LI Trains Conservatives for Success in 2016
Kyle Baccei
January 3, 2017
LI Trains Conservatives for Success in 2016
Last year was an exciting year for many reasons! In 2016, the Leadership Institute trained 10,274 conservatives, launched new online programs, and trained candidates and campaign staff across the country -- all thanks to the generous support of LI donors. Through 2016, Institute graduates impacted campaigns across the country. The Youth Leadership School trained 925 conservatives at 37 trainings in 2016. Of those 2016 graduates, 81 were involved in a youth campaign across 16 states. LI's staff and 178 volunteer faculty trained 10,274 students -- totaling 103,014 hours of student training. The Institute trained 8,216 students nationally and 2,058 students internationally, bringing the total trained to 181,459 since 1979. In total, LI offered 371 training events representing 44 types of Institute trainings. These ranged from on-camera TV trainings to weeklong Campaign Management Schools to grassroots activist workshops to the Youth Leadership School, the boot-camp of politics. The Institute also launched a new type of training: online programs. These workshops offer attendees the same benefits as the Leadership Institute's top-notch trainings -- from the comfort of their own homes. Online attendees can see and hear the instructor, ask questions and talk with others in the workshop; and learn from a variety of lectures, hands-on-projects, and demonstrations -- just like any in-person training. LI trained 350 students online in 13 trainings, totaling 1,050 student hours. On college campuses around the country, LI's National Field Program staff identified 88,395 new conservative students and added 678 new student groups to LI's unique network of affiliated conservative student organizations. By the end of 2016, this network of conservative student groups had grown to 1,856. CampusReform.org remains America's #1 source for campus news online. Its 1,380 stories – many written by 70 campus correspondents – about liberal bias and abuse generated 15.8 million pageviews, 2,140 republications by online news outlets, and 151 appearances on TV. In total, CampusReform.org's reporting led to 36 victories and campus policy changes for conservatives on college campuses. More than 4,146 job seekers connected with 2,005 available jobs on the Institute's ConservativeJobs.com. The Career Services Center hosted 470 attendees at job fairs and offered 394 personal resume consolations. Viewers from all 50 United States and around the world have tuned in to LI's free webinars since they began streaming from LI Studios in 2011. In 2016 alone, 1,546 viewers watched LI's 23 webinars. LI's Wednesday Wake-up Club Breakfasts hosted 1,059 attendees and 11 speakers in 2016. Speakers included Pete Hegseth, Congressman Tom Emmer, and Congressman Alex Mooney. The 45th National Fourth of July Conservative Soiree hosted 356 attendees. The 2016 featured speakers were Ed Gillespie and Rob Bell. There are countless stories about the impact of Leadership Institute graduates in 2016. It's been a good year at the Leadership Institute, and LI is excited about what 2017 has in store! Review the online 2017 training calendar for currently scheduled trainings near you. How has LI helped you? Email Carol@LeadershipInstitute.org to share your story. LI is always looking to spotlight faculty doing incredible things for the conservative movement, notable LI graduates making waves, and college students taking a stand on campus.
Activism Success: Students Arrested During Empty Holster Protest Garner National Attention and Bring Change to their Campus
Crissy Brown
December 27, 2016
Activism Success: Students Arrested During Empty Holster Protest Garner National Attention and Bring Change to their Campus
Your next activism event can be just what it takes to turn the tide and eliminate unconstitutional policy on your campus. When Students for Concealed Carry at the University of South Alabama organized an empty holster protest with the goal of highlighting the school's unconstitutional policy, the activism event was so successful the students were charged with violating the school weapons policy. When this unconstitutional treatment garnered national attention, the school was forced to drop the charges and offer an official apology for blatantly violating students' rights. As a result of Students for Concealed Carry at the University of South Alabama and their empty holster protest, the school is now closer to eliminating their unconstitutional policy which denies students the right to defend themselves. Your Leadership Institute Field Representative is ready to help you organize an activism event on your campus today. Contact them about fighting back against your school's liberal bias and unconstitutional policy.
So You Got an Internship for Christmas?
Ben Woodward
December 19, 2016
So You Got an Internship for Christmas?
Good for you! D.C. is excited to have you here because, if we're truly honest with ourselves, those of us in the non-profit sector, think tanks, and on the Hill depend upon you to keep our organizations running. I was in your shoes. I have been an intern more than once, starting a new adventure in a strange land. Many thoughts went through my head in the weeks leading up to my internship at the Leadership Institute. What if I can't find my accommodation on the first day? What if I'm not as smart as I thought? What if, what if… I've been there. Trust me, you will be great. I want to use this last blog before Christmas to remind you of a few things which I hope will allow you to enjoy your Christmas and be excited to begin the New Year in Washington, D.C. Most importantly, enjoy Christmas! I know it sounds obvious, but this is your last chance to rest, spend time with your family, and enjoy home comforts before you get to D.C. The first couple of months in the New Year are busy. Catching up on work after Christmas, networking events, and not to mention CPAC! You will have to be prepared to work hard, so don't exhaust yourself by stressing out now. You will be trained. I know you want to come in and prove yourself from day one. Remember that even your CEO was a beginner once. We all need some practice to become good at our jobs. Your bosses are used to having interns and will provide you with a basic level of training on how to use relevant software and databases, speak to stakeholders, produce reports, etc. You should always strive to be the best, but remember that you will be forgiven for gaps in your knowledge. D.C. may be big, but it's friendly. Big cities are daunting. Coming from a small, industrial town in the heart of England, D.C. was another world to me. But D.C. is a fluid city. The vast majority of people who live and work here are away from home too. You're not alone. Everyone in D.C. wants new friends, and you will find it easy to meet new people who share your political values, and your hobbies, which leads nicely onto my next point. Events! D.C. is a lively city; there is always something going on. Whether it's a stimulating debate at Heritage or CATO, a training at the Leadership Institute, or a drinks reception, you'll never be without something to do. Also, a little tip, you can eat for free most days in D.C., and many events have open bars. Take your business cards and go meet some new people. Finally, there are ways you can plan ahead now: Send your supervisors an introductory email or, better yet, call them! Tell them a little about yourself, what you'd like to get out of the internship, and ask them any questions. Trust me, this will impress your new boss and eliminate any initial anxieties. Research, research, research! Make sure you know your organization, its mission, and find out what your initial responsibilities will be. Then you can prepare in advance. Also, research some events and networking opportunities taking place when you arrive. Then you will hit the ground running. Get business cards printed. In fact, stop reading and go do it right now! Ask how to contact your fellow interns, set up a Facebook group, and get to know them. There is plenty more I can say, but I want to end where I began. You will be great. Just work hard and make the most of your time here. And if we can help in your career, let Leadership Institute is here for you. Come to one of our trainings or call for a free career consultation. We'd love to meet you. Merry Christmas! Ben Woodward works with Leadership Institute's Conservative Jobs. You can contact LI for a free career consultation and get career help on ConservativeJobs.com.
Why Your Campaign Skills Make You an Asset
Ben Woodward
December 5, 2016
Why Your Campaign Skills Make You an Asset
The campaign is over. It's been a tough few months, and now you have a moment to breathe. I hope you have taken time to enjoy your victories -- or for those not as lucky, commiserate your defeats. But it is important to remember that life moves on and the time to think about your next career move is now. Whether you are looking for a job in the administration, think tanks, non-profits, or on the Hill, seize the moment. The current opportunities in the conservative movement are boundless. Following the election, hundreds of vacancies are opening up as people change jobs. If you're coming off a campaign, you may have gained skills which will make you an asset. The following skills you have learned could carry you to your dream job: Fundraising: During the campaign, you learned how to sell your candidate. You learned what to say in order to convince donors to help keep the campaign afloat. You probably accumulated these donors into a network you could rely on. To do this you may have planned events, written direct communications, created social media campaigns, and more. A development role in most movement organizations will require these skills. They will need you to be able to sell what they offer and convince donors why giving to their organizations will advance the movement and produce tangible results. Event Management: One of the toughest elements of a campaign is event management. This is your opportunity to reward your donors and volunteers, raise publicity, and raise money. You have booked venues and entertainment, managed a budget, and procured caterers. To do this you may have had a small team to run, you had to keep an eye on the details, and your organizational skills were pushed to the limit. Use these skills to your advantage. All organizations run events of some kind, and there is a high demand for competent event staff. Using Digital: Marketing in the private sector, organizations are constantly seeking new ways to sell their brands and identify new customers. The competition to remain at the forefront of digital marketing is intense. Campaigns are no different. During the campaign you used social media initiatives to target supporters and boost posts; you may have used Facebook Live for example. You may have used Photoshop software, mass emails, and explored your creative gifts. For conservative organizations to compete with the left, they have to hire talented, creative, and tech savvy candidates. That's where you come in. Planning: To fail to plan is to plan to fail. Working on a campaign means you planned how to use time, people, and money effectively. Planning ahead means you anticipate mistakes, you research, and most importantly you manage a budget accordingly. These skills are universally valued, and they will aid you in all aspects of your life. Communications & Marketing: Campaigns are a fierce battle between rivals who are not just selling themselves but discrediting their opponents. Learning to deliver your message effectively so that people identify your candidate with the right policies is essential. Learning how to handle negative information is also a requirement. You have to know when to discredit attacks, when to apologize for them, and when to ignore them. Learning to identify the target market of an organization, deliver your message, and manage negative information will make you an asset in the job market. Managing people: Management is tough; you have to be a leader, be able to give clear direction, and know your staff well enough to identify their strengths and weaknesses. A campaign is a team effort; and without a motivated army of committed activists, it will fail. Organizations in and out of the movement are no different. Success depends upon good leaders who get the best out of their teams. Personnel is Policy. GOTV: Getting out the vote is not so different from persuading clients and supporters of organizations to invest, purchase, donate, and volunteer. During the campaign, if you knew there were individuals who were likely to vote for your candidate, it was your job to make sure they voted. Many conservative organizations require those skills to motivate people to attend their events, sign up for correspondence, and actively participate in their campaigns. Remember, if you have worked on a campaign, you are a uniquely skilled individual! Some or all of these skills, and no doubt many more, will apply to you. Use them, be proud of them, and most importantly, use them to get a job! Ben Woodward works with the Leadership Institute's ConservativeJobs.com. He provides jobseekers with career advice and helps them find jobs in the conservative movement.
Activism Success: Activism Events Change Campus Policy
Allen Clarke
November 30, 2016
Activism Success: Activism Events Change Campus Policy
Activism events are a great way for your group to grow its membership and share your message on campus. Earlier this month at Middle Tennessee State University, the Turning Point USA group worked with their Leadership Institute Field Representative to hold a free speech ball event on campus, which started the conversation on campus about safe spaces. As a result of the activism events, the student senate voted overwhelmingly to oppose all future creations of safe spaces on campus, and actively work to remove safe spaces on the campus. Students at Louisiana State University used a free speech ball to get over 200 signatures in support of unregulated free speech and ending the campuses “Free Speech Ally.” The signatures were sent to the student government who will now take up the issue. Your Leadership Institute Field Representative is able to help you organize activism projects which can help you change unconstitutional policy on your campus. Contact your Field Representative today to get started.
Thanksgiving is a Day to Celebrate, and be Thankful for, our Religious Freedom
Karla Bruno
November 23, 2016
Thanksgiving is a Day to Celebrate, and be Thankful for, our Religious Freedom
The myth of the First Thanksgiving is held dear by most Americans:  Pilgrims, having reaped a glorious harvest of squash and other vegetables, shared a feast with Indian friends in 1621. The reality, alas, is a bit different. The Pilgrims of Plymouth landed in the New World in December 1620, and the following spring celebrated a day of Thanksgiving for having survived the cold Massachusetts winter.  There was no harvest feast because the crops hadn’t been planted yet. Only half of the original 102 settlers survived that first winter. Meanwhile, back in Virginia, earlier English settlers had already celebrated two official annual days of Thanksgiving each December at Berkeley’s Hundred on the James River (now known as Berkeley Plantation). The friendly First Thanksgiving rivalry between Virginia and Massachusetts dates to the 1930s and continues today.  In truth, no one knows when the First Thanksgiving took place because it was a normal part of everyday life for Virginia Indians as well as Spanish and French Catholics in Florida. The consistent factor in all Thanksgivings—regardless of year, population, or location—has been the religious nature of the day, with the full support and encouragement of elected officials from the town mayor to the U.S. President. America is blessed with freedom of religion, not from religion, thanks to the First Amendment, and we continue to embrace the Judeo-Christian principles that helped shape our great nation politically and sociologically.  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” As Ronald Reagan said: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” You and I must continue to fight for religious freedom.  Never rest; the opposition never does. One way to fight that fight is to practice the religion of your choice in a public way.  Let us all enjoy our families, big meals, football, and parades on Thanksgiving, and maybe take time to attend a religious Thanksgiving service at a place of worship near you, recalling that we are endowed by our Creator with the right to the free exercise of religion and that all Thanksgivings in America, past and present, are centered on gratitude to God for His blessings.  
Activism Success: Students, Athletes, and Professors Join in Fight for Free Speech
Joshua Platillero
November 22, 2016
Activism Success: Students, Athletes, and Professors Join in Fight for Free Speech
You can feel alone when fighting back against unconstitutional policy on your campus. Activism events are a great way to find other likeminded students and call out these unconstitutional policies. Students at Oregon State University held a free speech ball event and found support from students on their campus. From football players to professors, people were getting involved and signing the free speech ball to support free speech on campus. By the end of the day, they had received over 150 signed petitions in support of free speech and had numerous students show interest in joining their club. Your Leadership Institute Field Representative is ready to help you and your club organize an activism event that highlights liberal bias and unconstitutional policy on your campus. Contact your Field Representative today.
Activism Success:
Alex Witoslawski
November 17, 2016
Activism Success: "Criminals" for Gun Free Campus Educate Students about the Right of Self Defense
Calling out the hypocrisy of your unconstitutional campus policies is a great way to grab attention and have some fun. Students for Concealed Carry on campus at Michigan State University did just that. They reached out to their Leadership Institute Field Representative and organized a “Criminals for Gun Free Zones” activism event on their campus. Wearing orange jumpsuits with signs reading, “Say YES to Gun Free Zones,” and “Disarm Law Abiding Citizens,” they met with students and informed them of the importance of being able to defend yourself on campus. After an afternoon of activism, they collected 120 new contacts for their club and spoke to nearly 2,500 students. Your Leadership Institute Field Representative is ready to help you organize a successful activism event on your campus. Contact your Field Representative to learn how to expose and fight back against liberal bias and unconstitutional policies on your campus.
Activism Success: Students at Arkansas Tech Fight for Free Speech
Joel Watson
November 15, 2016
Activism Success: Students at Arkansas Tech Fight for Free Speech
Students at Arkansas Tech face some of the most restrictive unconstitutional free speech codes in the country. That didn't stop students in the Young Americans for Liberty chapter from reaching out to the Leadership Institute and hosting a free speech ball outside of their designated “free speech zones.” When officers approached the students, informing them they were in violation of the school's speech code policy, the students recorded the incident. The Students were told that the school's policy trumped the First Amendment right to free speech guaranteed in the Constitution. In addition to the story being picked up by numerous media outlets, Young Americans for Liberty at Arkansas Tech teamed up with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education to eliminate some of the most restrictive speech codes on a public campus in the nation. Your Leadership Institute Field Representative is ready to help you fight back against your school's liberal bias and unconstitutional policies. Contact your Field Representative today to learn how to bring an activism event to your campus.
Elections Have Consequences -- On Your Career
Ben Woodward
November 8, 2016
Elections Have Consequences -- On Your Career
The Leadership Institute trains thousands of conservatives each year; many currently have jobs in campaigns and other areas of the public policy process. These energetic, ambitious individuals are committed to learning how to win and to spreading conservative ideas. For some, however, particularly our younger graduates, there is only one concern at the front of their minds – their careers. Today's elections are sure to have a significant impact on the conservative job market, regardless of the outcome. If individuals are seeking employment within the movement, if they work in the movement, and especially if they currently work on a campaign, they should be planning for all possible circumstances. Elections have consequences. In careers, the most important Law of the Public Policy Process we live by is number 26: “Personnel is Policy.” An employer who wants to advance conservatism can achieve more by hiring qualified people who share those principles. On the other hand, a conservative job seeker can promote conservatism, even if the employer is not to the right, simply by moving the conversation away from the middle. If the new administration is friendly to conservative principles, then countless opportunities may arise; however, in the event that those in power do not sympathize with conservatives, job seekers should not be afraid to broaden their horizons. Politics is a bumpy road, and individuals may have to find a new career path at any time. It is important, therefore, to keep an open mind about careers. Conservatives should not be afraid to work outside the public policy process. For example, a sound conservative may be able to influence a company or non-profit simply by moving it to the right from within. For those currently involved in a campaign, they will learn a broad variety of skills that are applicable to multiple career paths. Learning to communicate messages effectively, networking, and organizing events are all skills which will prepare them for other careers. Too many people believe that simply being conservative and philosophically sound will guarantee their success. It is not enough, however, to simply have the right ideas. If conservatives want to succeed in the movement and broaden the influence of conservatism in the public policy process, then they must prepare for any eventuality. If you are seeking employment in the conservative movement, or you are looking to progress in your current position, attend the Leadership Institute's Conservative Career Workshop on November 15 & 16 by following the link here.
Activism Success: On-Campus Coalition WeRoar Fights Back
Kelsey Mix
November 2, 2016
Activism Success: On-Campus Coalition WeRoar Fights Back
As a conservative student on a college campus it can feel like you are all alone. Even when you join a conservative group, the task of fighting back against a school administrator's unconstitutional policy or liberal bias can be frightening. At Clemson University, conservative student groups have come together to form a coalition -- WeRoar -- to fight back. The coalition consists of Clemson's Turning Point USA and Young American for Liberty chapters, in addition to a conservative school newspaper, the Tiger Town Observer. Co-founder Clayton Warnke describes the goal of WeRoar to “effectively target the encroachment of our liberties, especially as they pertain to the first amendment, by streamlining our collective efforts into a simple message to attract broad support from the student body and community alike.” These conservative student groups mobilized their forces to tackle the unconstitutional restrictive free speech policies when school administrators attempted to shut down a man praying with students; WeRoar organized a protest. The Leadership Institute's Campus Reform also covered the story. As a result, WeRoar has been working with school administrators and student government to remove the unconstitutional speech codes on their campus. Due to the success of WeRoar at Clemson, members are excited to help conservative students at the University of South Carolina in forming a campus coalition of their own, WeSpur, to fight against liberal bias and unconstitutional policies on their campus. The WeRoar Coalition is also working to expand to other campuses. If your group is interested in starting a similar coalition and increasing your group's membership, contact your Leadership Institute Field Coordinator today.
Activism Success: Young Conservatives Start the Semester With Outreach and Activism
Haley Roddie
November 1, 2016
Activism Success: Young Conservatives Start the Semester With Outreach and Activism
A healthy conservative student group can be difficult to maintain. With students naturally leaving every year, recruitment is key to your conservative group's success. Every semester thousands of new students come to campus, and your student group should make an effort to reach out to those students. The Young Conservatives of Texas at Texas Tech started the semester with a bang. To start the year, they held a Remembering 9-11 event. They also hosted a free speech ball activism event and a “PC” police activism event, along with a Turning Point USA group. These events have resulted in hundreds of new signups of potential members. The Young Conservatives of Texas at Texas Tech capped it off by hosting Milo Yiannopoulos for his college tour. Over 400 students attended. To learn how to host these kinds of events on your campus contact me or your Regional Field Coordinator.
Halloween, Fear, and Public Speaking
Mariah Bastin
October 27, 2016
Halloween, Fear, and Public Speaking
Halloween is fast approaching and everyone's abuzz with excitement for the holiday -- costumes, haunted houses, and more! For me, haunted houses and other such Halloween thrills rank on the same level as fear of public speaking. In fact, did you know that 75% of the world's population fears speaking in front of an audience? So, how can we help remedy this large and far-reaching issue? In this post, I will teach you not only how to face your fear, but also how to successfully create and to execute a memorable, strong speech. Facing your fear of public speaking comes down to mindset -- plain and simple. In fact, it is scientific. Bruna Martinuzzi, president and founder of Clarion Enterprises Ltd., explains in an article how our brain doesn't process fear in different manners. “Understanding that our brain can't tell the difference between a real threat (a pack of wolves about to attack you) and an imagined threat (a group of your peers watching you present) is the first step to overcoming the fear. This awareness can help you manage the ‘false alarm' that happens in the absence of real danger.” Martinuzzi goes on to explain how you can train yourself to fend off the “false alarm” by doing something as minute as taking a deep breath and reminding yourself that this is just that: a “false alarm.” Once you have done this (and have slowed your heart rate down), you are ready to begin telling your story -- your speech. The first step in formulating your story is to know your audience. No preparation in the world will be worth anything if you don't know your audience. The style, length, expectations, and flow of the speech depend on your knowledge of the audience. Know your target demographic, understand the expectations of the speech (length of time given to speak, possible outcome or lesson learned, etc.), and what amount of creativity may be deemed acceptable (PowerPoint presentation or other forms of media). After you have analyzed your audience, you may now prepare your content. Your content should, at the very minimum, accomplish the expectations of your audience. At most, your content should exceed the audience's expectations. But, how do you go about accomplishing this? Tell a story! Now, you may be thinking “I won't be talking to a kindergarten class;” but, don't think about it in that manner. Instead, realize story-telling is how the world's history has remained alive. See the value in stories. Boundless.com correctly points out how “stories are universal in that they can bridge cultural, linguistic and age-related divides.” If that hasn't convinced you, think about the lectures and conversations you remember best. You remember the professor who began with a stark sentence and attracted everyone in; only to proceed with a well-flowing body and a “killer” ending. You remember a story! Write your main points and statistics out and memorize them, but let the rest flow. You don't want to have learned your speech. Word for word, only to freeze midway. Remember, stories (just like your speech) should feel natural. Now, go out and conquer your fear. If you wish to learn more about how to conquer your fear, attend Leadership Institute's upcoming Public Speaking Workshops. LI also offers a Public Speaking, Advanced Workshop. To register for these workshops, please click here.
Award winning month at Campus Reform
Emily Larsen
October 26, 2016
Award winning month at Campus Reform
The Leadership Institute's Campus Reform continues to be a roaring success as it celebrates an award-winning and record-breaking month. Three Campus Reform staff members received internal and external recognition of their excellent work. The numbers alone are superb. So far in 2016, Campus Reform reports of liberal bias and abuse on college campuses created media pressure which resulted in 28 conservative campus victories. Campus Reform staff and student contributors also discussed stories in television interviews 108 times, and the Drudge Report featured 24 stories. Campus Reform Editor-in-Chief Sterling Beard was named LI's employee of the quarter, due to the success of the project. “Sterling has shown outstanding leadership managing a Campus Reform staff who continue to break records and expand the site's media presence and influence,” said Morton Blackwell when he announced Sterling's award. Red Alert Politics also honored two additional Campus Reform staff members in its 2016 30 Under 30 list: Campus Reform's Program Coordinator, Laura Falcon, and the Leadership Institute's Director of Campus Outreach, Cabot Phillips. Laura Falcon primarily manages the Campus Correspondent Program, which recruits and cultivates conservative student journalists across the country to investigate and report liberal bias and abuse for Campus Reform. She's recruited 64 Campus Correspondents so far this year. “Every morning, I ask myself, ‘Who can I help and how?”' Laura told Red Alert Politics. Cabot Phillips, Director of Campus Outreach at the Leadership Institute, regularly appears on Fox News, Newsmax, and One America News Network to discuss Campus Reform stories. Cabot helped spearhead a successful social media campaign for LI's Campus Leadership Program and successfully got LI's #LiberalPrivilege hashtag trending on Twitter twice, on October 12 and October 19. The #LiberalPrivilege Twitter blitz encouraged conservative students to highlight the special treatment given to liberals on campus and throughout the country. The hashtag went viral. Within two hours, #LiberalPrivilege was trending nationally, and was used 66,520 times in seven days, appearing to more than 6 million Twitter users. The trending hashtag was covered by USA Today, MTV, and the Media Research Center. It's clear that much of Campus Reform's extraordinary success is due to its extraordinary people and the Leadership Institute's donors. Congratulations to the entire team for keeping The Leadership Institutes's Campus Reform America's #1 site for campus news.
New Overtime Rule is Dehumanizing
Joe Metzger
October 24, 2016
New Overtime Rule is Dehumanizing
Texas and 20 other states have announced a lawsuit to block the Obama Administration's destructive overtime rules, which are slated to go into effect December 1, 2016. With less than 3-months to spare, victory in the case would save businesses and workers across the U.S. from this dehumanizing and economically damaging law. According to the new rule, salaried workers earning below $47,476 per year must be paid time-and-a-half for work done in excess of forty hours per week. This is up from a previous salary threshold of $23,660. The rule promises more pay for working long hours, more money for lower-income employees and struggling families, and fewer hours for the same pay! Doesn't that sound wonderful? Unfortunately, that isn't how it will work out in reality. I know, because I'm the person at the Leadership Institute who is responsible for implementing the changes. I see the real faces of those it will impact every day, and I am not looking forward to hurting our employees with a counterproductive rule that harms more workers than it helps Our salaried employees enjoy being salaried and treated like adults. They are given tasks to do, and they decide how and when to do them. Nobody looks over their shoulders with a stopwatch telling them how long they have to drink coffee. Sure, they have some weeks that are very busy and which require long hours, but if they want to come in late for a few days in a row, leave early, or take an extra week off during the slow season, they get that flexibility too. They get the flexibility to work from home or pursue job-related training opportunities. If they need to take a couple hours off to pick up a sick child from school or take care of some errands, they have that option. Effective December 1, however, I have to take away that flexibility and freedom. President Obama's new rule will make it illegal for the Leadership Institute to pay for work product, and instead it mandates that we pay only for time. If we are compelled to pay for time, we have to track time precisely. That means that we can't let employees work from home because we can't track their hours. Employees who leave early to pick up their kids must lose paid hours. An employee who works a late night must take time off that same week even if he would rather have time off the next week. Worst of all, every employee must start punching a clock while every minute of his day is scrutinized. If the Leadership Institute does not follow all of these practices, we risk fines from the Department of Labor and retroactive overtime payments if anyone alleges uncompensated overtime. In addition to these dehumanizing workplace changes, we have to adopt additional cost-saving measures. Administratively, the time keeping requirement is time consuming. For our payroll budget, we have no idea what this will cost since we've never tracked hours closely before, but we know this is not going to make things less expensive. To offset these expected costs, we are planning more unpleasant changes that harm staff, including an end to paid work-related training. Although we take pride helping staff develop new skills to enhance their careers, this benefit becomes too expensive at time-and-a-half. We also plan to cut staff salaries by the amount of overtime we expect to pay during the year. If staff work overtime every week, they'll receive the same salary as before, but if they work fewer hours, they'll receive less money. Because this rule affects only employees who are paid less than $47,476 per year, effective December 1, we'll have a two-tier employment system: lower-paid, second-class employees who lose their freedom and flexibility while being treated like children, and higher-paid, first-class employees who continue to enjoy all the benefits of a salary structure. President Obama talks often about wanting to reduce “inequality” in this country, but he successfully found a way to create more inequality while hurting employees and their families. Let's hope that this coalition of states is successful in its effort to block these disastrous changes before they take effect on December 1. This article was originally published on FoxNews. Joseph R. Metzger is Vice President of Finance at the Leadership Institute in Arlington, VA.
The Leadership Institute Welcomes Fall Class of Interns
Andrew Sund
October 17, 2016
The Leadership Institute Welcomes Fall Class of Interns
Every fall, interns from all across the world descend on Washington, D.C. all looking to become the next generation of movers and shakers in the conservative movement. Many interns quickly realize the only moving and shaking they will be doing is from the office to the break room where they'll shake the perfect amount of sugar into the boss's coffee. While members of the Leadership Institute's 99th intern class may be seen in the break room grabbing a cup of coffee, it's because they need all the energy they can get as they enter the battlefield and fight for conservative principles. Dorcas Buzigire is an intern in the office of International Programs. She hails from the Democratic Republic of the Congo where she practiced law before coming to the United States. While attending a diplomatic mission function in Dallas, Dorcas met the former governor of a Congolese province who had ties with the Leadership Institute. In their discussion, the governor invited Dorcas to a Leadership Institute Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast. While touring the Leadership Institute after the breakfast Dorcas said, "I had the feeling that I was home. I came back to LI to take the Youth Leadership School, applied for the internship, and got accepted." Dorcas will be assisting with trainings and recruitment for the office of International Programs and Grassroots Trainings, but for Dorcas, this internship means more. "I hope to apply the skills that I'm learning here to the political system in my home country and empower other young people, especially women, from my country to get involved in politics. I'm very thankful for the opportunity of expanding my network and learning American public policy." This internship differs from others in the D.C. area by developing successful young conservatives in three areas – marketplace skills, training, and career development mentoring. LI interns join a department where they work alongside Leadership Institute employees on real projects building skills they can then show to future employers. Interns are encouraged to take as many trainings as they would like and learn new skills to expand their resources. They also receive career development mentoring to help interns grow their networks and market themselves in a competitive workforce. The goal is that when LI interns finish the program, they are ready to join the workforce. Tyler Arnold is using his time at Campus Reform for just that. “Writing for the Leadership Institute's Campus Reform is giving me key experience in news reporting. Not only do I get to experience writing, but I also get to work with editors and reporters with professional experience who can help me develop my skills and build a good network to help me find a journalism job in the D.C. area.” While many of our interns are charging ahead on their career path, others are using this opportunity to explore what they want to do. Ashley Behm decided to intern at the Leadership Institute after completing her education in theatre: "I wanted to explore all the ways I could use the skills that the Lord has given to me as well as the skills I have learned along the way." Ashley works in the Events Department where she is responsible for behind the scenes preparations for all of LI's trainings and social events. While consuming from the "political buffet" of trainings she is also excited to "discover what God has placed me on this earth to do; an occupation that will bring Him glory!" Hannah Weeks, the Campus Leadership Program intern, had this to say about living at the Sacher House: "How many 20-somethings do you know sit up all hours of the night discussing foreign policy, politics, and culture? I know exactly nine others. I am having the experience of a lifetime because my internship extends outside of the traditional 9:00 to 5:00 format. I am constantly learning and networking and making some of the best friends I have ever had by having the privilege of living at the Sacher Intern House." Throughout the internship, the interns will host guest speakers, discuss conservative writings, and visit members of Congress. Most of the interns live together at the Sacher House located a short walk from the Steven P.J. Wood Building. Living in this house gives interns the opportunity to bond and to learn from each other. As my fall internship progresses, I encourage you to follow my intern class's journey by following the Leadership Institute's Facebook and Twitter, and the hashtag #LIinterns. You can also use this hashtag to share advice, to share spots to check out in the D.C. area, or just follow along for a good laugh every once in a while. If you are interested in applying for the LI Internship Program you can sign up now and be part of the best internship program in the D.C. area.
LI's 2016 Fall Field Representatives Deployed on Campuses in 38 States
Kyle Baccei
September 20, 2016
LI's 2016 Fall Field Representatives Deployed on Campuses in 38 States
The left is hard at work to remove any expression of conservative principles on campus. Even when you think it can't get any worse, liberal college professors and administrators find new levels of shamelessness and fury. Their commitment would be impressive -- if it were not so dangerous. That is why each fall the Leadership Institute trains and deploys Field Representatives to college campuses across the country. This fall, 32 Field Representatives are now deployed in 38 states. These highly trained conservative activists work with students to promote and defend their conservative principles. They will help students organize conservative college groups on college campuses. Here are some of the ways Field Representatives can help conservative college students. Contact your regional field coordinator, and see how they can help you reach your goals on campus.
Senator Jim Banks -- His Campaign's
Mari Vogel
September 13, 2016
Senator Jim Banks -- His Campaign's "Secret Weapon"
Jim Banks has shown a dedication to service throughout his life. As a father of three, a state Senator, and a Navy Reservist, he has proven himself a strong and value-oriented leader. “There is a lot of pressure to go along with the majority sentiment, but I will not go back on the pledge I made to my constituents,” said Senator Banks. As the State Senator for the 17th district of Indiana, he has continually been a voice for conservative principles. Next, he hopes to continue his service to Indiana as a member of Congress. While in the senate, Senator Banks has served on numerous committees, most notably the Senate Veteran Affairs and the Military committee. He believes this experience, coupled with his military service, could provide a unique perspective to the Congressional Armed Services Committee if elected in the fall. Senator Banks fought in a hotly contested primary this spring due to the number of other well-funded candidates and the coinciding presidential nomination which drew in many more voters. However, due to his knowledgeable volunteers (several Leadership Institute graduates) and lean campaign strategies, he was able get his message out and win the election. Another thing which helped now Senator Banks through the election was his family, which he referred to as the campaign's “secret weapon.” His wife, Amanda, was able to play a unique role in the campaign because of her own political experience. As a Navy Reserve Supply Corps officer, Jim was called to Afghanistan from 2014 until 2015. While Jim was serving in Afghanistan, Amanda took over his seat in the state Senate. During her time in office, she worked on the Veterans Affairs committee and the Education committee, where she helped author and sponsor many bills. She also co-authored several bills in defense of the unborn. “Public servants cannot separate who they are from what they do,” she says, “so the various vocations I have in life as a mother, a military wife, and a conservative activist all come to the forefront when considering the issues facing our state." If he wins the election in November, Senator Banks is ready to fight for conservative values in Congress. “I believe we need to go back to our roots and start building support around conservative solutions for our current public policy challenges,” he said. Instead of being the “opposition party,” he sees the importance of bringing conservative proposals and ideas to the table. Jim credits the Leadership Institute with providing a solid foundation for him as he began getting involved in politics. Thanks to the Grassroots Activist School and Youth Leadership School, he made connections which allowed him to work with a member of Congress and run a Mayoral campaign very early in his career. “The LI program didn't just provide me with the knowledge and skills I would need to make a difference on behalf of candidates I would work with," said Senator Banks, "but it helped me connect with people who would have an important role in my career down the line.” Mari Vogel was a summer intern in the Grassroots Department for the Leadership Institute. The Leadership Institute offers over 47 types of training programs, working with more than 1,619 conservative student groups, and helping employers connect with conservative job seekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, LI has trained more than 175,000 conservative activists, students, and leaders. Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders. For more information, please visit www.LeadershipInstitute.org.
Digital Communications Workshop Fills F.M. Kirby Training Center
Jami Averwater
September 6, 2016
Digital Communications Workshop Fills F.M. Kirby Training Center
Eight seconds. That's all. Either my email grabs the reader's attention, or I've lost them. Without a doubt, one of the best perks of being a Leadership Institute intern is the convenience of high-demand classes like “Digital Communications Workshop: Email Marketing.” In one full day, I learned from presentations filled with information on email communication by top strategists in the field. When done properly, email marketing has the potential to have forty times more return on investment than that of the major social media outlets, one speaker told us. If that announcement alone wasn't enough to convince me to pay close attention to the lectures which followed, the biographies of the speakers would do the job. Aidan Quinlan-Walsh, a Client Strategist for Engage, spoke on the topic of email acquisition. He taught us how to evaluate an offer to rent or purchase an email list; practice for acquisition campaigns; and measure the effectiveness of gathered analytics. His main goal of the presentation? Ultimately, he showed us how to take advantage of the platforms available to us in order to reach people successfully. Carolyn Kincaid, a copywriter, taught us how to cultivate subscribers using effective content. To do this, she recommends ditching the traditional “newsletter style” email blasts and capitalizing on the excitement of the person on the receiving end of the email. My fellow workshop attendees packing the classroom included non-profit employees from Washington, D.C. and the surrounding areas, college students from multiple regions of the U.S., and many Leadership Institute staff. As always, the list of lecturers at this workshop impressed me. Together, the speakers brought perspective, energy, and a combined experience of over six decades. I left the workshop that day feeling like I could tackle the world of digital communications, and I found myself using many of the tools I learned during the weeks of my summer internship. Jami Averwater was a summer intern in the External Affairs Department for the Leadership Institute. Find more digital workshops you can attend by visiting the Leadership Institute's Digital training page. The Leadership Institute offers over 47 types of training programs, working with more than 1,619 conservative student groups, and helping employers connect with conservative job seekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, LI has trained more than 175,000 conservative activists, students, and leaders. Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders. For more information, please visit www.LeadershipInstitute.org.
Recent graduate uses Leadership Institute skills to launch campaign in Washington, DC
Jami Averwater
August 24, 2016
Recent graduate uses Leadership Institute skills to launch campaign in Washington, DC
It is safe to say Ashley Carter stays busy as the Grassroots Director for the Independent Women's Forum. This role leads her around the country speaking on many vital topics, including the importance of women running for public office. In fact, the organization has recently expanded to 10 states where they advocate heavily for issues of importance to women and families. Ashley covered these topics on a panel at the 2016 Republican National Convention. Now, Ashley Carter has announced her candidacy for DC Board of Education member At-Large. To recruit volunteers for her campaign, Ashley shared with me she had success using Leadership Institute's free job placement service, ConservativeJobs.com. "I have found LI to be a wonderful resource," she said. "And I continue to flourish in my career and now my campaign because of the Institute." In preparation for her campaign, she participated in both Leadership Institute's Campaign Management School and Future Candidate School. In the picture below, Ashley stands in the front row with a group of fellow Leadership Institute graduates at the Campaign Management School. "Being immersed in a deep learning about campaigns with other candidates and leaders who share my beliefs helped to turn an idea about becoming a candidate into reality." Before beginning her role with Independent Women's Forum, Ashley attended the Women's Leadership Workshop and Women's Communications Workshop at the Leadership Institute in 2014. Ashley says that participating in these trainings helped her to find a network of conservative women who have continued to support her endeavor to be elected to the Board of Education in Washington, D.C. When asked what advice she would give to young people in the conservative movement, Ashley responded, "I believe all young conservatives should keep their minds open when facing new experiences. . . as a young conservative, you are an ambassador to the movement... Be proud to be a conservative!" Jami Averwater is a summer intern in the External Affairs Department for the Leadership Institute. Follow her on Twitter (@Jamikristin). The Leadership Institute offers over 47 types of training programs, working with more than 1,619 conservative student groups, and helping employers connect with conservative job seekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, LI has trained more than 175,000 conservative activists, students, and leaders. Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders. For more information, please visit www.LeadershipInstitute.org.
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