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New Leaders Council


Dear NLC SV Family and community of leaders,


We have now begun our seventh year here in the heart of Silicon Valley. We are very hopeful for our upcoming 2017 New Leaders Council Institute. Last year was an amazing sixth year with another amazing fellows’ cohort. Our dynamic network continues to grow with 23 New Leaders Council Fellows graduating on June 4th, and the Fellows Fundraiser a great success. Thanks to the support of our Board of Directors, Advisory Board, alumni and community, we fundraised over $11,000! Proceeds from the fundraiser go to the national New Leaders Council nonprofit, which helps us and other chapters continue to provide free, accessible leadership training for young progressives. During the Fellows Graduation, Neetal Parekh (‘12 Fellow, and board emeritus) joined us and provided words of encouragement and reflection to the 2016 Fellows.



As we wrap up this summer and prepare for the 2017 NLC Institute, we plan to send out opportunities to engage with NLC Silicon Valley. We look forward to seeing you at our events, and welcome your ideas and interest in getting engaged with New Leaders Council. Our summer mixer will be on August 17th -- join us!  


Recently, we attended the 2016 NLC National Retreat from July 14 to July 16 in Washington, D.C., where we had the opportunity to meet with our regional leaders and national leaders.



After taking a group photo in front of the Supreme Court of the United States, we started our evening with a welcome mixer at the Russell Senate Office Building. Following the mixer, we went to Busboys and Poets, a local restaurant featuring sustainable, healthy and farm fresh food, and had some great conversations while enjoying the tasty meal. We ended the first night by taking a long walk throughout Washington D.C., arriving at the White House and pressing on to the Lincoln Memorial. The Lincoln Memorial was quite an amazing sight at night. As we walked along the moonlit path we passed by visitors playing symphonic music, candles lit by the Lincoln Memorial Pool, looking towards the memorial. With the moonlit path, By this time it was evening and it was quite an amazing sight. During the walk, we reflected on our journey. It was powerful reflecting in DC.


The following day, Chris Kelly welcomed us at the Newseum. The morning kick off was warm and encouraging. We especially enjoyed the Spark Talks, a new feature of the National Retreat. We loved hearing from our peers about their passion and proposals for addressing the pressing issues of our nation. The Spark  Talks featured a great range of topics -- from immigration reform to right and access to jobs in the military for deaf military personnel. This truly added an insightful and incredible experience to the NLC  Retreat. Meeting new members of our NLC Family was so much fun -- alumni and board members came from all across the United States--from the South to the East Coast and from the Midwest to the West Coast.


Lunch keynote speaker Dr. Leana Wen delivered a powerful speech highlighting how we can leverage our progressive values and passions to get things done to improve the living conditions for our most vulnerable members of our society, and to evolve our society so communities can be empowered to make lasting, meaningful impact.  Then we heard from White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett on pushing for social justice in public policy and leadership.

Afterwards, we headed to Hamilton’s with our NLC family, building our relationships and learning why New Leaders Council continues to thrive over this past decade. It was so inspiring to hear our colleagues’ stories and connect with each other’s struggles and triumph.


On the final day of the retreat, we met with all the chapters’ directors, reflecting on 2016 and voting on a new financial sharing plan. We had a blast with the risk-taking workshop led by Caitlin Whelan, founder and author of The Lightning Notes. Anthony Piñeda was also interviewed on his passions. Then, we went to operational workshops where we shared best practices and learned from chapter and national leadership on improving our operations in fundraising, finance, institute, diversity, and recruitment. We rolled up our sleeves and got right to strategic planning.


The Retreat ended with an evening at The Howard Theatre. At the dinner, we heard from Toure and Krystal Ball on the future of our nation and politics, and chapter leadership received awards for their hard work. Congratulations to NLC San Francisco -- our board emeritus and alumna, Lexi Paza, who is now the NLC SF Director, graciously accepted the Chapter of the Year Award with her fabulous team.  Following the  awards, we were invited to stay to watch hip-hop legend Rakim perform!


The NLC National Retreat was an amazing experience! The programming continues to deliver new ways to engage and inspire. It is an opportunity to see how everyone is working to build a more progressive society across the nation, and witness the achievements of our core, small group of hardworking staff. More expansion is coming and the goal is to help our chapters foster stronger relationships, engage more of their communities, and civic involvement.


Thank you for your continued support and dedication to our local regional chapter, New Leaders Council Silicon Valley. We are ready to start strong! We would love to learn about your work more and passions. Please consider contributing to the discussion and help us make year seven one of growth and expansion!


And if you know of an emerging leader that would benefit from NLC Institute, nominate them today! Applications for the 2017 NLC Institute are due November 14th at 3pm EST.


See you in San Jose on Wednesday August 17th at our summer mixer. Join us to usher in the next generation of leaders for 2017!  


If you have any questions, reach out to us:

Anthony Pineda: apineda[at]newleaderscouncil[dot]org; or

Yan Yin Choy: ychoy[at]newleaderscouncil[dot]org.  


In solidarity,


Anthony Pineda & Yan Yin Choy, NLC Silicon Valley Co-Directors

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New Leaders Council Silicon Valley Class of 2016 Fellows reflect on the impact of joining New Leaders Council. With two weeks to the Fellows Fundraiser: Party for Progress and one month to graduation, our Fellows are already putting their ideas into action, and using their training to implement a fundraiser to pay it forward to next year's class of 2017 Fellows! 



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The NLC Institute is the premier leadership and professional development program for emerging leaders. NLC Fellows receive the training, mentoring, networking, and career and political advancement assistance they need through a series of high impact weekends each month. From strategic communications, to fundraising, and entrepreneurship to coalition management, NLC fellows master all the skills needed to lead the next generation.  

Join us to support the 2016 NLC Fellows at the 6th Annual Fellows Fundraiser Party for Progress on Tuesday May 17, 2016 from 6pm-9pm at Corinthian Ballroom, San Jose.  See what the 2016 Fellows have to say about the impact of joining our New Leaders Council family!


Meet the 2016 Silicon Valley 2016 Fellows


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siliconvalley-Haq.pngTahsina Haq, Lab Technician, Reed & Graham, Inc.

Tahsina Haq is a lab technician working for an asphalt lab at Reed and Graham Inc. since 2014 and recently celebrated her second year work anniversary. She enjoys testing and sampling the construction materials produced by her company before they are sent over to other contractors for construction purposes, and recently has started work on learning how to develop new materials for the 2016 production season.  Aside from that Tahsina is also the General Secretary for the Bangladeshi American Democratic Coalition or BADC. She is passionate about helping the Bangladeshi community develop their own unique signature in the American political world, and works tirelessly to learn, create, and foster meaningful relationships in order to achieve this dream.  She had an instrumental role in the formation of and development of the organization, and happily works with the millennial and the younger generation to ensure continued interest in the American political process. 
Tahsina is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Archives and Records Administration from San Jose State University from where she also received her Bachelor’s in Sociology back in 2012. She is quite fond of her alma mater because that is where her passion for helping people, and specially the community was discovered and nurtured. Since starting work for a small business Tahsina has recently developed an interest in the way businesses are run and operated. She hopes to learn more about the principals and practices that are important in the business world, and hopes that one day she herself may open a small business of her own which will be imbued with progressive values of respect, integrity, and solidarity with the community so the traditional world of business as is described by most people will evolve into a practice which thinks of and tries to help everyone involved. A dedicated, resourceful, and passionate individual, Tahsina believes that educating oneself and sharing of one’s experiences not only helps an individual further refine their values, but at the same time also helps to show and provide an example for others who perhaps want to pursue the same path but are lacking or unknown of resources to help further their goals and aspirations. As the General Secretary of BADC Tahsina practices this belief every day, and hopes to refine it further by acquiring more knowledge, and developing a strong network of like-minded individuals from whom she hopes to learn important lessons.

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Igdalia Rojas, Organizing Director, Californians for Justice

siliconvalley-Rojas.jpgIgdalia Rojas was born in Michoacan, Mexico but has lived most of her life in San Jose.  She became a student activist and leader with Californians for Justice while she was a Junior at James Lick High School, and learned to develop not only her skills as a youth organizer, but gained a deep passion for social & racial justice, which made her return to Californians for Justice to organize her community. Over her 14 years of organizing experience with Californians for Justice, Igdalia played different roles within the organization; first as a parent organizer, San Jose lead organizer, statewide youth organizer, and Statewide Organizing Director. As an organizer, she led several policy campaign wins such as a Bilingual Certification for Students at East Side Union High School District, a policy at the Alum Rock Elementary School District that created a college going culture, and the adoption of a resolution in the ESUHSD to make A-G College default curriculum. She holds a B.A. in History from the University of California, Santa Cruz.  Igdalia has centered her life on organizing low-income students of color in her community to fight for social justice and racial justice. 



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