitment of all who participated in the 2014 Northeast Conversation, NLC continues to create an exciting community of highly-skilled individuals working together across sectors to improve the progressive infrastructure and ensure strong democracy, social justice, and equal opportunity.

The Northeast Conversation would not have been possible without the tireless leadership of the 2014 Northeast Conversation planning committee. Thank you to Justin Braz, Barry Caro, Heather Grantham, Gavin Keirans, Randy Lariar and Alise Roderer for leading the individual planning committees that produced this outstanding event.

“For a decade, NLC has played a vital role in identifying the next generation of progressive leaders. Through NLC’s programs, future leaders gain strong leadership skills and mentorship”
–U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY)

Upcoming regional conferences

Just like the Northeast Conversation, our other regional conferences will bring in leadership from elected officials and leaders in progressive organizations in the Midwest and Florida regions to engage NLC’s community. Please save the date now for these important Conversations and for our annual Leadership Retreat.

May 17 & 18 – Florida Conversation; Miami FL; Contact Damian Perez at

June 8 – NLC and Pelosi Bootcamp; Atlanta GA; Contact Matti Miranda at

June 20 & 21 – Chicago Conversation; Chicago IL; Contact Rachel Hoge at

August 8 & 9 – National Leadership Retreat; Sacramento, CA; Contact Matti Miranda at

Please reach out with any questions on participating in these conferences.

2014 spring events

By the time you read this, NLC will have conducted over 62 local events, in each of our 31 communities nationwide.  In conjunction with our Institute sessions in the spring, Fellows execute fundraiser events in which they raise funds and “pay it forward” to the next class of progressive leaders. We are in the early stages of planning these events and will be notifying you of the details via email and on our website as soon as they are ready.

Chapters conduct happy hour meet-and-greets throughout the year, which you can find on our events calendar.

The commitment of our community is now greater than ever. We invite you to stay engaged and thank you for your continued support.

All the best,
Mark Riddle
New Leaders Council Executive Director