NDN's Time Has Come To An End - A Note from Simon About Ends, and New Beginnings

Today, I am announcing that I will be stepping back from the leadership of NDN and that the organization itself will start winding down and close in the next few months.   Part of our portfolio, the demographic and electoral/political analysis, will migrate to a new home, Future Majority, very ably run by former NDNer Mark Riddle.  We’ve been partnering with Future Majority on some projects in recent months and I am impressed with their polling and analytical work.  So it’s a good fit.  Other parts of NDN may also head to Future Majority.  We are working on that now and will have more to say about it in the coming days.

As for me, I may be stepping back from NDN, but I’m not stepping back from the broader struggle to ensure freedom and democracy prevails.  I am just going to be coming at our work together from a different place, a different angle, something I am working to put together right now.  So while this is an end to something, it is also a beginning of something new.  I plan on doing a bit more writing and speaking, a little less Tweeting, and am really excited about not running something for the first time in more than 25 years.  As NDN winds down you can stay connected to my commentary through Twitter (for now), my new YouTube channel, and next week I’m launching a substack which will become my primary home during this transition. 

Next Friday at 1pm ET I’ll be hosting my monthly political briefing where I’ll do my regular update on the national political landscape and then perhaps address the transition a bit.  If you want to join RSVP here.  Should be a fun gathering.  Please also watch my latest “With Democrats Things Get Better” presentation which was just recorded yesterday – it’s really good, and is perhaps my most important project in the history of this plucky organization.

There will be time to reflect on what we built with NDN, the good things we accomplished, the ideas we nurtured, the strategies we developed and popularized, the organizations we helped start, the elected officials and innovators we supported, the red waves we called bullshit on. There will be time for that. But looking back this morning at what has mattered most to me, what has really stood out about our work together is how many former NDNers have gone on to make a difference as Members of Congress, senior Administration officials, Presidential campaign managers, heads of their own organizations, Senate chiefs of staff, cable news commentators and even Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.  Am so proud of them for putting their heads down and staying in the fight.  NDN’s original slogan was “New Leaders for a New Time” – and I think we’ve all been true to that sensibility at every step of this journey.  No doubt this has been a great ride, the ride of a lifetime, and there are so many people to thank for making this loose network of builders, doers, innovators and really smart people possible.  I am still trying to figure out how to do that.  More on all this, soon.

Finally, I felt like this was the right time to step back a bit for the Democratic Party is strong right now.  We just had our third consecutive “good” election.  In 2022 we defied history and gained ground in 7 of the most important battleground states – AZ, CO, GA, MI, MN, NH, PA (so amazing!!!!). Joe Biden has been a very good President and will have a very strong case for re-election.  Our rising leaders are as promising and impressive as any time I’ve been in the business.  Our candidates are outraising Republicans by significant margins, and our grassroots is stronger than its ever been.  We have a lot of work to still do of course.  MAGA remains too much of a threat.  But the Democratic Party is strong right now, and it just seemed like the right time for me to step back, take a deep breath and begin my next chapter.

With much gratitude, humility, hope and excitement, I just want to say thanks to all of you for giving me this opportunity to have been part of such an interesting and important project for so long.  I was never bored; don’t think we were ever boring; and I know we did some good along the way.  It’s really all you can ask for in life.

Sending all sorts of Hopium your way, Simon