This past weekend, we hosted our first annual Service to Politics Conference in Washington, DC. The conference was a great success — over 150 servant leaders joined us and took part in a powerful day and a half of training and community building. Participants came from across the country and the political spectrum, and from a variety of service backgrounds, from the U.S. Military to AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps.
In the tempestuous weeks leading up to the 2016 election, Dan Moy hunkered down in a seminar room on the Harvard campus with more than a dozen others -- Republicans, Democrats and independents -- to discuss what it might be like to run for office.
Moy had enrolled in a master's program at the university's John F. Kennedy School of Government. But one of the most important parts for him, a weekly course called Answering the Call, wasn't part of the official curriculum.
The conversations in that room were changing lives. And they might just change our politics.
Our Senior Fellow Ken Harbaugh just launched a podcast through Crooked Media called Reclaiming Patriotism! In the podcast, Ken sits down with a range of deeply patriotic Americans from Representative Max Rose to Mayor Pete Buttigieg to Tammy Duckworth, and explores what patriotism is truly about, and how it can once again become an American value.
We just announced our first annual Service to Politics conference! It will be held at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, DC from September 20-21st. The conference is a chance for servant leaders to come together and make connections, learn from the movement’s top political leaders, and work on their personal growth and development.
Today is the first day of Foundations: our online program that helps servant leaders take their first concrete steps toward getting ready to run for office. During the five-session program, participants develop their public narrative by building on the work they began during Answering the Call to clarify their personal leadership mission and values. Importantly, we’re a partner in this work and offer individual coaching and feedback throughout Foundations to further servant leaders’ personal leadership development. After working on their personal narratives, servant leaders build the beginnings of a fundraising strategy by organizing their networks and learning how to use them effectively.
Three current service members looking for ways to continue paying it forward as civilians joined a group discussion last week exploring whether politics might be the right fit….
The venue for airing their thoughts was a group session last Thursday evening run by "Answering The Call," a program of the New Politics Leadership Academy (NPLA) that encourages those with experience in national service -- the military, Peace Corps, AmeriCorps or government -- to consider running for office at the federal, state or local level.
Democracy in the U.S., you may have noticed, has found itself on shaky ground. According to polling from last year, less than half of people in the country feel the current political system is effective at upholding their rights, and few people believe that elected officials are adequately held accountable for misconduct and failings.
This is not a great situation, and a number of organizations and nonprofits have recently launched in an attempt to address the root causes of the U.S.’s democracy dilemma. From voter turnout to government reform efforts to recruiting new and diverse leadership for local politics, activists and leaders are building new avenues out of some of the most pressing issues in the U.S. The problem, though, is that because nonprofits are supposed to cut a wide berth around partisan politics, they often struggle to get philanthropic funding if their projects touch on the political.
New Profit, a venture philanthropy organization that funds social entrepreneurs, recognized this issue. Through a new grant program specifically for organizations addressing democracy issues called Civic Lab, New Profit selected seven nonprofits trying to build trust across communities and reengage people in democratic processes. “There’s a lot of money being poured into partisan political engagement or activism, but what does it look like to do that in a nonpartisan way?” says Yordanos Eyoel, a partner at New Profit who is overseeing Civic Lab. “We want to build civic trust and a strong civic culture in the country, and doing that requires building relationships across politics, demographics, and geography.”
Seven democracy entrepreneurs that New Profit selected from a pool of around 150 potential candidates have been identified by the nonprofit. Each will receive a grant of $50,000, and a year of support from New Profit to grow the reach and impact of their organization.
Last weekend with support from the Heinz Endowments, we ran a political training for 14 military veterans in Pittsburgh who are interested in potentially running for office in the future. On the first day, we covered the philosophical and practical components of considering political service, engaging our veteran participants in deeply personal reflection around core values, mission, and personal story. On day two, they engaged with the framework of planning and executing effective campaigns, and then applied those frameworks to advise a hypothetical state assembly candidate on their campaign plan and strategy.
Last Thursday, we were joined by Senior Fellow Ken Harbaugh, a former Navy pilot, nonprofit executive, congressional candidate in Ohio. He took over our Twitter for the latest #ServantLeaderTakeover, explaining what motivates him to serve our country and how the oath he took in the Navy inspired his political service. Other key insights included the importance of empathy in leadership and how critical it is to remember your core values when the political winds are trying to blow you off course. Ken also shared how he finds a balance between personal and political life. Thanks to Ken for sharing his wisdom!
On Thursday, we were joined by Army veteran and former teacher, former Minnesota congressional candidate, and New Politics Senior Fellow Dan Feehan for the latest #TwitterTakeover. Dan shared insights in leadership from his service career, which has taken him from the Army to the classroom, and from the Pentagon to the campaign trail. He had some great insights into what servant leadership is all about and what servant leaders should do before they run for office (hint: gain clarity, something our Answering the Call helps you do!), as well as a funny anecdote about the role of parades in politics. Check out the whole thing below the break!
For the third straight week, a New Politics Senior Fellow took over our twitter account! This time it was Air Force veteran, former member of the intelligence community, and former congressional candidate in TX-23, Gina Ortiz Jones. Gina spent the day talking about how her background shaped her view of politics, what she loved most about campaigning, and what advise she has for other servant leaders considering public service.
You can read all of Gina’s posts and answers below, or find them on Twitter under #ServantLeaderTakeover. As always, don’t forget to give us a follow to make sure you catch the second half of our Senior Fellow takeovers in coming weeks.
Following Senior Fellow Amy McGrath’s Twitter Takeover last week, on Thursday, March 14, we welcomed Marine veteran, former congressional candidate, and New Politics Senior Fellow Roger Dean “RD” Huffstetler to our twitter account, where he also spent the day answering some questions about lessons from his service in the Marines and time on the campaign trail life. We’re thankful for his service and for joining us!
If you missed it, don’t worry! You can read all of RD’s posts and answers below, or find them on twitter under #ServantLeaderTakeover. Don’t forget to give us a follow to make sure you catch the next Senior Fellow takeovers in the coming weeks!
On Thursday, March 7, we welcomed Marine veteran, former congressional candidate, and New Politics Senior Fellow Amy McGrath to our twitter account, where she spent all day answering some questions about lessons she’s learned from her life of service and nearly two years on the campaign trail. We’re thankful for her service and for joining us!
If you missed it, don’t worry! You can read all of her posts and answers below, or find them on twitter under #ServantLeaderTakeover. Don’t forget to give us a follow to make sure you catch the next Senior Fellow takeovers in the coming weeks!
Today, New Politics Leadership Academy is proud to unveil its new Fellows program, aimed at advancing the political leadership of military, national service, and intelligence veterans. The inaugural cohort of fellows are proven servant leaders who recently ran for office and will now spend the next four months reflecting on their experience on the campaign trail and conducting research to grow the movement of servant leaders running for office. The New Politics Leadership Academy 2019 fellows are Gina Ortiz Jones from Texas, Ken Harbaugh from Ohio, Juana Matias from Massachusetts, Dan Feehan from Minnesota, Amy McGrath from Kentucky, and Roger Dean “RD” Huffstetler from Virginia.
New Politics Leadership Academy released a new video touting the experiences and breakthroughs of alumni and why we need servant leaders in our politics. The video featured Founder and Executive Director Emily Cherniack, Congressman Seth Moulton (R-MA-06), Congressman Mike Gallagher (R-WI-08) and NPLA Alumni Robert Watson, Bria Price, Dan Moy, and State Rep.-elect Nika Elugardo.
How should we develop aspiring politicians so that they are powerfully prepared to transform our current political culture?
As an organization dedicated to recruiting and supporting service program alumni—both military veterans and alumni of civilian service programs like Peace Corps and AmeriCorps—this is a question we grapple with on a daily basis. Our organization takes a comprehensive and holistic approach to developing leaders: In addition to trainings related to technical skills and knowledge, we also focus on how to create an intentional, positive and productive campaign team culture, and challenge future candidates to get crystal clear about their own personal values and mission.
On Tuesday, September 4th, New Politics Leadership Academy Founder and Executive Director Emily Cherniack was named to Politico Magazine's 2018 Politico 50, which honors the "visionaries, thinkers, and doers" driving American politics today. Emily was honored because of the impact that servant leaders are having on our politics and the potential they have to revitalize our democracy and positively shape our nation's future.
Our political system is in tough shape. At a moment when we face urgent public problems that we can only effectively address with collaboration, compromise, and ingenuity, we are polarized and seemingly incapable of working together.
Are you a military veteran or an alumnus of a civilian service program like AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, or a related experience? At this critical moment for our democracy, are you wondering if you might feel called to seek political office as a next step in your personal service journey?
We’ve never had fewer service alumni in Congress in our nation’s history. And our current Congress is among the least productive ever.