A great new year for Next Generation
At Next Generation, we know that the challenges we face are daunting. America’s lack of investment in our most vulnerable children and our inability to take on climate change threaten the economy and stability of the world we will leave to future generations. But we’re also optimistic that, through smart projects, good partners, and great staff, we can make a difference.
At the close of 2013, our third year of operation, I can report that we have made great progress in the development of a body of work and a team that will have a big impact over time. The highlights reel from 2013 is impressive, as is a look at What’s Next for 2014:
When I think back on the year, it’s hard to even grasp how much we accomplished, for a small, new organization – Next Generation grew its staff, grew its funding base, added new board members, greatly increased its traditional and social media presence, and developed a presence in the Hollywood entertainment community, where we and the Clinton Foundation are now working on incorporating messaging around the “word gap” into popular shows, viral videos and other delivery platforms. This has forced Ann O’Leary and me to familiarize ourselves with current popular culture, which has greatly entertained our interns!
So What’s Next? The 2014 agenda looks packed. In our home state of California, we’ll continue to advocate proper implementation of Proposition 39. We’ll also help develop a Western State’s Energy Initiative and identify ways to help Central Valley workers save money on their commutes while reducing pollution. We’ll continue advocating for more and better early childhood education, access to services for undocumented kids and the Affordable Care Act, and strengthened support for working families.
As the year closes, the staff is exhausted yet exhilarated – we feel privileged to work with an amazing board, great partners, and colleagues who are friends, not just co-workers.
As I write this, we have just finished a short goodbye party for two interns who are leaving Next Generation. Like many on our staff, I started my professional career as an intern, working for then-Congressman Mo Udall. I am constantly struck by the incredible energy, drive, compassion, and raw intelligence that our interns and young staff bring to Next Generation each and every day. They remind me that the reason we do the work that we do is because there are so many young people, all across America, who are counting on those in charge to make the right decisions, and give them a chance to live a meaningful life, to succeed in pursuing their dreams.
We owe that much to our kids. That’s what motivates the remarkable staff at Next Generation, why they come to work every day, and why we will continue to push for thoughtful investment in America’s kids and families and aggressive action to fight climate change. I hope you’ll join us. Please feel free to send me your thoughts and comments on how to best move these issues – and provide a better world to the Next Generation.