ICYMI: State Legislators Discuss Moving Beyond Resistance at the 2017 #SiXConference

October 2017

HBO’s “Vice News Tonight” profiled State Innovation Exchange and SiX Executive Director Nick Rathod in episode that aired Oct. 12, 2017.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, more than 500 state legislators and progressive leaders gathered for the State Innovation Exchange’s 2017 SiX Legislator Conference at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., where SiX Executive Director Nick Rathod urged state lawmakers to move beyond resistance.

Rathod opened the conference on Monday, Oct. 9, by encouraging attendees to support a diverse new generation of elected leaders who will focus on grassroots organizing, to connect policy making with progressive social movements, and to permanently reimagine how progressive political power can be built – from the ground up.

“It is no longer okay to just resist and hold the line. This moment requires all of us to move beyond resistance. Too many lives are on the line especially the youngest and most vulnerable amongst us. The future of our country is literally hanging in the balance, and what we do over the next several years, especially with 2018 and 2020 looming, I believe will seal our fate and the fate of our nation,” Rathod said.

Watch SiX Executive Director Nick Rathod’s full introductory remarks.

SIX ON HBO’s VICE NEWS TONIGHT: HBO’s “Vice News Tonight” shadowed Nick Rathod throughout the conference and profiled SiX’s efforts to serve as a policy shop for progressives. The segment aired on Oct. 12, 2017, and can be watched on HBO Go.

MOMENT OF SILENCE: The Las Vegas Review-Journal highlighted the moment of silence held for the victims of the Las Vegas shooting led by members of the Nevada Legislature at the SiX Conference.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD’S CECILE RICHARDS: Legislators also heard from Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, who thanked legislators for protecting women’s reproductive rights at the state level and for helping defeat over 100 restrictive abortion bills in 2017 alone.

“We’ve shown around the country that we’re ready to defend our hard earned reproductive rights, and you all have done amazing jobs. I feel like at Planned Parenthood we need you because you are our North Star for what’s possible. Because when you lead, then we can be a partner, and actually then deliver the care that you make possible,” Richards said.

Watch Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards’ full remarks at the SiX Conference.

LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE’S VANITA GUPTA: Vanita Gupta, the President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, also addressed SiX Conference attendees about the need to combat discrimination in all its forms.

“It is more important than ever that in the face of what’s happening here and getting pushed out of Washington, D.C., that state and local officials are standing up clearly for the values of inclusion and justice, but not just in words, in policies, too,” Gupta said.

Watch Leadership Conference President and CEO Vanita Gupta’s full remarks at the SiX Conference.

FUTURE NOW LAUNCH: In an op-ed in Daily Beast, Columbia University Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, former New York State Sen. Daniel Squadron, and investor Adam Pritzker laid out their plan to launch a new organization to support state legislators, Future Now USA, at the SiX Conference, framed around America’s Goals. Prof. Jeffrey Sachs presented the new group and their goals to conference attendees.

“What we’re proposing — and we would like you to be leaders of this movement — is to embrace clear, specific, measurable goals for our country, looking forward, holding ourselves as citizens accountable, understanding that thank god, not everything depends on Washington, D.C., but we can solve problems in states,” Sachs said.

Watch Columbia University Prof. Jeffrey Sachs’ full presentation at the SiX Conference.

All three main conference panel sessions from Monday, Oct. 9, 2017 can be found on C-SPAN, including: “States Resisting Trump and the Conservative Federal Agenda,” “Charlottesville and Beyond: Facing Off Against Racism in the Time of Trump,” and the Future Now USA launch.