Strong Spring Ahead

Strong Spring Ahead

Dear NLC Family,

Spring means a lot of things, but maybe most of all it’s a season for renewal, for re-energizing, and for optimism. For NLC, this optimism is fueled by the energy, creativity, and dedication seen across the nation in our NLC communities.

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve traveled to Boston, Rhode Island, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Tallahassee, Miami, Palm Beach, Washington DC, NYC, and Broward to meet with NLC leaders. I met with leaders at all stages of NLC, from Fellows, to individuals seeking to start new chapters, to Chapter leaders who have run NLC Institute for several years. On all fronts, NLC is building a better country. Their commitment to progress is real, and our mission is stronger every day because of it.

I wanted to share just a few updates from this month with you so you can share in the excitement. To see the mission in action, I hope that you can join us at one of our spring events, with the upcoming Northeast Conversation in Philadelphia on May 9 (rsvp here and be sure to join us in D.C. in July for our Annual Leadership Retreat (see below).

Special congratulations to NLC Chairman Chris Kelly for being sworn in to the Supreme Court bar this month.  It’s a tremendous honor to have our Chairman be a part of the nation’s highest court.

As always, we thank our chapter leaders, our Fellows, and our alumni for being the foundation of tomorrow’s progress, today.

NLC 2015 Institute
NLC continues to provide the best training to the business owners, nonprofit executives, and elected leaders of tomorrow, today. In April, approximately 700 NLC Fellows are participating in sessions focusing on polling, policy, and management. This month, we are honored and thankful to have had Wendy Davis run our Policy session for our inaugural NLC Houston class; Willie Pelote of AFSCME and Larry Phillips of Southeastern Carpenters Regional Council in Georgia run our Labor sessions for NLC Sacramento and NLC Augusta, respectively. To them, and to all of our many other talented faculty who participated this month, thank you!

NLC South Florida - NLC Broward and NLC Palm Beach


NLC Sacramento
NLC Rhode Island


NLC Omaha

April also saw the second year of our collaboration with the Consumer Attorneys of California for the NLC Legal Institute. This specialized program is training a new corps of progressive attorneys to help lock in the success of the NLC mission. The program has been a great success in California, and we hope to expand its success in the coming years. We appreciate the continued support of Chris Dolan and the Dolan Law Firm, for all their support of the Legal Institute as well as the NLC San Francisco Chapter.

Wendy1.jpgWendy Davis with NLC Houston

All this energy and dedication bubbles over in person and also online. You can always be a part of it by following us on any of our social media platforms. You can follow NLC on Facebook or on Twitter and also follow #NLCInstitute or #NLCFamily.

Fellows Fundraisers
NLC Fellows are currently putting the communications, management, and fundraising skills learned through the NLC Institute to practice. To make sure that the Institute remains free of charge to the Fellows, the current class puts on a fundraiser to raise funds for the next year’s class.

Tallahassee and Connecticut kicked off the spring events with a great event last weekend. Special thank you to DJ Raine and Fresh Little Garden, a business owned by NLC Fellow Rebecca Weaver for supporting NLC Tallahassee; thank you to State Representatives Matthew Lesser, Greg Haddad, James Albis, and State Senator Bob Duff in Connecticut for joining us. You can find a spotlight on the NLC Tallahassee event here.

Please be sure to join us at our future events, meet your local progressive change makers, and support the next class of leading entrepreneurs.

As I mentioned, we have two upcoming, exciting events. First up, we have our 2015 Northeast Conversation on May 9 in Philadelphia, PA. This day-long conversation will bring the chapters and our friends in the northeast corridor to take a modern look at the Constitution, its role in building a rights based society, and areas where progress can be made in light of all of our history. This event will feature special guests David L. Cohen, Executive VP, Comcast; Magistrate Judge Marylin Heffley, 3rd Circuit Court; Burns Strider, Principal, Eleison LLC; and Pennsylvania State Senator Daylin Leach.

Afterward, we will convene at WHYY Studios for the Philadelphia Fellows reception. You can find more information here:

Shortly after our Northeast Conversation, NLC New Jersey is hosting A Health Care Summit in Monroe Township, NJ. On May 16, this conference, focused exclusively on health care policy, will allow our fellows, alumni, and stakeholders – tomorrow’s leaders – to engage with the Healthcare policy community on ways to make our country better. You can rsvp here:

Additionally, we will be holding our annual National Leadership Retreat in Washington D.C. Each year, our executive team, leaders from each of our chapters, and NLC alumni join members of the progressive community, local, and national elected officials, thought and business leaders for three days of conversation, networking, and strategizing. During July 23-25, over 250 progressive leaders across the country will convene and connect to other leaders from California, Massachusetts, Florida, Iowa, and many places in between. Please save the date and join us this July.

We’ve been busy over at NLC4, NLC’s advocacy organization, which will further serve and support NLC alumni and connect the progressive community.  In May, we continue our roundtable series, with a discussion on Advocacy in the today’s healthcare landscape. On Wednesday May 20, we will host a conversation with members of today’s major healthcare advocacy voices on the current issues and their solutions to make healthcare make sense for each of us.

Will you join us? It's free to attend, lunch is provided, and you can rsvp here:


As you can see, NLC has a lot going on. But we are not doing it alone. We appreciate your continued support and dedication. I hope that you can make it one or more of our events.

See you this July in Washington.

Mark Riddle
New Leaders Council Executive Director