March 22, 2019

To the NLC Family:

I write to you today with a tremendous sense of pride and optimism about the future. After leading New Leaders Council for nearly eight remarkable years, it is time to begin the search for a new President of NLC.

The founders of NLC set forth a mission to train the next generation of progressive leaders and build a network from coast to coast to lead in their communities, states, and country. Because of the extraordinary work of thousands of people, we have accomplished this mission. 

NLC has become the premier training center with 50 chapters and over 8,000 alumni. I am most proud that we have built NLC into a true reflection of the future. This year's class self-identifies as 63% people of color, 61% women, and 18% LBGTQ – and 70% of our Chapter Directors are women. NLC’s flagship program – the NLC Institute – brings people together to learn, network and solve problems. Just this year, NLC will hold over 400 local events.  

We could not have accomplished this without the selfless work of our volunteer chapter directors, national program committee, program chairs, and local boards. I would also like to thank our National Board of Directors and Honorary National Chairs for their support and mentorship. And a big thank you to those who invested time, treasure and talent to NLC. During my tenure, we raised over $10 million from over 67,000 donors. 

Over the past eight years, I am particularly proud of the 29 major national and regional events we hosted as well as developing NLC’s Labor Curriculum, the Diversity & Inclusion Training and the National Diversity Committee. NLC stepped up to address challenges and offer solutions with the development of the “Building America’s 21st Century Economy Report”, “The Millennial Compact,” and The New Leader.  NLC alumni have become more engaged with our NLC Caucus Coalition – Black, Women, Pride, LatinX, and Rural. And while NLC is not a candidate training center, we now have 179 NLC alumni that have won elected office. In 2018, 76 were elected. 

I am unbelievably proud of our team who work tirelessly for NLC: Matt Tompkins, Courtney Madden, Dustin Robinson, Alise Roderer, Joy Dixon, Sean Kolaskar, Tristan Pike, Kimberly Sawyer, and the entire NLC team – past and present. NLC is not easy, and these leaders are true heroes of this organization. 

Looking ahead, we have four hard months of work before our National Convention in Des Moines, Iowa. There are people to train, networks to build, and resources to raise. The plan is for the new leader of NLC to take the reins at the National Convention. A search committee of members of the Board of Directors and senior national volunteers has been formed, and a detailed announcement of the search and selection process will be coming in the next week. 

As far as my next chapter, I am excited to announce the formation of a strategy center called Future Majority. It will build upon the progressive values of New Leaders Council by focusing on strategy, policy, and message. It is all hands on deck to defeat Trump and Trumpism.  

Leading NLC has been one of the great honors of my life. I will always be indebted for the opportunity to travel the country and meet such remarkable people. If I can ever be of service to anyone in the NLC family, please don’t hesitate to be in touch. 

Sincerely, 

Mark Riddle