We hit the ground running

We hit the ground running

Dear NLC Community,

I’m excited! We just started a new year and NLC is stronger than it has ever been.

We’ve built a deep bench of progressive leaders in every sector of our communities across the country. Now, we are able to provide even more training, even more content, and even more influence to our community. This is a great time to be part of NLC. So, I’d like to share just a few key updates with you today.

First, though, I want to thank our local leaders. We simply could not do this without the help of our chapter leaders, our Fellows, and our alumni. Thank you.  

Our 2015 Class
Nearly 700 progressive leaders entered the NLC Institute in January. If you haven’t already, check out their bios online: http://www.newleaderscouncil.org/2015_fellows You will be blown away by the talent, diversity, and clear dedication to progressive values found in our Fellows.

NLC Institute Fellows are the highest caliber progressives across the country. That is as true in our established chapters as it is in the newest NLC chapters, Connecticut, Detroit, Houston, Maine, Oakland, and Palm Beach. These new chapters started strong this year, a testament to their leadership and the vitality of the NLC mission. You can follow much of the excitement across the country by following #NLCInstitute, as well as on our chapter and national social media profiles.

NLC Regional Conversations
In addition to the NLC Institutes, NLC will continue its NLC Regional Conversations this year, after several years of success. These events bring NLC leaders together with key progressive thinkers and doers in their region. Be sure to mark your calendars.

West Coast Conversation – Los Angeles, CA March 13 & 14 http://www.newleaderscouncil.org/2015_west_coast_conversation

Northeast Conversation – Philadelphia, PA May 9 http://www.newleaderscouncil.org/2015_northeast_conversation

Florida & Southern Conversation – Orlando, FL May 15 & 16 Save the date!

Annual Leadership Retreat
Each year, NLC convenes the entire progressive community, including all NLC chapters, to discuss the current state of progressive issues, our democracy, and NLC’s role in building a better nation.

This year we are excited to host this annual retreat in Washington D.C. NLC has made its mark across the country, and now we will bring that success to the nation’s Capital. Save the date and be sure to join us as we continue to build the bench of progressive civic, business, and nonprofit leaders.

Save the Date: National Leadership Retreat – Washington D.C., July 23-25

Diversity Committee
Diversity is a central pillar of NLC’s success; differing perspectives lead to robust efforts. This year we continue to exemplify the progressive movement’s diverse makeup. Of our almost 700 Fellows this year, 53% are women and 60% are of a non-white racial background. Moreover, to continue NLC’s outreach, NLC launched its Diversity Committee to work to ensure that NLC chapters continue to engage a diverse, representative pool of candidates, leadership, and faculty.

Upcoming events
NLC is committed to developing new programing for our community. In partnership with NLC4 (http://nlc4.org/), we have started a roundtable discussion series at our offices in D.C. on key issues effecting the progressive community.

Our February roundtable Sustainability: Green Policy and the Green Economy brought together key thinkers, advocates, and private sector officials to discuss how the progressive movement can further sustainable development efforts. Our panel included Nathan Hurst, the Global Director of Environmental Progress and Chief of Staff for Hewlett-Packard’s Living Progress Initiatives team; Danielle Baussan, Managing Director of Energy Policy for Center for American Progress; and Jaclyn Houser, Advocacy Director for the Truman National Security Project/Center for National Policy. These leaders challenged our community to push forward sustainable development efforts using all available tools—including private sector partnerships, foreign policy and military concerns related to climate change, and well-targeted advocacy efforts.

Thank you to our panelists and guests who braved the snow in order to take part in this discussion. We will continue these roundtables once each month, and invite you to attend any of the following discussions either in person or virtually.

March 3 – Campaign for Free College Tuition conference call with the U.S. Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell. Learn more and RSVP to this call here: http://www.nlc4.org/free_college_call_with_under_secretary_of_education

March 19 – Technology as a provider for opportunity –Roundtable series. 12-1pm, NLC/NLC4 offices, 1200 New Hampshire Ave NW, fifth floor, Washington D.C. Learn more and RSVP to this free event here: http://www.nlc4.org/nlc4_roundtable_tech_and_opportunity

April 16 – Infrastructure: from our roads to our jobs - Roundtable series. 12-1pm, NLC/NLC4 offices, 1200 New Hampshire Ave NW, fifth floor, Washington D.C. Save the date!

Past events
Finally, I want to highlight some key programs NLC has already offered this year so far. We kicked the year off with a national discussion debriefing and analyzing the impact of the 2014 elections and demographics on the NLC mission. With special thanks to our discussion leaders—Jill Hanauer and David Winkler, President and Vice President of Project New America—we thank everyone who attended the call.

Also, NLC was honored to be joined by senior members of the White House for a candid call after the State of the Union discussing the White House’s coming domestic policy agenda. Joined by over 100 members of the NLC community, we had a vibrant discussion, with plenty of Q & A, on the policies laid out by the President and their immediate implications to the millennial generation. Many thanks to all who attended.

On February 10, NLC Board of Directors member Mitch Draizin invited members of the NLC community, including NLC NYC Chapter Directors Heather Grantham and Randy Lariar, NLC Chairman Chris Kelly, several NLC NY advisory board members, and local elected officials to hear how NLC has built the progressive bench in NYC and around the country. We were also joined by guest speaker Jef Pollock, President of Global Strategy Group, who discussed lessons learned from the last election. Thank you to Mitch for hosting this great conversation and to all our guests for joining us.

Most recently, on February 19, NLC Maryland celebrated Annapolis’ 30 Under 40. This event honored 30 Maryland state legislators under 40 years old. This bipartisan event was packed with leaders from across the state, across the spectrum, and all committed to the NLC mission of training a new generation of American leadership. Most impressively, this event was hosted by one of our newest chapters. Congratulations to the NLC Maryland team.

NLC’s New Home
We just opened a new office in Washington D.C.! We invite our entire to community to feel welcome in our new NLC home!

It’s easy to see the energy and talent in NLC the country. We are the leadership that will rebuild America. By working together, we can lock in progressive values in a renewed and strong democracy. The work is ahead, and we are ready.

All the best,

Mark Riddle
New Leaders Council Executive Director