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2007 National Convening
The 2007 YEO National convening was a huge success! This year's convening offered the right balance of issues, skills and networking space for our members to participate.
Friday's reception began with a wonderful welcome from PFAW Foundation President Ralph G. Neas and AFSCME President Gerald McEntee. Congressman Tim Ryan struck the right cord as our dinner speaker where he called on YEOs to pay attention to their progressive values and not to allow their individual interests to hamper our collective progress.
Saturday and Sunday we were filled with informative and engaging issue and skills trainings offered by key strategic partners--Drum Majors Institute, CPA, Annie E. Casey, Urban Institute, Young Workers United, America Votes, Progressive States Network, CLASP, Sunlight Foundation, Gamaliel, NCSL, Fair Vote and ICMA/Smart Growth—and our own PFAWF staff and family--Ruth Martin, Michele Jawando, Kevin Franck, and Marsha Scott.
As excellent as the sessions were, the general plenary consistently met and exceeded expectations. Celinda Lake offered a compelling dosage of political speak and data to satisfy the appetite of any regular political junky--imagine what that means for an elected official?! Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton almost brought the room to tears when she spoke passionately about her own personal fight to achieve the basic right for the people of the District of Columbia to be counted in the epicenter of world democracy.
For Sunday's closing session, YEOs Kyrsten Sinema, Jason West and Connie Johnson led a discussion about being passionate and productive and gave testimonials about how they balance the two. The panel was genuine, honest and struck the right balance of experience for YEOs.
NEA President Reg Weaver brought down the house with a thought provoking and spirit renewing speech to YEOs, challenging them to think holistically about education policy and how they impact child success. Beyond being an informative address, Weavers' speech was a revival for YEOs and guests to renew our collective spirit for the work that we are responsible and committed to doing.
The 2007 National Convening was like none other, creating a unique and inspiring experience for young elected officials from across the country.
The 2007 YEO Convening took place at the National Education Association in Washington, DC.