Our Weekend in Florida

Our Weekend in Florida

After spending the weekend at NLC’s 2015 Florida Conversation in Orlando, I’m certain: NLC is the vehicle for progressive change nationwide.

This Conversation brought together NLC Fellows, labor leaders, and business leaders to discuss the urgent work that needs to be done to empower and elevate the next generation of change makers.

We’re at a critical time recruiting the next NLC Institute class. If you have not done so, apply today or nominate a potential Fellow. Read below to find out more about this, our recruitment events, and to catch up on past events.


The 2015 Florida Conversation was a huge success. Over 200 progressive leaders from across the state convened in Orlando to discuss the most pressing issues Florida is facing today and how to advance social change now. It was an honor to have all of the top progressive champions join us.

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See our Florida Conversation album here

We thank our speakers, Rob Panepint, CEO, Clean the World First B-Corporation in Florida; Chris Castro, City Energy Project, City of Orlando; Susan Glickman, Director, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy; Robbie Gossett, First Green Bank; Jillian Irvin, Public Policy Director, Airbnb; Cesar Fernandez, Director, Uber Florida; former U.S. Congressman Jason Altmire; Matthew Broffman, D irector of Innovation, City of Orlando; Celeste Palma, Audubon Florida; NLC Boardmember Andrew Korge; Bryan Wilson, Become.City; Terance Lenoir, Sarah Elbadri, Jeff Wright, Florida Education Association; Gary Farmer, Florida Justice Association; Monica Russo, Executive Vice President, SEIU Florida; and U.S. Senator Bill Nelson. Thank you to Hon. Alex Sink for being the Chair of the conference and for joining me in judging the NLC Alumni Capstone Competition alongside our Chairman of the Board, Chris Kelly.

NLC4 Emerging Leaders – Florida Edition

After the NLC Conversation, NLC4 held another session of its NLC4 Emerging Leaders Training. More than thirty leaders from all five of our Florida chapters participated in an intensive workshop training them in advanced civic participation. With sessions covering the intricacies of community organizing, program and campaign management, and planning for the future, this session provided a “graduate level” training to NLC leaders looking to have a greater impact in the civic process. Thank you to Hon. Alex Sink, Jessica VandenBerg, Michael Hayden, and Ben Resnik for your time and expertise as trainers.

Please be on the look out for our next Emerging Leaders training.

NLC Institute
The NLC Institute develops new progressive leaders. Through the Institute, each Fellow is trained in a class of 15-20 peers to develop the skills needed to start a business, run for office, run a nonprofit and everywhere in between.

There are two ways you can help build the bench of progressive leaders:

  1. If you know someone who is a rising star change, nominate them to the institute today: http://www.newleaderscouncil.org/2016_institute_nominations
  2. If you are an upcoming progressive change agent, apply to the NLC institute: https://newleaderscouncil.nationbuilder.com/2016_institute_application

Press and Features

  • NLC Detroit continues to reach their community through their leadership. Our very own Dr. Cecil Forbes, NLC Detroit Co-Founder, is speaking at the NAACP’s Young Adult Committee Staying Connected: I am the Change conversation.
  • Live stream school board meetings? NLC Silicon Valley Chapter founder and board member of the Campbell Union High School District Kalen Gallagher says yes. Will it improve transparency? Read more on the San Jose Mercury news: http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_28666831/christian-mcguire-alison-sir-and-kalen-gallagher-livestream
  • NLC New Jersey makes up 1/3 of Politicker’s 30 Under 30. Three Executive Board members, four Advisory Board members, and four alumni headline New Jersey’s rising stars. Congratulations Justin Braz, Liz Mahn, Brandon McKoy, Vin Gopal, Paulina Grabczak, William Moen Jr., Kari Osmond, Michael Makarski, Justin Shoham, Matthew Bonasia and Marshall Spevak! http://politickernj.com/2015/08/politickernjs-annual-30-or-a-few-more-under-30/

10 years after Katrina: New Orleans and the path forward

This week is the 10th anniversary of Katrina. Many members of the NLC community took this opportunity to reflect on Katrina and to look toward the future. I hope I see you in the NLC Institute and at one of NLC’s many events soon.

“If you read just one thing on the commemoration of Katrina, it should be this impressive and sweeping piece by ESPN Senior Writer Wright Thompson. In eloquent and precise fashion Thompson illustrates not only the essence of one of the world's great cities and its people, but vividly reminds us all that when Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast 10 years ago, more than just physical infrastructure was lost or damaged. As we remember the lives that were forever lost and are in many senses forever disrupted, let us not forget that progress means not just the (re )building of a great American city but also the building up of each and every one of her citizens.”

-- Caroline Fayard, NLC Boardmember

Read the piece on ESPN: http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/13479768/wright-thompson-life-loss-renewal-new-orleans-10-years-hurricane-katrina

I hope I see you in the NLC Institute and at one of NLC’s many events soon.

Mark Riddle
New Leaders Council Executive Director

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