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New Leaders Council

Fundraising and Policy Weekend

This weekend NLC Houston alum and Executive Board member, Mike Webb, welcomed the fellows to the Texas Organizing Project headquarters and led a fun icebreaker that highlighted the similarities in the midst of diversity.


Next, NLC Houston introduced its Funders Panel welcoming back Kelli King-Jackson and bringing Gloria Luna Bounds and Gerald Merfish into the mix. They provided insight on preparing a message and application when making the ask from different funding sources. Andrea Greer, fundraising guru and NLC Texas Expansion Director, spoke to the fellows about Major Gifts. Lillie Schechter, Executive Board member and owner of Lillie Schechter Consulting, went into the details of political fundraising. Andrea returned to explain the differences between various nonprofit organizations and political action committees. Finally, the day ended with a call time challenge. Applying their new fundraising knowledge, the fellows and board members asked for pledges toward the upcoming Fellows’ fundraiser.

On Sunday, NLC Houston Alumnus, Executive Board member, and the new Executive Director of Texas Gulf Coast Area Labor Federation Hany Khalil started the morning with an engaging discussion on Progressive Economics. There was so much interest, some fellows jumped in with small presentations. Resha Thomas, Texas Political Director for SEIU-Texas, joined later and they reviewed Labor Unions.

After reviewing their capstone projects, NLC Houston welcomed two policy panels. The first panel, moderated by NLC Houston Executive Board member, Fran Watson, focused on the progressive policy issues taken up by the Texas legislature in the upcoming session. Jen Powis focused on environmental advocacy while David Thompson deliberated on education. Former Council member Gordon Quan talked about immigration and Ken Janda updated fellows on health care. The panelists examined challenges, solutions, and citizen advocacy, and its potential impact on the next legislative session in 2017.  

The final panel, moderated by Andrea Greer, focused on Houston. Our panelists were Bobby Singh and David Mincberg who were involved in the Houston Transition teams. They were joined by the Honorable Ellen Cohen, Mayor Pro-tem and councilmember for District C. With Houston facing some upcoming fiscal issues such as pensions and the revenue cap, the fellows had many questions for the panelists.  What a lively way to end the March institute!

NLC Houston would like to thank Shailey Gupta-Brietzke and Andrea Greer for providing lunch this weekend.

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