what we do
Many YEOs in the Network find their biggest challenge in office is developing the connections to help them become effective leaders. By connecting with peers and strategic partner organizations, members expand their range of innovative solutions and are better prepared to put forth their ideas.
The Network provides extensive networking opportunities through its conferences and summits.
The annual YEO Network National Convening provides YEOs with an opportunity to grow as public servants through workshops and trainings designed specifically for young leaders in their positions. This unique conference serves to nurture and support YEOs as innovative thinkers, young leaders, and office holders.
The policy academies we host provide young elected officials with the tools to develop effective strategies, programs, and policies that address a selected topic. This strategically-designed weekend of advanced policy study brings the YEOs together with our strategic partners – policy makers, community practitioners, and issue experts – in a compelling and critical dialogue with tangible policy outcomes
YEOs are agents of change, but they sometimes lack easy access to the resources they need to develop effective, progressive policies. The YEO Network works to leverage the tremendous investments made in non-profit policy organizations by connecting YEOs to resources, research, sample policies, and partner and technical assistance. Through our events, tailored policy support requests, online policy exchange, annual policy book, monthly bulletins, and podcasts, YEOs can collaborate with our policy staff as well as strategic partner organizations in order to build relationships and integrate into the larger progressive policy community.
Our policy focus is organized into a platform of five strategic issue areas identified as priorities in our annual membership survey. Each year at Convening, YEOs meet within these Policy Councils to develop a robust agenda around these issue areas. Together, they form the Network’s focus for the year.
In broad strokes, these issue areas for 2020 are:
• Empowering and Educating Communities
• Defending Workers and Families
• Expanding Democracy
• Ensuring a Sustainable Future
• Building a Healthy and Inclusive Society
This approach allows YEOs to better coordinate their policy work, helps counter right-wing tactics, and promotes the American values of freedom, fairness, and opportunity for all. The Network aims to be a constant resource for progressive policy tools and to provide best practices that YEOs can use in their respective states, counties, cities, and school boards. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our policy team if you’d like our help anywhere in the policy process.
YEOs benefit from continued training in a wide range of skills and issue areas. The Network regularly develops training modules included in conferences, summits, and teleconferences. These workshops have helped YEOs develop their skills in messaging, media, community organizing, negotiation, artful debate, and more. In addition, the YEO Network and its sister program, Young People For, work together to support young leaders through the Front Line Leaders Academy. Through this collective work, the Youth Leadership Programs are creating systemic change by investing in sustained, progressive leadership development.