Saturday, February 05, 2005

The Center for Progressive Leadership

A friend of mine forward me this email from a group called the Center for Progressive Leadership, I thought I should pass it along...

"Get involved in a new national organization!

The Center for Progressive Leadership is the first national progressive
political training institute. Through extensive training fellowships, CPL
provides progressives with the skills and resources necessary to become
effective political leaders.

Over the last 25 years, conservatives have built a powerful (c)3 training
infrastructure for emerging leaders at every level of political and civic
involvement. Our goal is to match and surpass their efforts by making
significant investments in our own future.

Right now, CPL is building the infrastructure to develop tomorrow's
progressive activists, nonprofit organizers, political leaders and future

Mobilizing Pennsylvania

In 2005, CPL will be targeting two states across the country: Michigan and
Pennsylvania. To that end, we recently hired a PA State Director and will be
expanding our local office with more staff over the next six months.

CPL's goal is to launch our 10-month State Political Leaders Fellowship
(SPLF) in late summer, as a part of a 6-10 year commitment to building a
state-wide leadership training infrastructure. The SPL Fellowship will
recruit and train emerging first-time candidates for local office across the
state by linking them to mentors, consultants, fundraisers, and various
networks. Through one-on-one and group training sessions twice a month for
10 months, each Fellow will develop the skills and resources needed to
become a powerful civic and political leader.

The SPL Fellowship will be the first of many leadership development
programs, including programs that target high school students, college
organizers, activists, nonprofit, civic and advocacy workers, and upcoming
candidates for local and state-wide office.

How You Can Get Involved

CPL's success will depend, in large part, on the the support of progressive
communities across the state. We need your help to identify emerging leaders
and to help develop the infrastructure necessary to build the next
generation of progressive leaders in the state.

For anyone who wants to get involved, there are a variety of ways to help.
If you're interested in helping a play a part in our PA efforts, please get
in touch with myself or Jordan Schwartz and we can talk individually about
to get involved.

Join Our Regional Council Email List

If you are interested in joining our email list, email me
( and we'll add you to our Philadelphia list.

About CPL

CPL is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based out of
Washington DC. CPL is roughly 16-months old, and was founded by a small
group of nonprofit and community organizers. We are currently based out of
Washington DC, but are currently expanding into Pennsylvania, Michigan and
soon, Arizona.

You learn more at"

Check out their website. Basically, this seems like a talent identification center, which is certainly a good idea. Republicans have this type of thing, but on a massive scale, in think tanks all across the country. They basically breed thousands of conservative talking heads and politicians every year. It would be great to see us do the same.

The question for them is whether this is a progressive training ground, or whether it is a Democratic training ground. It is an important difference. Obviously, they are not officially affiliated with the Democratic party, but the connections seem to run pretty deep. In my mind, a progressive institute helps identify people who are progressive in their policies (and who are not bound to the Democratic party, and may in fact challenge conservative Democrats in primaries, etc), while a Democratic one more focuses on finding young Democrats to win races (be they moderate, progressive, whatever). There is a big difference between the two, and each one is valuable. But I would guess that given the connections, this is the latter. Only time will tell.


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