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New Leaders Council

NLC Expanding Across Texas

Houston’s inaugural chapter in 2015 marked the beginning of New Leaders Council’s expansion into the great state of Texas—now, it has come to Austin

Chapter boards are now in formation in San Antonio, Dallas, and Austin. Applications for all four chapters will open on August 3, 2015. By January 2016, four fellowship classes will be up and running.

Our five-year expansion goal is eight Texas chapters by 2020—the four above, plus the Rio Grande Valley, El Paso, Fort Worth, and Fort Bend County—and an alumni corps over 600 members strong.

New Leaders Council is determined to make sure the program in Texas is run by Texans, for Texans, and has brought a Texas Expansion Director onto the staff. Andrea Greer, one of the founding board members of the Houston chapter, will be on hand to make sure Texas chapters have the support they need for successful launch years.

It’s been one hundred years since the Progressive Era dawned in Texas, ultimately leaving us with policy improvements including, but not limited to: the 8-hour work day and the weekend, cleaner drinking water, an end to child labor, the national park system, new rules for insurance and banking, women’s suffrage, and the first steps towards dismantling segregation.

Since then, Texas has lent towering progressives to the movement. People like:

  • Lyndon Banes Johnson, whose advocacy and leadership helped secure civil rights and voting rights for all citizens,  
  • Barbara Jordan, our nation’s conscience in Congress during the turbulent end of the Nixon presidency,
  • Molly Ivins, a pioneering journalist who fought for freedom and justice until her dying breath.

Another Texas progressive giant, Sam Rayburn, famously observed that “any jackass can kick a barn down, but it takes a carpenter to build one.”

Looking around these days, the barn has taken quite a hit. There’s work to be done—some of which started one hundred years ago, and some of which was conspicuously missing from the historical progressive agenda. Let’s make sure that the current agenda reflects our generation’s values and priorities, and get to work with other young progressives already building a stronger future for the Lone Star State.

 

 
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