Can you believe 2013 is right around the corner? What an amazing year it has been for New Leaders Council! I’d like to focus this issue of our newsletter on some of the wonderful things that have happened this year within our organization, as well as what we have to look forward to in the months ahead.
First, let’s talk elections. Progressives made big gains nationwide in 2012, and I am proud to say that successes were bolstered by many significant contributions from our ever-expanding NLC community. Some of those include:
Iowa NLC 40 Under 40 Winners Janet Peterson and Tyler Olsen, who ran and won a State Senate and State House seat, respectively; NLC Missoula Board member Ellie Boldman Hill, who was re-elected to her Montana State House seat and 2012 NLC Fellow Kimberly Dudik and boardmember Jen Gursky, who will join Representative Hill in the Montana House; NLC Fellow Matt Haney, who was elected to the San Francisco School Board; the NLC Silicon Valley Chapter boasts two who were successful candidates – Chapter Co-Founder Kalen Gallagher was elected to the school board in his San Jose suburb and Fellow Marc Berman was elected to the Palo Alto City Council; Co-Founder of NLC Washington D.C., Kip Wainscott managed the effort to get President Obama on the ballot in all 50 States, Matt Kaplan served as Political Director for President Obama’s campaign in Northeast Ohio and D.C. Fellow Allison Zellman, who was the Pennsylvania Democratic State Field Director.
Not all of the recent accomplishments were in the political arena, however. During Hurricane Sandy, one of the hardest hit areas of the northeast was Long Beach, New York. Jack Schnirman, a former Co-Chair of the New York City NLC Chapter Curriculum Committee, is the City Manager of Long Beach. During the storm, over five feet of water surged over the Long Beach barrier island. Jack worked tirelessly to evacuate and protect 35,000 residents in the days before and after the storm.
NLC’s New York City Alumni Chair Julie Blitzer and Fellow Anna Curran connected with Jack and within days of the storm organized over 80 NLC volunteers and their friends to make several trips to Long Beach to help distribute essential supplies to the people living there.
Jack, Julie and Anna are just a few of many members of our NLC family affected by Hurricane Sandy. Our thoughts are with all of the individuals and families in the path of the storm, many of whom are still struggling to restore their property and their lives.
These successes and many more are proof-positive of the lasting change NLC is having on the landscape and our impact is getting national recognition. In a recent op-ed, titled “Seizing the Levers of Power,” Washington Monthly said, “The NLC is strikingly different from the typical DC think tank or policy shop focused on electioneering or fighting in the cable news trenches… the NLC is planting seeds where few other, higher profile organizations bother to tread.”
Going strictly by the numbers, this organization has grown at an astounding rate over the past 12 months. We have added five new chapters, graduated 400 new fellows, set records for fundraising and the number of applications submitted for our 2012 Institutes, gained the respect and cooperation of dozens of like-minded, allied organizations and implemented several top-notch local and national alumni engagement events, including the 2012 Northeast Conversation in New York City in March and the 2012 West Coast Conversation in Palo Alto in June.
We are already planning a busy 2013, which will kick off with our 40 Under 40 Chapter Award Ceremony Events in January and February and include our 2013 Institutes this spring. The deadlines to nominate an outstanding leader for either of these programs are drawing near, and for some chapters, have already passed. Please review the list of deadlines below to find out what is happening in your Chapter region. (All submissions close at 11:59 p.m. PST on the deadline date)
NLC 40 Under 40 Chapter-wide Nominations Deadline – 11/30/2012
NLC Institute Individual Chapter Deadlines:
I am also excited to announce our Second Annual NLC West Coast Conversation in Los Angeles, on February 1-2, 2013. As was the case this past June in Palo Alto, this event will feature NLC participants and expert panelists coming together for a discussion on the important issues of the day. This year’s participants include top-notch speakers from around the country like David Cohen, Executive Vice President of the Comcast Corporation. We will have more details coming soon but mark your calendar now.
While we are very proud of all our recent accomplishments, the biggest mistake we could make is resting on our laurels – even for one day.
Recent history proves that the next two years will be crucial in securing the Progressive legacy our network is working so hard to build. Mid-term elections, especially in a Presidential second term, are the time when the movement in the White House is at its most vulnerable to defeat in Congressional and Statewide elections.
In order to prevent a repeat of the 2010 election cycle from happening in 2014 and beyond, we must all work to continue to improve the Progressive infrastructure. As a tightly connected network of young Progressive leaders who will carry the torch, whether in two years or 20, NLC is a key part of that infrastructure and as always, I appreciate the hard work each of you does to further that goal.
Thank you for your continued support of NLC, I hope you have a happy new year, 2013!
Executive Director, New Leaders Council
P.S. As you know, NLC depends on the support of our community to continue our mission. We would be grateful for a donation of $10, $25 or $50 by our November 30th fundraising deadline.