Take Back America 2007

Simon will be speaking at the 2007 Take Back America conference in Washington, DC. The conference, which begins next Monday, is described as "the premier progressive event of the year. From June 18th - 20th, 2007 thousands of progressive activists, thinkers, bloggers, and leaders will convene in Washington, DC," where they will have the opportunity to hear a very impressive array of influential progressive speakers.

Look for Simon on a panel Tuesday morning at 9:45 looking at new and better ways to be using media.  He will be showcasing some of the issue advocacy television ads NDN and its affiliates have run in the last two election cycles.

Celebrate Democracy's 1st Anniversary

As you know, NDN has been at the forefront of a national effort to imagine and build a progressive infrastructure capable of doing battle on the new emerging battleground of the 21st century.    This month we celebrate the 1st anniversary of the founding of an important new piece of this emerging infrastructure, Democracy: A Journal of Ideas.  This compelling new journal was founded by two good friends of ours, Kenneth Baer and Andrei Cherny, and has been supported by NDN from its inception.

You can learn more about Democracy by visiting their web site at www.democracyjournal.org

Democracy was launched to be the progressive analogue of the idea journals on the conservative side – such as Public Interest, National Interest, and Commentary – that have been the original source of many of the big ideas the right wing used to appeal to Americans over the past 30 years. And it has had a very strong first year. Democracy’s readership has shot up to more than that of Public Interest at its peak during the Reagan years.  The journal can be found in major bookstores in 49 states – in places like Gulfport, Mississippi and Anchorage, Alaska – on shelves where conservative journals used to have all the space for themselves. It has subscribers on every continent, and is finding its way into libraries across the nation.

Most importantly, Democracy is a crucial part of creating the intellectual underpinnings of the next wave of progressive action.  They feature thoughtful groundbreaking pieces from established thinkers such as Joseph Nye, Jr., Peter Bergen, Dennis Ross, and Elaine Kamarck as well as up-and-coming writers. This is why they have been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, and on hundreds of blog posts over the past year.  Maureen Dowd wrote that Democracy is “a progressive journal to ponder big ideas that might help the wretched Democrats stop driving on Ambien and snatch back a little power.”  Not exactly how I would have said it but you get the idea.   

In honor of Democracy’s first anniversary, NDN has arranged for a special subscription discount for our members and friends of $24 for the entire year.   I hope you will help us celebrate their anniversary by subscribing – and supporting – this very worthwhile venture today.   

NDN is moving into a new home here in DC

I am excited to share with you that over the next month NDN and our affiliates will be moving in to an exciting new headquarters here in Washington, DC.   It is located in an historic part of town, just across from the Department of Treasury, and down the street from the White House.  But most importantly it has a wonderful event space where we plan on doing the public events, discussions, dinners and gatherings you have come to expect from NDN.

In many ways this new place will be NDN’s first real home, a comfortable place that I think over time will become a true physical hub for our dynamic community, and I hope for the broader progressive movement as well.   We also got a good deal on it, so it isn't going to break the bank.

Our phone, fax, email and web site will remain the same, but please update your records and begin using immediately our new address:


729 15th St, NW - 2nd Floor

Washington, DC 20005

And I look forward to seeing you at the new NDN very soon!

Meet and Greet with Patrick Murphy

Last night, NDN held a meet and greet with Congressman Patrick Murphy (PA-08). A rising star in the Democratic party and the first Iraq war veteran elected to Congress, Congressman Murphy discussed many issues with us: his efforts to bring a Green Manufacturing Zone to PA, the need to increase investment in high school science and engineering, how the US needs to regain its role as a leader in innovation, and of course his views on Iraq.

Check out pictures below:

Towards a new American strategy in the Middle East - a special NDN interview with Vali Nasr

I just sent this email out. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment in the comment section.


In recent days we've seen a very public and contentious debate over Iraq here in the US, continued fighting in Afghanistan and a new round of fierce fighting in Lebanon, public demonstrations against the Pakistani government, reports that the Administration has authorized covert action against Iran and a new UN Report suggesting Iran is making greater progress on its nuclear program than previously believed.

All of this new activity reinforces a main argument of the recent Iraq Study Group's report - that America needs not just a military strategy for Iraq, but a comprehensive diplomatic and political approach to this troubled region.

Of all the voices weighing in on what such a strategy would look like, few have been smarter or more persuasive to us here at NDN than noted Middle East scholar Vali Nasr. For many months I've been advocating to all I meet that they read his book The Shia Revival - How Conflicts within Islam Will Shape the Future. This book has taught me more, and helped me understand more about the Middle East today than any other thing I've read in the last several years. If you haven't read it, a new paperback edition of the book is out now and available at your local bookstore or online.

To help bring the important thinking in this book to our members and friends across the country, I sat down and interviewed Professor Nasr two weeks ago here in Washington, DC. I hope all of you will take a moment to watch the interview, now on-line. Of all the arguments he makes, I believe the most important is his recommendations on how to engage and contain Iran.

In all my years at NDN I've never promoted a book or thinker the way I have Vali. All of us here at NDN would love your thoughts on the format, and execution of our "Nasr campaign." Please let me know directly by leaving a comment below.

Thanks for all this, and I hope you enjoy getting to know Vali and his thinking as I have.


Simon Rosenberg

Additional Links:

Watch Vali Nasr on The Colbert Report

Buy The Shia Revival

Read "When the Shiites Rise" from Foreign Affairs

Read related writing from NDN

Join the discussion on our blog

A consequential time - On the Middle East, Globalization and Immigration

This week marks a critical moment in the struggle of so many to move the nation from the disappointing era of Bush to a new and more hopeful era for the nation.  The Senate and House are working to craft a new and better approach to the Middle East; the House Democratic Caucus discussed the new trade deal Tuesday at its weekly meeting; and the Senate has begun a vital and important debate on how to best fix our broken immigration system. 

To help our community better participate in these consequential debates, we offer up the following:

On a new strategy for the Middle East – We are excited to release a recently conducted video interview with noted Middle East expert, Vali Nasr, author of The Shia Revival.  Professor Nasr, now of the Fletcher School at Tufts, has had a profound influence on our thinking about the Middle East.  You can learn more about his book, read his writing, watch his appearance on The Colbert Report or watch our in-depth and probing interview with him here

On Immigration Reform – NDN is proud to be part of the national coalition working to pass comprehensive immigration reform this year.   On our site you can read our recent statements about the new bi-partisan approach to immigration, watch video of several informative immigration events, including our recent March event with Senators Reid, Kennedy, Salazar and Menendez, and watch and listen to the television and radio ads run by NDN and our affiliate the NDN political fund during the national immigration debate last year. 

On Globalization – On our site you can find the work of our Globalization Initiative, headed by former Clinton chief economic advisor Dr. Robert J. Shapiro.   There you can find our statement about the new trade deal negotiated by Chairman Charlie Rangel,  watch video of our public forums, including a compelling interview with SEIU’s Andy Stern, read a new paper which advocates putting “A Laptop in Every Backpack,” and review our many essays, reports and commentary that seek to craft a new economic strategy for America.

When the American people tossed the Republicans from power last year they were making a clear statement that they wanted their representatives in Washington to stop playing politics and work towards solving the great challenges facing the nation today.   We should be heartened at the progress made so far by the new Congress, and the eagerness of Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Pelosi to take on the hard things and not just the easy ones.  

But we should not be under any illusions – ushering in a new era of progress isn’t going to be easy.  Our community, which has contributed so much in the past, simply must stay engaged and active, and work to support in every way those leaders and initiatives working to repudiate the disappointing politics of the Bush era and help make this new century as exciting and successful for America as the one just past. 

NDN hosts Cecile Richards in NYC

Last night, NDN held a fantastic reception with Cecile Richards, one of the Founders of our New Politics Institute and the President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. An extremely thoughtful and engaging speaker, Cecile spoke to us on behalf of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. She discussed the GOP candidates and how their wavering stances on abortion will harm them during their campaigns, as well as how Americans need to view the debate around abortion as also being about the right and access to contraception. Check out pictures below:

NDN is Hiring!

Open Positions

Globalization Initiative Policy Director
Location: Washington, DC

The Globalization Initiative Policy Director will work with Dr. Robert J. Shapiro, Director of NDN's Globalization Initiative, in the policy analysis, communications and event strategies of the Initiative. Specific duties will include establishing and meeting project deadlines and goals; international economic policy analysis; writing and editing policy papers, press releases, opinion pieces, and other written materials, and maintaining relationships with the Globalization Initiative advisors.
Candidates should have a degree in economics or international economics, 4 years minimum job experience in related policy work, possess exceptional writing, organizational, and oral communications skills. Salary commensurate with experience. Please send resumes and cover letters to jobs@ndn.org

Deputy Development Director
Location: Washington, DC

A new position, the Deputy Development Director will assist the Development Director in raising NDN’s $4 million annual budget.  Specific responsibilities may include oversight of small donor individual membership program and scheduled institutional member renewals.  Applicants should have experience in direct solicitation of prospective contributors, competency in data management systems and internet research, and strong organizational skills.  1-2 years of experience required.  The position reports to the Development Director.  Salary and benefits package commensurate with experience.  Please address resume and references, as well as any questions, to jobs@ndn.org.

Hispanic Strategy Center Associate
Location: Washington, DC

The Hispanic Strategy Center Associate is responsible for implementing NDN and the Hispanic Strategy Center's programs.  Specific job duties include monitoring relevant legislation, following Hispanic media trends, implementing NDN and the Hispanic Strategy Center's policy and communications objectives, and overall support of the Hispanic Strategy Center Director.  Candidates must be fluent in English and Spanish, and have 2-3 years experience working in advocacy, politics, or government.  Salary commensurate with experience.  Please address all materials and questions to jobs@ndn.org

Communications Director
Location: Washington, DC

A new position, the Communications Director will oversee the strategic communications operation for NDN.  Primary responsibilities include traditional media relations and the development, production and editing of the public content of the organization.  This position will work closely with the NDN President, executive director and heads of NDN’s major affiliates, the New Politics Institute and Hispanic Strategy Center.  Candidates must have 5 or more years of experience in political communications, press or media, and possess exceptional writing skills.  Video production experience and competency in Spanish a plus, but not required.  Salary commensurate with experience.  Please address all materials and questions to jobs@ndn.org.

A great NPI event today

We had a great NPI event in DC today on web video.  We will have our own video up soon, and photos, but if you are really dying to see it it is playing a lot on C-Span, and you can watch it on the web on the C-Span website right now.   Congrats to Pete Leyden and the team for putting on one of our better events.   For more on NPI and its thinking about web video visit www.newpolitics.net.

Help us update the NDN Agenda: Modernize Our Health Care System

NDN needs your help to update our agenda.  After you read the section below, sign-up for an account, if you haven't already, and share your ideas with us in the comments section.

From NDN's Agenda for Hope and Progress...

Modernize Our Health Care System: Increase access to quality and affordable healthcare; address the rapid rise of healthcare costs; ensure the solvency and effectiveness of Medicare and Medicaid; and invest in and encourage the extraordinary promise of the knowledge revolution in science and medical care.

Read and comment on the entire agenda

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