The Retirement Security team wrapped up a very successful year-end convening in Chicago on Thursday. 45 people from 17 organizations in 14 states participated in the 2 1/2 day gathering, half of whom were volunteer leaders from partner organizations who have been part of CCC’s Grassroots Ambassadors leadership development program for the past two years. Participants evaluated our work in 2014 and strategized about the year ahead; they also brainstormed ways to connect retirement security work to other areas like the Guaranteed Good Jobs for All campaign and work on mass incarceration. Finally, they helped CCC retirement security staff prioritize our program elements so that we can best support the field in 2015.
CCC’s Allegra Baider joined Keith Kelleher, president of SEIU healthcare in the 4-state region, and Amisha Patel, ED of the Grassroots Collaborative, for a dynamic panel discussion about the current political landscape and political opportunities in 2015. Another highlight was the fact that many of the strategy sessions and skills trainings were led by the grassroots leaders themselves, including Curtis Edwards from GRO-Missouri and Akiba Bird from North Carolina Fair Share CDC. Their opening ritual set the stage for powerful, emotional engagement amongst participants, and an emphasis on 1-on-1 conversations of the course of the training meant that lots of people got to build deep relationships with counterparts from other states. Overall the sense of camaraderie and interconnectedness of groups was palpable, and everyone is excited about continuing the retirement security campaign in 2015.