Next Saturday, March 1, is a landmark day for New Leaders Council. Hundreds of passionate young leaders are coming together in Jersey City, NJ for our second NLC Northeast Conversation. Will you join the Conversation?
The eight NLC chapters in the northeast region are hosting a full day of panels and breakouts that will equip young progressives with the tools to solve pressing challenges in the northeast corridor and beyond. Join nationally known progressive leaders such as Mary Kay Henry (International President of SEIU), Jonathan Soros (CEO of JS Capital Management), Simon Rosenberg (Founder and President of NDN), U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, and NLC’s own Zerlina Maxwell (MSNBC contributor), for a highly interactive, solution-focused discussion of topics ranging from healthcare to wage equity to transportation and more.
The event will take place at the HCCC Culinary Conference Center in Jersey City, NJ. Following the Conversation, join us for a reception in Manhattan at EVR, where you can network with our community of NLC alumni and friends, and help us build the next generation of progressive leadership in the northeast.
Be a part of this important Conversation. RSVP today.
New Leaders Council Executive Director
New group offers free training and support
Mark Greene doesn't like the fact that "politics" is so often a dirty word.
"Politics are not an attractive thing and there's a reason for that," Greene says. "From an outsider's perspective, it seems that our political process discourages people from getting involved in the system -- especially the emphasis on fundraising. Access to money trumps ideas and, in the process, drowns out the voices of voters and would-be candidates."
Greene is an Air Force pilot who has flown 170 missions in the Middle East and Africa. He came to Madison in 2009 to attend law school. His ongoing service in the Michigan Air National Guard keeps him thinking about complicated issues of leadership and problem solving.
All of which brought him to the attention of the New Leaders Council. The national group was started in 2008 as a way of training and recruiting the next generation of liberal leaders, says Luke Fuszard, who went through the training in Boston after getting his MBA from Harvard. The idea is similar to a conservative training program called the Leadership Institute, which has been around since the '70s.
"I'd always been interested in politics, but I didn't really know what skills are important to have, whether as a candidate or just working on someone's campaign," Fuszard says.
When he returned to his home state, Fuszard started a Madison chapter of the program, and its first fellowship kicked off in January with 19 people. The program is free, but time consuming. Fellows spend a weekend a month for five months going through training sessions with local and national speakers, getting primers on fundraising, networking and other issues.
The first group of fellows ranges in age from 23 to 32. About 30 applied for the program, but some were turned down because they're still in college, Fuszard says. The group is looking for people who have ties to Wisconsin and expect to stay here.
"The idea is they'll go on to become the future leaders of Wisconsin," says Fuszard.
The first group is split about evenly between men and women, and Fuszard says there are several African Americans (including Greene). "We were very conscious to have a class that looks like Madison."
The class runs through May, and the plan is to have one every year.
In addition to fostering leadership skills, Fuszard says the goal is to help build a network that the fellows can turn to when running for office, raising money or tackling a particular issue. During the program, the fellows will be asked to identify an issue they want to work on and to develop a plan.
Greene says the first weekend session went pretty quickly. "It's a lot of introspection, taking stock of what your specific abilities are," he says.
Greene isn't sure whether he'll ever run for office himself. But he'd like to see the country's electoral system "brought into the 21st century."
Part of that, Greene believes, involves politicians taking risks. He says too many leaders today prioritize holding onto power above all else.
"Politicians have to be willing to lose their jobs to do what's right," he says. "A willingness to stand on principle and walk away -- I wouldn't call that 'failing.'"
NLC Fellows, board members, and faculty are dedicated to ensuring a strong democracy by
providing social justice and equal opportunity. The NLC community’s hard work is being done right now, in communities all across the country.
New Leaders Council connects next generation leaders across the country and equips them with the skills necessary to be civic leaders in their communities and workplaces. NLC does this primarily though the NLC Institute, comprised of faculty of executives and elected officials and pairs these young professional with dignitaries as their mentors.
New Leaders Council kicked off the 2014 Institute on January 11. All of the 31 chapters nationwide have now hosted their first NLC weekend, introducing over 600 new Fellows into the NLC community.
Each year the Fellows become more and more impressive, making up an increasingly more talented and diverse class. The faculty of the NLC institute is equally impressive, teaching the Fellows their hard-won lessons by sharing their expertise and stories.
To name a few highlights, we can look at the Atlanta institute, where NLC Fellows shared sessions with Senator Nan Orrock and Union City Councilwoman Shayla Nealy; in Louisiana, the NLC Institute included a conversation led by Mayor of Alexandria Jacques Roy; out West, NLC Institute Alumna and current Montana State Representative Jennifer Gursky discussed the importance of community engagement with the current NLC Montana class; Madison, WI schoolboard member Mary Burke shared her story with the inaugural Madison Fellows; former Chicago Alderman, Professor Dick Simpson gave the Chicago Fellows a brief lesson on Chicago politics; in North Carolina, demonstrating their progressive tenacity, the 2014 Fellows worked under emergency lights after a tornado warning caused power to go out in the building.
All across the country, NLC Fellows are learning from the best, and demonstrating their resolve.
The social media sphere was alight with comments from faculty, board members, and Fellows alike, all expressing enthusiasm to a part of the latest NLC cohort and toward the next few months spent in the NLC Institute. Be sure to check out NLC’s social media where young leaders tweet, post and share ideas and pictures of the experience of their NLC Institute sessions.
NLC would not exist without the faculty and board members that volunteer their time to get the job done in order to build a long term, progressive infrastructure. And for that, we thank them.
Lastly, NLC is bringing together Fellows, alumni, and board members of the eight northeast corridor chapters this March 1 in Jersey City, NJ. Not only is this a day of thoughtful discussion on the current issues in the northeast corridor and the important role millennials play in solving them, but, as one of several of our regional conferences, this conference will also serve to build community between our neighboring chapters.
If you are in the northeast area, please join members of the NLC community, and leaders in business, politics, and policy.
We look forward to keeping you updated on the progress our Fellows have through out the year; NLC truly is about its people, progress, and results.
New Leaders Council Programs Director
The New Leaders Council Institute is the nation's premier leadership and professional development program, providing training, mentoring, networking, and career and political advancement to enterprising young professionals. An intense, five-month progressive entrepreneurship training program, each NLC Institute is highly-selective, admitting only 15 to 20 Fellows to each chapter.
Today, I am proud to announce the newest and tremendously impressive class of NLC Fellows.
Once again, our chapters have set an exceptionally high bar on the quality and talent level of the Fellows they have recruited. We could not be more excited to welcome over 600 Fellows for the 2014 Class, being held in 31 chapters across the nation.
I am extremely confident this class of leaders will emerge more prepared than ever to become incredibly influential and to make a positive difference in their respective communities.
Take a moment to read about our 2014 Fellows!
New Leaders Council Chairman
Executive Director, New Leaders Council
- The national firestorm surrounding Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson's disgraceful comments bring to the forefront the struggle for equality and justice that remains an ongoing fight in America.
Robertson's comments equating homosexuality to bestiality or implying African Americans were better off under Jim Crow laws are shameful, no doubt. But, what is even more startling is the almost instantaneous defense of Robertson by several prominent elected officials. From Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to his Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne to Texas Senator Ted Cruz, extremists could not wait to defend or rationalize Robertson's inflammatory rhetoric.
You might think that these seemingly educated politicians might pick up a history book, re-visit what Christianity truly stands for, or at least be mindful of racial and economic struggles before rushing to a microphone to capitalize on a reality television personality and pander to the most divisive elements of our culture. But you'd be wrong.
The politicos who rushed to support this vitriol are truly the ignorant ones in this saga.
Robertson's defenders in Louisiana must have forgotten about Katrina, the racial struggles of the Jena Six, or the fact that nearby Lake Providence, L.A. -- only about an hour and a half from Duck Commander HQ -- was deemed "the most unequal place in America" by CNN.
Perhaps the voters of Louisiana should ask their two top elected officials who exactly, besides themselves, they are serving with their spirited defenses of those on the wrong side of history? Aren't leaders supposed to lead and representatives represent all citizens, including the black, gay, and Asian ones?
So, while A&E makes its own business decisions on the program's future, it is past time for our nation to look inward and think about our way forward. Our national crises -- income disparity, poverty, massive debts, crumbling infrastructure, unfunded pensions, and a host of other problems -- combined with the seemingly insatiable need for those with any platform to divide instead of unite -- begs the question: where are the leaders who will solve the real issues at hand?
It must fall to the next generation to fulfill our country's promise. Our remarkable millennial generation is committed to equality, does not care whom one loves, and is determined to make all of our communities and our country a better place.
As Executive Director of New Leaders Council (NLC) I have the privilege of traveling the country and witnessing the development of the next generation of leaders we so desperately need. NLC's efforts also extend deep into what pundits often label "red" America.
In Louisiana we have a vibrant and thriving chapter, with a record applicant class this past year for our upcoming programs. NLC Alumni in Louisiana are preparing to step up into leadership roles across the state, including running for the highest offices. Perhaps one such alumnus may actually share a debate stage with Jindal or Dardenne some day, and can put to them the very questions they now refuse to answer. That is the kind of leadership we need: smart, honest, accountable, and unifying.
Our NLC community would respectfully disagree with Robertson and the likes of Jindal but point out that they are not entitled to their own set of facts.
Taking a step back, what Phil Robertson really taught us is that we have a lot of work to do as a country. We need to move past the bickering and the instinctive partisan politicking, towards real leadership. It is time to stand up and get rid of shortsighted, divisive, and pandering politicians.
Make it your New Year's resolution to support next generation progressive leaders in Louisiana and across the country as they change us all for the better.
NLC 2013 Chapter of the Year Continues to Shine
Each year, New Leaders Council holds a leadership retreat at which members of the NLC community from across America come together to review the year just passed, plan the year to come, and honor members of the NLC community that particularly stood out. At the NLC 2013 Leadership Retreat in Louisville, Kentucky this past August, the NLC Community recognized its New Jersey chapter as NLC Chapter of the Year for their tremendous success during the 2013 Institute.
Beyond NLC’s internal recognition, members of the incredible NLC New Jersey team have attracted state and national attention. Justin Braz (NJ Chapter Director) was named a “winner” by PolitickerNJ for his upcoming new role as Chief of Staff to Gary Schaer, NJ's incoming Budget Chair; Tyla Housman (NJ Institute Co-Director) was named a "winner" in Politifax for being drafted by The New Jersey Hospital Association to be its Deputy Director of Government Relations; Alise Roderer (NJ Institute Co-Director and National Curriculum Co-Director) was named a "winner" for her work during the 2013 NJ Elections by The Star Ledger.
More recently, Bill Moen, 2013 NLC NJ Fellow, has been named to run Sen. Corey Booker’s South Jersey Senate office as the Assistant Director of Constituent Services in charge of South Jersey; on a less political note, 2012 NLC NJ Fellow Emily Manz launched a campaign in response to Newark's ranking of the most unfriendly city in the world. This crowdsourced "rebuttal" received media attention from The Star Ledger and The Washington Times, and Emily presented at Tedx on the ways how each individual can make an impact and shape the perception of their community.
Along with being named chapter of the year in 2013, NLC NJ was also awarded Fundraiser of the Year and Alise Roderer was awarded the Adam Borelli Service Award.
You can read more on these stories here:
Justin Braz: http://www.politickernj.com/69601/winners-and-losers-week-nov-11th
Alise Roderer: http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/11/new_feature_winners_and_losers.html
Bill Moen: http://www.politickernj.com/70043/moen-named-run-bookers-south-jersey-senate-office
Emily's Tumblr campaign: http://themostunfriendlycityintheworld.tumblr.com/
Media in response to the campaign: http://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2013/08/newarkers_take_offensive_in_response_to_unfriendly_survey.html
Emily's Tedx talk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAMetXLm97c&feature=youtu.be
Learn more about the NLC New Jersey chapter by visiting the NLC NJ website: http://nj.newleaderscouncil.org/
NLC Community Members Invited to a White House Briefing
Members of the NLC community are recognized as next generation leaders of the progressive community, nationwide. As such, several members of the NLC community were invited to a briefing at the White House on December 4. Most impressively, President Obama joined the briefing, speaking candidly about the top issues of the day. Also of note was the breadth of NLC communities represented in our Nation’s Capitol; members of the NLC community from New York to Miami were present in a conference of about 100 participants.
Current chapter board members, past NLC Fellows from Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. joined young professionals from across the country for this briefing and held a post briefing reception of for participants and friends. Participants were also invited to a special Christmas Tour of the East Wing of the White House, which displayed beautiful Christmas decor and allowed us to meet Sunny Obama.
Have pictures from the briefing you would like to share? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
NLC adds members to Board of Directors, Leadership Board of Advisors
We are excited to announce the addition of three board members: former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, Cynthia Guerrero, and Andrew Korge.
Hon. Manny Diaz, Cynthia Guerrero, and Andrew Korge - NLC's newest members of the Board of DirectorsAdditionally, Claire Silberman was selected Vice Chair of NLC. Get to know these outstanding leaders and others that serve on NLC’s Board of Directors, by reading their bios here: http://newleaderscouncil.org/board-of-directors/
Claire Silberman, named Vice Chair of NLC
NLC has added numerous Ambassadors who serve on our Leadership Board of Advisors. Along with the members of the Board of Directors, the members of the Leadership Board of Advisors will help to guide the young leaders of the NLC community.
Learn more about these Ambassadors here: http://newleaderscouncil.org/ambassadors/.
Looking back at Hurricane Sandy and New Leaders Council
Just over one year ago, Hurricane Sandy affected several countries and communities. In the U.S., 24 states were affected, with New York and New Jersey being the hardest hit states. New Leaders Council has a prominent presence in the northeast and many of our members were in the middle of what became the costliest Atlantic storm of all time.
Former NLC NYC boardmember and City Manager of Long Beach Jack Schnirman was in one of the most destroyed areas of New York and there worked to protect and evacuate the 35,000 residents of the city. NLC NYC boardmembers organized over 80 volunteers to provide needed supplies to the residents of Long Beach that lost access to essential materials due to destruction of roads and stores from the storm.
New Leaders Council boasts itself as being comprised of members that are the solution to government gridlock and partisan debate by working together with both sides of the isle and focusing on results. Last winter, NLC New Jersey put words to practice at the Restore the Shore Hurricane Sandy Benefit Concert in Asbury Park, NJ. The Monmouth County Democratic Organization, Republican Committee and NLC NJ co-hosted this event, which brought together not only Monmouth County, but all of New Jersey. NJ Young Republicans and NJ Young Democrats also co-hosted the effort; politicians from both sides of the aisle, including Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R – Monmouth) and State Sen. Barbara Buono (D – Middlesex) attended in support; NJ 101.5’s Kevin McArdle emceed the event; classic Jersey Shore bands, including the B Street Band, The Pat Roddy Band, Joe Orlando and the Cryers, Vinny Pastore and the Crazy Horse Band, and Back Up Jackson assured that the concert was a huge hit. The benefit resulted in over $100,000 to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund.
When looking back at 2012 and Hurricane Sandy, we do so with appreciation for the resilience of our community and proud of the accomplishments of cooperation.
NLC NJ Chapter Director (second from the left) and other supporters at the Restore the Shore Hurricane Sandy Benefit Concert in Asbury Park, NJ
New Leaders Council and The Progressive Policy Institute Conference
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, The Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) and New Leaders Council are hosting Engines of Innovation: How Cities and Metros Are Leading America’s Economic Revival on Friday, October 19 in New Orleans. Up for discussion in this conference: economic innovation and jobs.
The weekend will kick off on the evening of Thursday, October 18 with a reception and remarks by PPI President Will Marshall and NLC Chairman Chris Kelly. The conversation continues at The Civic Center with panelists from 9am-3pm. Three roundtable discussions, including one Mayor’s Roundtable, cover topics relevant to those in New Orleans, just as much as those of us outside The Big Easy ranging from The Metropolitan Revolution to Preparing Young Americans for the Jobs of Tomorrow.
Join Tim Williamson, CEO Idea Village, New Orleans; Bob Buckhorn, Mayor of Tampa; Cedric B. Glover, Mayor of Shreveport; Steve Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia; S.C.. Bret Perkins, Comcast; and many more for this very important conversation.
See the agenda below.
|Friday, Oct. 18
Chicory’s Orleans Room
610 S. Peters St.
Remarks: Will Marshall, President, Progressive Policy InstituteChris Kelly, NLC Chairman
Alison Mehr, NLC Louisiana Chapter Director
|Saturday, Oct. 19
The Civic Theatre
510 O’keefe Ave.
8 a.m.-9 a.m.
|Registration & Breakfast|
Remarks: Will Marshall, President, Progressive Policy Institute
Chris Kelly, NLC Chairman
|9:15 a.m.-10 a.m.||The Metropolitan Revolution: How Local Networks Are Driving Economic and Political Change in America
Amy Liu, Brookings Michael Mandel, PPI
|10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.||Forging New Partnerships for Innovation and Jobs
Moderator: Chris Tyson, LSU Law School
Discussants: Rod Miller, New Orleans Business Alliance (Invited)
Tim Williamson, CEO Idea Village, New Orleans
Aaron Miscenich, New Orleans BioInnovation Center
Rep. Walt Leger III, Louisiana House of Representatives
|11:30 a.m.||Keynote Address: Building the Knowledge Economy in New Orleans
Remarks: Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Mayor of New Orleans
|12 p.m.-1:30 p.m.||Lunch
Mayors Roundtable: How Local Leaders are Tackling the Problems Washington Can’t Solve
Bob Buckhorn, Mayor of Tampa, Fl.
Steve Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia, S.C.
Cedric B. Glover, Mayor of Shreveport, La.
Lisa A. Wong, Mayor of Fitchburg, Mass.
|1:45 p.m.-3 p.m.||High-Skill Workers for a High-Growth Economy
Moderator: Caroline Fayard, Fayard Law Firm
Discussants: Patrick Dobard, New Orleans Recovery School District (Invited)
Glen Armantrout, CEO Café Reconcile (Invited)
Bret Perkins, Comcast
James Moustafellos, Urban Apps & Maps Studios, Temple University