National Convening 2016

YEO National Convening 2016
May 11-15 | Chicago, IL

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  1. Photos
  2. Resources by Session
  3. Program Book
  4. Recap
  5. Social Media Highlights


Women's Caucus - National Convening 2016
National Convening 2016

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Resources by Session

Political Communications and Digital Organizing Skills Session

View the slideshow by presenter Rachel Campbell of 270 Strategies.

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Participatory Budgeting Skills Session

View the slideshow by presenter Maria Hadden of the PB Project.

Funding for Yourself and Your Community Skills Session

View the slideshow by presenter Andrew Seth of Sustainable Strategies DC.

Understanding the Impact of Latino Voters on Races

View the slideshow by presenter Ron Estrada of Univision.

Meaningful Mobilization Skills Session

View the slideshow by presenter Christian Diaz of Chicago Votes.

Op-eds, Press Releases, and Political Media Best Practices Skills Session

View the slideshow by presenters Ramsin Canon of Aldertrack and Matt Haney of the San Francisco Unified School District.

Justice and Migration in a Globalized World Plenary Panel

Read the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP)’s 2016 report, “Undocumented Immigrants’ State and Local Tax Contributions,” mentioned by panelist Julián Lazalde.

Building a Healthy and Inclusive Society Plenary Panel: Communities, Policing, and Violence

The Opportunity Agenda is available and interested in providing free communications training and related support to YEOs in their core areas—criminal justice reform, economic opportunity/poverty, immigration, and racial equity. Below are links to social justice communications materials that may be of interest to young electeds.

Police Perspectives: Building Trust in a Diverse Nation: The Vera Institute of Justice developed a field-informed guidebook series to advise law enforcement agencies on how to fill the knowledge and practice gap in effectively policing and building trust with the diverse communities they serve. This three book series—written for police, by police—was developed to help police officers use community policing strategies to build trust and foster positive relationships. The guidebooks—known as Police Perspectives: Building Trust in a Diverse Nation—come at a time when many law enforcement agencies are, more so than ever, seeking ways to meaningfully engage with communities of color, as well as youth, immigrant, and transgender communities, among others.

Translating Justice project: covering overcoming language barriers in policing

Engaging Police in Immigrant Communities: promising practices for police-immigrant relations

Uniting Communities: to aid in local law enforcement relations with Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian communities

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Program Book

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Earlier this month, the YEO Network held its 11th annual National Convening in Chicago, Illinois. Our policy sessions and skills trainings brought together national and Chicago-based experts with over 100 young electeds from across the country. In what has been a generally toxic year for national politics, the conference proved that young leaders can shift the narrative to be bolder and more unapologetically progressive. 

We opened Wednesday with our Women’s Caucus Pre-Conference, where women-identifying members learned about messaging, mentoring, and more from Erika Soto Lamb of Everytown for Gun Safety; Susan Mendoza, the Clerk of the City of Chicago; Jessica Byrd of Three Point Strategies; Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer; former West Virginia Delegate Meshea Poore; and Nicole Carlsburg of the Barbara Lee Family Foundation. Sara El-Amine of Organizing for Action provided the closing remarks at a cocktail reception.

Thursday concluded the Women’s Caucus with sessions including Organizing for Action’s Yolanda Magallanes and actress and People For the American Way Foundation board member Kathleen Turner. Our opening reception included a rousing speech from NBCUniversal’s Evan Shapiro, who reiterated the importance of youth power in politics, before the announcement of the 2016 Barbara Jordan Leadership Award winner, Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick.

Cook County Commissioner Jesús “Chuy” García spoke at our opening plenary session on Friday, imparting his perspective on the challenges faced in the city of Chicago and for the progressive movement more broadly. Our Expanding Democracy plenary panel launched our policy programs with a lively discussion on gerrymandering and other politically exclusionary policies and ensuring voting rights are strengthened across our communities and the country. Skills sessions for the day included digital organizing, running for higher office, participatory budgeting, entrepreneurship, and fundraising. Bestselling author and progressive strategist Steve Phillips joined us for a lunch plenary to discuss America’s changing demographic trends and what this shift means for politics and policy. Our last plenary panel of the day examined the role of community schools in our education system and how the added support network they provide can offer our students greater opportunities for intellectual and emotional growth. 

On Saturday we heard Univision’s Ron Estrada discuss the issues that mobilize the Latino community and the most effective ways to increase civic engagement with various groups. We followed with a panel on the future of work and how the “sharing” and caring economies are fundamentally changing it. After skills sessions on reducing student debt and college affordability, engaging with youth, and drafting strong op-eds, we returned to a plenary panel on ways elected leaders and grassroots activists can work together to advance change in their communities. Our following panel considered the current Supreme Court vacancy and the high stakes for progressives in the confirmation battle. We closed the day with a panel on bolstering affordable housing and ensuring the resiliency of our communities.

We began Sunday with a look at the timely issue of migration. Our plenary panel cut through the rhetoric that demonizes immigrants and refugees and offered insights on what young electeds can do to combat xenophobia and Islamophobia in their communities. Our last panel of the Convening concerned mass incarceration, policing, and violence amid our nation’s dysfunctional justice system, providing the framework for our powerful closing plenary. Kim Foxx issued a call to action to the young electeds to continue to advocate for justice and transparency in their work—issues at the forefront of the YEO Network. 

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Social Media Highlights

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