5 updates from NLC to kick off your weekend
The 2018 NLC Institute application has closed, NLC added a new national honorary co-chair, and our alumni keep making waves in their communities. The NLC network continues to believe, change and inspire, and we are thrilled to keep you up-to-date on our work.
Check out these updates from the NLC community!
1) Mayor Steve Benjamin named NLC National Honorary Co-Chair
Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin’s progressive score sheet as Mayor of Columbia, SC and a leader among Mayors across the country make him a perfect mentor and leader for the New Leaders Council community. Mayor Benjamin is a shining example how hard work and collaboration can bring about positive, progressive change.
His administration has been characterized by his firm belief in Columbia’s potential and intense focus on job creation. In his first term alone, his leadership helped cut unemployment in the metro by roughly half and secured billions of dollars in new regional capital investment in the midst of a national recession.
Under Mayor Benjamin’s leadership, Columbia is the first community in South Carolina to commit to 100 percent clean and renewable energy by 2036. Mayor Benjamin co-chairs the Sierra Club’s Mayors for 100% Clean Energy Initiative and introduced at the U.S. Conference of Mayors – of which he is Vice President – a resolution that would formally establish support from the nation’s mayors for the goal of 100 percent renewable energy in cities nationwide.
We're grateful to have Mayor Benjamin's support as we launch a new chapter in South Carolina!
Mayor Benjamin with the NLC South Carolina team
2) Coming Soon: NLC Fellowship Class of 2018
Our Chapter Selections teams are busy taking the next steps to choose the 2018 NLC Fellows Class. We are grateful for their tireless volunteer efforts to continue building the NLC movement across the country. We're excited to introduce you to the new class by the end of the year.
If you have applied to the NLC Institute, stay tuned. We will be in touch soon with an update on your application status.
3) NLC Atlanta hosts Mayoral Tech Pitch
NLC Atlanta joined forces with TechSquare and General Assembly to host the first Atlanta Mayoral Tech Pitch. Atlanta is poised to become a world startup technology hub and entrepreneurial ecosystem, and candidates for mayor pitched their plans for the future of Atlanta to a panel of judges. NLC Atlanta Chapter Co-Director Russell Hopson joined Jen Bonnett of Advanced Technology Development Center, Dr. Kamau Bobb of Georgia Tech, Dr. Tiffany Bussey of Morehouse College Entrepreneurship Center, James Franklin of Techbridge, and Rodney Sampson from TechSquare Labs on the judges panel.
Candidates for mayor addressed issues like local infrastructure challenges, obstacles for women and minority tech entrepreneurs, and the school to prison pipeline.
Special thanks to our volunteer team in Atlanta for their efforts in hosting this event, as well as partners TechSquare and General Assembly.
4) Mark Riddle: No Gray Area
NLC president Mark Riddle offers thoughts on the state of America in this op-ed. The piece, featured on NLC's The New Leader media channel, is a call to action to demand our leaders take action to heal our nation's wounds.
“This is about right and wrong. We will all be judged by what we do and say in these times that, all hyperbole aside, remind me of the decent into Nazism. Trump and Pence do not have ownership over the flag. It is ours, We the People. Those who sit on the sidelines and do nothing, or acquiesce to this deviancy — people like Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and every obsequious member of the governing class — are complicit in our Republic’s decline.
I refuse to be part of that slide. There is no more grey area.”
5) NLC Alumni Make the News
David Bander (NLC New Jersey): Supreme Court Case will Dramatically Impact the Political Strength of Public Sector Unions. Check out David's latest op-ed via Insider NJ.
Aaron Carr (NLC New York) is featured in this piece via the Wall Street Journal for his work at the Housing Rights Initiative. HRI was Aaron’s NLC Institute capstone, and it works to protect tenants in New York City from illegal rent increases.Check out Aaron in this story.
In its 96-year history of the Junior League of Nashville, Krystal Clark (NLC Nashville) is leaving her mark as its first black president elected. Krystal wants women of all social identities to feel welcome with the Junior League. Hear more from Krystal in this piece.
Richard Fowler (NLC Senior Fellow, NLC Washington DC): Challenging Trump with Powerful Black Queer Stories. Check out Richard's latest op-ed via HuffPost.
Matt Shorraw (NLC Pittsburgh) is featured as part of Salon's Young Americans Initiative. After being elected in May, Shorraw shares what inspired him to run and his priorities as mayor-elect of Monessen, PA. Check out the story via Salon.