National Citizen Leadership Conference

Program and Resources

Mayflower Conference Room Locations

The conference is located on the lower level, lobby level and second floor of the hotel:

Lower Level

Lobby Level

Second Floor

Tuesday September 27th

5:00 - 7:00 pm

Early Check In

We want to say hello ūüĎč! Swing by our early check in table outside the East Room starting at 5pm to collect your NCLC Swag Bag, get the insider scoop on where to have dinner, touch base about Wednesday’s conference layout, and find out where to meet us for a morning run/walk to the Lincoln Memorial.

6:00 - 8:00 pm

Freedom on Tap, Sauf Haus Bier Hall & Garten

Get to know fellow lobbyists and NCLC attendees over a pre-conference refreshment at Sauf Haus Bier Hall & Garten. To join the first wave of conference-goers in the walk over to Sauf Haus, meet Mike Monetta, American Promise Vice President of Advocacy and Training, in the Mayflower Lobby at 5:50pm ‚Äď but show up anytime!¬†

Wednesday September 28th

7:00 - 8:00 am

For Our Freedom Run to Lincoln Memorial

Meet up with other conference attendees in the Mayflower Lobby for a morning jog/stroll to the Lincoln Memorial. This 3 mile effort is open to all experience levels. Free t-shirts will be available for all participants.

8 :00- 9:30 am

Networking Reception & Complimentary Breakfast

District Ballroom

Connect with American Promise volunteers, citizen leaders, and National Citizen Leadership Conference speakers over a complimentary breakfast, check out our organization sponsor tables around the room, and learn where to find potential special guest authors, possibly including Rep. Jamie Raskin (Unthinkable); Diane Hessan (Our Common Ground); Peter Schweitzer (Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides); Anne Applebaum (Twilight of Democracy); John Kowal and Wilfred Codrington; (The People’s Constitution); Greg Moore (new book out soon), for book signings throughout the conference.

East Room 9:30 - 10:30 am
9:30 - 9:45 am

Welcome to NCLC 2022: Freedom, Unity, Civic Courage

Don’t miss the kick-off of the 2022 National Citizen Leadership Conference with the Washington Youth Choir (invited)! From there, we’ll launch into welcoming remarks and a key strategic briefing on the fast-breaking social, economic, political and civic reform developments shaping the upcoming mid-term elections as well as 2024, 2026, and the future of America.
Bill Cortese, American Promise Executive Director; John Wass, American Promise Board Chair & Business Leader; Dr. Jessica Hare, American Promise Vice-President/Outreach; and Jeff Clements, American Promise President
9:45 - 10:30 am

For Our Freedom: Protecting U.S. Elections from Foreign Money Interference

Foreign governments and other actors are exploiting the holes in our corrupt and broken election finance system, our division, and our political dysfunction, to influence elections and erode civic trust. But now Americans are uniting across party lines to build long-term constitutional and civic solutions to protect the integrity of our elections and the voice and representation of Americans in our national, state, and local affairs.
Joshua Huminski, Director of the Mike Rogers Center for Intelligence & Global Affairs, National Security Institute; Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, U.S. Army fmr. Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Government and Public Policy, William & Mary; Catie Kelley, Senior Director, Policy and Strategic Partnerships, Campaign Legal Center; Bill Cortese, Executive Director, American Promise
10:30 - 11:15 am

Morning Breakouts & Workshops

I. When Social Work and Healthcare Become “Political”

East Room

If it wasn’t clear already, the last few years have reminded all of us how integral healthcare and social workers are to our communities and day-to-day wellbeing. Bringing their ethic of nonpartisan service, care, and solutions, healthcare and social worker professionals are connecting the undue influence of money in politics shaping systems that benefit wealthy donors and special interest groups at the expense of most Americans– and they are doing something about it.
Dr. Jessica, Vice President, Outreach, American Promise; Dr. Charles Lewis, Director of the Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy; Aliya Bhatia, CEO, Vot+ER; Dr.  Marie HenselderKimmel, Obstetrics-Gynecology, NJ American Promise volunteer leader; Sarah Butts, Director of Public Policy, National Association of Social Workers

II. Make it Personal, Make it Local: Connecting with Fellow Citizens and Candidates Where We Live

District Ballroom

Most Americans are not politicians and they don’t hate each other for having different views. At home, in our communities, is where we do our best work, and effective communication and partnership with neighbors and fellow citizens is what creates the power to break through political dysfunction. Learn what you can do– and have fun doing it– to advance big reform and national renewal at your farmers markers, state fairs, festivals, local Chambers of Commerce, Rotary or other civic groups, and anywhere else people gather together.
Chris Cayer, American Promise Field Manager; Laura Knipmeyer, American Promise volunteer leader, CA

III. Did “Elites” Take Over Our Government? Yup. Find Out Who, How, and Why.

District Ballroom

You know election spending keeps breaking records, but do you know where that money is coming from, and what it does to damage America, our states, and our people? Join American Promise Research Associate Connor Flotten and the team from OpenSecrets to learn from where that money¬†really¬†comes,¬†how the spenders try to hide their dirty work, and how you can use the tools offered by OpenSecrets and American Promise to educate others about the real impact of this spending on the lives of Americans¬†‚ÄĒ and what we can do¬†about it.¬†
Connor Flotten, Research Associate, American Promise; David Van Siclen & Kelly Kauffman,  OpenSecrets
East Room 11:15-12:15
11:15 - 12:00 pm

Free People, Free Enterprise, Free and Fair Elections: America's Business Leaders Are Uniting Behind a Constitutional Solution to Dark Money Elections and Political Dysfunction

Business Leaders at the national, state, and local level are united and taking action to ensure that both American democracy and an innovative free-enterprise economy benefit from common-sense rules about how money influences elections. Taking on the challenge both as citizens and as businesspeople, they are joining with their fellow Americans to win a constitutional solution to the out-of-control election spending by a “donor class” that is distorting and corrupting elections and the voice of people who should be represented by their elected representatives.
Elizabeth Doty, Director, Corporate Responsibility Task Force, The Erb Institute at University of Michigan; John McCrea, successful businessperson and American Promise Business Network Manager; Maureen Kline, Vice President, Public Affairs & Sustainability, Pirelli Tire North America; Dave Black, fmr. President & CEO, Harrisburg, PA Chamber of Commerce; Matt Patsky, CFA, Trillium Asset Management

2022 Citizen Leadership Awards

Continuing an American Promise tradition, we will recognize and celebrate some of the best examples of citizen leadership to advance successful solutions that unite and strengthen Americans and grassroots reform.
12:15 - 1:00 pm

LUNCH, East Room

Head over to the foyer outside the East Room for a buffet lunch to debrief the morning sessions, say hello to our organizational sponsor tables, learn more about your fellow conference attendees, touch base with your lobby day team to finalize plans for Thursday’s meetings, or head over to our store in the New Hampshire room for a book sale and guest author signing.
East Room 1:00 - 3:00 pm
1:00 - 1:45 pm

Make it Personal, Make it Local: Get Behind the State-by-State Path to Victory

Cross-partisan citizen leadership in the States is driving big reform and the For Our Freedom Amendment toward victory. Volunteers & allies taking action across civic, business, veteran, faith and many other networks have led to 22 wins in the States, building support in Congress, and readiness to ratify the For Our Freedom Amendment. 2022 has seen more momentum across the political spectrum than ever. Learn from elected officials how these citizen-driven efforts are being heard and turned into successful votes in States and Congress.
State Sen. Rick Bennett (R-ME), Judy Nagel, American Promise volunteer leader (WI); Layla Zaidane, President & CEO, Millennial Action Project; Dave Black, CEO (Ret.) Harrisburg (PA) Chamber of Commerce; Brian Boyle, American Promise Senior Counsel.

2022 Citizen Leadership Awards

2:00 - 3:00 pm

Citizen Empowerment: Effective Education and Advocacy in Congress (and State Legislatures)

In this two-part mainstage program, award-winning actress and American Promise board member Debra Winger will join staff and volunteers to prepare Citizen Lobby Day (Sept. 29). Combining role-playing and interactive engagement , you will have an opportunity to work with the panelists and other conference attendees in a fun and informative presentation and workshop. All your questions will be answered and all of us will have the knowledge, skills and confidence we need for success, both if you are heading to Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress in our Citizen Lobby Day on the 29th, or wanting to be an effective citizen advocate with any elected official.

Mike Monetta, Vice President – Volunteer Advocacy and Training, American Promise; Chris Cayer, Field Manager, American Promise; Alan LaPolice, Deputy Political Director, American Promise; American Promise Volunteer Citizen Leaders; Debra Winger, Award-Winning Actress and American Promise Board Member
3:00 - 3:20 pm

BREAK and Networking

This work depends on individual citizens coming together and utilizing the power we have as a collective. Meet fellow conference attendees, ask questions of mainstage speakers, attend a special guest author book signing, stop by our organizational sponsor tables, or grab coffee with a new friend to share your takeaways from the day and hear about theirs.
3:20 - 4:05 pm

Afternoon Breakouts

I. Connecting Businesspeople & Civic Leaders: Best Practices To Advance the For Our Freedom Amendment & Reform in the States- and Create the Conditions to Win in Congress.

Massachusetts Room
Across the USA, local Chambers of Commerce, Rotary Clubs and other civic organizations bring together businesspeople and community leaders for nonpartisan education, engagement and service.¬†Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are two big states in American politics, subject to divisive, money-driven partisan battles around the clock now. But in this session, we’ll see how American Promise has created programs for volunteer leaders from across the political spectrum to unite and move their states forward. Judy Nagel & Howard Hauser, who are both businesspeople and Rotary presidents in Green Bay (WI) Rotary – and come from different political parties and perspectives- will share how they have build deep support for constitutional reform across the spectrum. Dave Black, the retired CEO & President of the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce.¬† David is also an award winning member of the American Promise Business Network, and is the architect of our ambitious and successful PA local Chamber engagement strategy that can be replicated in every state.
John McCrea, American Promise Business Network Manager; Elizabeth Doty, Director, Corporate Responsibility Task Force, The Erb Institute at University of Michigan; Dave Black, fmr. President & CEO, Harrisburg, PA Chamber of Commerce; Judy Nagel, American Promise volunteer leader, businesswomen, and past-president, Green Bay (WI) Rotary; Howard Hauser, American Promise volunteer leader, businessman and president, Green Bay (WI) Rotary.

II. How to be an Effective Advocate Across Party Lines and Mediums

Grand Ballroom
The easy thing is to talk with people who agree with you, or rant on social media about “the other side.” The easy thing won’t work. With deep experience and success in advocacy that unites and empowers Americans to work together, American Promise board member and former State Sen. Jim Rubens (R-NH), American Promise Executive Director Bill Cortese, and the American Promise digital communications team offer a crash course in finding the right words to use with your local legislator, at the dinner table, or with your neighbor. You’ll learn how to speak confidently about our national crisis of money corruption in politics and our constitutional solution– to anybody, regardless of political affiliation. We’ll share successful communications strategies, and get oriented on where, when, and how to harness the power of technology to elevate the issue of dark money spending in elections and unite Americans behind a lasting solution.
Jere Halligan, Digital Director, American Promise; Zyeisha Allen, Content Development Manager, American Promise; Jim Rubens, fmr. State Senator (R-NH) and American Promise board member; Bill Cortese, Executive Director, American Promise

III. Need a Lawyer, America? We’ve Got You Covered.

East Room
Why a Constitutional amendment? How do we do that? How will it work? What can I do? Join attorneys Brian Boyle and Julie Brogan for a workshop that offers a deeper dive into our legal strategy. The first part will focus on the language and theory behind the For Our Freedom Amendment — in plain English, we promise. We’ll get into the nuts and bolts of how the text of the amendment provides a constitutional solution to money corruption that drives the core problems in our country‚Äôs broken politics. We’re also launching a nationwide, state-based network of lawyers and others who can pitch in to help, whether writing op-eds, presenting to local bar associations, networking with key community leaders, or advising local volunteers in ballot or legislative processes. Bring your questions, your ideas, and your faith in our constitutional democracy and your fellow citizens!
Brian Boyle, Senior Legal Counsel, American Promise; Julie Brogan, American Promise volunteer, and fmr. attorney

IV. We’re Overdue for a Generational Transfer of Power: Young Americans Advancing Our Freedom

Chinese Room
Young people have garnered a reputation for pessimism about the future, but is it accurate? Join Marnie Walsh and Layla Zaidane as they debunk the myth that young people have disengaged from our politics, and are actually taking charge of shaping the narrative for our country by fighting for a future in which all Americans enjoy equal liberties and opportunities, and in which every vote, rather than every dollar, matters.
Marnie Walsh, Educator, American Promise National Advisory Council; Layla Zaidane, President & CEO, Millennial Action Project; Manu Meel, CEO & Founder, Bridge USA, and American Promise Education Fund Board Member; Connor Flotten, Research Associate, American Promise; Jacob Brown, Systems & Data Analyst, American Promise
4:05 - 4:25 pm

BREAK and Networking

This work depends on individual citizens coming together and utilizing the power we have as a collective. Meet fellow conference attendees, ask questions of mainstage speakers, attend a special guest author book signing, stop by our organizational sponsor tables, or grab coffee with a new friend to share your takeaways from the day and hear about theirs.
East Room 4:25 - 5:15 pm
4:25 - 5:10 pm

Freedom, Unity, Civic Courage

America is going through big changes, and is beset by challenges at home and globally. But millions of Americans are choosing something new, building a new movement of freedom, unity and civic courage. We’re going to talk with leaders of some of the organizations that are digging in behind the headlines to determine what is really going on, how do we best shape the forces that threaten to tear us apart to instead win a new era of freedom and effective self-government for every American.
Andrew Yang, 2020 Presidential Candidate and Founder, Forward Party; Jeff Clements, President, American Promise; Mindy Finn, CEO, Citizen Data; Manu Meel, Founder and CEO, Bridge USA
5:10 - 5:15 pm

What's Next

Dr. Jessica Hare, American Promise VP of Outreach, Jeff Clements, President of American Promise, and Bill Cortese, Executive Director of American Promise will offer some highlights of the day, and the exciting program ahead.
5:15 - 6:15 pm


Share your American Promise Story, connect with our team about joining us for lobby day, network with fellow citizen speakers and attendees, and keep your eye our for special guest author signings at our bookstore.
6:15 - 8:30 pm
Connect with friends new and old, as well as speakers and guests, for a great night of dinner, conversation, and strategizing! We’ll be joined by Andrew Yang, Congressman Dean Phillips, Citizen Leadership Award Winner Aliya Bhatia of Vot+ER, and more. And we’ll offer a tribute to Congressman John Katko as he wraps up his service in Congress. Full program of dinner panelist guests to be released soon.
Thanks to our sponsors Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, as well as to American Promise supporters Perry Boyle and Lisa Ryan-Boyle for their generous donation from Howarth Wines! We hope you enjoy delicious beverages with dinner, we’ll see you in the East Room for dessert!

Thursday September 29th
National Citizen Lobby Day

Citizen Lobby Day is one of the most powerful citizen empowerment days of the year! After a day of amazing speakers, panels, and workshops on Wednesday, we will head over to Capitol Hill on Thursday, September 29th to let our members of Congress know that we need them to support and prioritize the For Our Freedom Amendment. Whether you are an experienced veteran or brand new to legislative advocacy we will make sure you are prepared and comfortable every step of the way.
More information: 
7:00 - 8:00

Meet in Mayflower Lobby + Travel to Capitol Hill

Travel Options

  • Make your own travel arrangements
  • We will be providing free Uber rides from the Mayflower Hotel (with an assigned team)¬†
  • We will have a group walking from the Mayflower – leave at 7:30¬†
  • We will have a group taking the metro – leave at 7:30
8:00 - 9:00 am

American Promise Citizen Lobby Day Headquarters

Public Room, Lutheran Church of the Reformation, 212 East Capitol St NE (steps from the Capitol)
Gear up for Lobby Day, network with other citizen lobbyists, and fuel up with free breakfast before a day on the Hill!
8:30 – 8:45 am: Join author and award-winning entrepreneur and innovator Diane Hessan for coffee and conversation about her book Our Common Ground: Insights from Four Years of Listening to American Voters. Books will be available for sale and signing.
8:45 – 9:00 am: Get prepped for the day and collect materials for your upcoming lobby meeting with Vice President of Advocacy and Training Mike Monetta.
9:00 am - 4:00pm

Capitol Hill

9:00 – 10:00 am: Walk over to Capitol Hill and coordinate with your Lobby Day team on when and how to get to your lobby meeting.
10:00 am – 4:00 pm: Meet with lawmakers and their staff on the Hill to advocate for our For Our Freedom amendment.
Catered free lunch, and meetups to swap stories from your conversations with our legislators back at American Promise Citizen Lobby Day HQ.