News & Events

May 8, 2019

The Pelosi
Power Lunch
On Monday, I had the good fortune to attend Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky’s annual Power Lunch. This year’s gathering was by far the biggest ever, attracting 3000 people to two grand ballrooms in The Hilton Chicago Hotel. But the huge crowd was understandable because this year’s guest of honor was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Two years ago, right after the 2016 Electoral College disaster, I was not alone in expressing frustration with our party’s leadership. Why wasn’t the Democratic Party’s messaging more focused? Why weren’t younger Democrats in Congress given more visibility? But last November’s congressional election successes, tactically influenced by Nancy Pelosi, have produced more young legislators, fresh energy and a momentum that continues to grow.
So last Monday, personally seeing Speaker Pelosi present her opinions on the state of our democracy and her advice on how we might protect it from Trump’s disastrous reign, left me optimistic about 2020 and more convinced she is the person we need leading our U.S. House at this moment in our history.
Here is a recap of at least some of what was said at the Lunch.
The 2018 success:
Congresswoman Schakowsky introduced Speaker Pelosi by calling her “The most powerful woman in the USA.” She then characterized the Speaker’s role in the 2018 mid-term campaigns as: “The general who led the campaign to take back congress.” She pointed out how Nancy urged all the congressional candidates to not focus on Donald Trump but instead talk about issues that touch people’s lives, like healthcare and climate change. — They did, and they won.
Speaker Pelosi began her remarks by crediting the 2018 Illinois voters for electing/reelecting a number of exceptional people to the 116th Congress. Our state’s U.S.representatives now hold positions on a number of key House committees. And she had an explanation for why so many impressive new Democratic candidates have entered politics — “The times have found us.” She said that as the Trump presidency revealed its character after 2016, these Americans felt a heightened urgency to protect our democracy. — She then added that their fears and concerns were “not unfounded,” citing the example of our present Attorney General lying under oath to congress.
The White House vs. Congress:
Congress does have methods to combat the Trump Administration’s lawless behavior. There are six House committees with subpoena power and each has its own “lane.” This description from Speaker Pelosi gave me the impression that each committee has the potential to question the behavior of Trump and his crooked crew from that committee’s specific perspective. – Trump operatives may have a great deal of scrutiny ahead of them.
Referring to the Mueller Report and the stonewalling being done by the White House, Pelosi said Trump and Barr want to see House Democrats “gagged” by redactions, “That ain’t going to happen!” “They aren’t giving reasons why information is being hidden. They’re just giving excuses.” “What is in the report that Republicans don’t want the public to see?”
Commenting on the turmoil swirling around immigration Ms. Pelosi stated, “Diversity is our strength, unity is our power.” She then quoted from the last speech President Ronald Reagan gave in office. He said he believed immigration “is one of the most important sources of America’s greatness. We lead the world because unique among nations, we draw our people, our strength, from every country and every corner of the world … Thanks to each wave of new arrivals to this land of opportunity, we’re a nation forever young, forever bursting with energy and new ideas, and always on the cutting edge; always leading the world to the next frontier.” -- Ironically, this quote from a iconic Republican president received some of the loudest applause of the afternoon!
Looking ahead to 2020:
It was especially interesting to hear Speaker Pelosi’s take on how to win big next year. She said we must aim at “winning 2020 this year, in November.” Mobilization, Messaging, Money and Management are the keys to a successful campaign. If our incumbent Democratic candidates show they have built impressive campaign strength going into 2020, fewer Republicans will be willing to seriously challenge them.
Then she quoted a startling statistic. Today, one in five American children lives in poverty. She went on to say, in 2020 the “three most important issues” that must have our attention are “our children, our children, our children.” At first I thought she was simply speaking as a mother and grandmother. Then I realized that by distilling our party’s driving priority down to “our children” Nancy Pelosi is presenting a potent strategy for 2020 campaigns.
C limate change, decent healthcare, education opportunities, the elimination of poverty are all issues that are critically important for our nation’s future -- in other words, for our children . These issues, already championed by Democrats, are continually ignored or even opposed by Republicans. (When you look at things that way, you could almost say that many Republican candidates are anti-children! At least, I could.)
Speaker Pelosi reported that Senate Majority Leader McConnell has said this year he will be “the grim reaper” of all bills coming from the Democratic House. She then quoted Abraham Lincoln who said, “Public sentiment is everything.” She is certain that if we stand strong on key issues, the public will come our way and “Republicans in the senate will have a price to pay.”
Then she added an intriguing thought: The terrible damage Trump is doing to our country right now could bring even more progressive new voices into congress next year. "Donald Trump could someday be remembered as the president who swept in the most progressive period in America’s history." — And wouldn’t that be something!

Nels Howard
NTD Member Since 1973
New Trier Democrats' Events
Thursday, May 16, 2019: New Trier Democrats’ Spring Networking Pop-Up

When : Thursday, May 16, 2019 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm
What : Let’s get together and talk politics! New Trier Democrats invite you to join us for drinks, mingling and conversation. Here’s a great opportunity to network with like-minded people in our area and form connections with other Dems and activists. Drinks will be available for purchase. This event is not a fundraiser – It’s just an opportunity to have fun and meet other area Dems as well as some of our local representatives.
Other Events of Interest
Inclusion in our "Other Events of Interest" List – whether it’s a fundraising event for a specific candidate or an event concerning a particular issue – does not mean that the New Trier Democrats have endorsed that candidate or adopted that position on an issue. 
Tomorrow, May 9, 2019: Women Employed Hosts “The Working Lunch”

When : Thursday, May 9, 2019 from 11:00am to 1:30pm. Networking reception: 11:00am; Program: 11:45am
Where : Hyatt Regency Chicago, Grand Ballroom, 151 East Upper Wacker Drive, Chicago
What : Come to “The Working Lunch” for an energizing conversation with influential leaders about manifesting and celebrating the power of women from the boardroom to the ballot and beyond. For additional information or to purchase tickets,  register online .
Tomorrow Night, May 9, 2019: North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic’s 2019 Spring Event – “Opening Doors”

When: Thursday, May 9, 2019 at 6:30pm
Where: Greenwood Restaurant, 200 Green Bay Road, Highwood
What: Join the North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic (formerly Highland Park – Highwood Legal Aid Clinic) as they celebrate their 4th Anniversary. Please join them in helping to make access to justice a reality for those in need by supporting their 2019 Spring Event “Opening Doors,” where local business and civic leaders, the legal community and Clinic supporters will come together to celebrate and support the Clinic. The event will include a reception, a featured speaker, raffle prizes and a silent auction. For more information or to register,  visit their event website page .
This Friday, May 10, 2019: A Safe Place Hosts Wine Women & Shoes 2019

When : Friday, May 10, 2019 from 5:30pm to 9:30pm
Where : Lincolnshire Marriott Resort, Ten Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire
What : A Safe Place hosts its third annual Wine Women and Shoes fundraiser. The event features unlimited wine tasting, a multi-designer marketplace, charming Shoe Guys serving up must-have items on silver platters, raffles, silent and live auctions, and other attractions. Proceeds support the work of A Safe Place, assisting victims of domestic violence. For additional information or to RSVP,  register online .
This Friday, May 10, 2019: Chris Hayes Headlines Environmental Law & Policy Center Gala

When : Friday, May 10, 2019, 5:00pm: Cocktail reception; 6:00pm: Dinner and program; 7:30pm: Dessert reception.
Where : Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Atlantic Ballroom, 221 N. Columbus Drive, Chicago
What : The Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC) holds its 2019 Gala with special guests: MSNBC host Chris Hayes and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth. For additional information and to purchase tickets,  register online .
Monday, May 13, 2019: League of Women Voters of Cook Co.’s Annual Meeting With Assessor Fritz Kaegi

When : Monday, May 13, 2019; 9:30am: Registration, Coffee/Muffins; 10:00am: Annual Business Meeting; 11:30am to 1:00pm: Buffet Luncheon
Where : University Center, Lake Room, 525 S. State St., Chicago. Directions and parking info at
What : LWVCC holds its Annual Meeting and Luncheon. Featured speaker at noon: Fritz Kaegi, the new Cook County Assessor. All members of Leagues in Cook County (and friends) are welcome. For additional information or to RSVP,  register online  or email or call 312-939-5935.
Thursday, June 6, 2019: ICHV Race Against Gun Violence

When : Thursday, June 6, 2019 at 6:30pm
Where:  Arvey Field, Grant Park, Chicago
What : Illinois Council against Handgun Violence (ICHV) holds its 5th annual Strides for Peace featuring an 8K run, 5K run, 2-mile walk and Tots for Peace Sprint. Proceeds support ICHV’s mission to stop gun violence. For additional information or to RSVP,  register online or email
Friday, June 7, 2019: End-of-Session Town Hall With Rep. Robyn Gabel

When : Friday, June 7, 2019 from 10:00am to 11:30am
Where : Glenview Park Center, Lakeview Room, 2400 Chestnut Ave., Glenview
What : State Rep. Robyn Gabel holds a town hall meeting to tell what has been accomplished in Springfield this session and all the work yet to be done.
Wednesday, June 19, 2019: Sister District Project’s Winnetka Wine, Dessert & Skype Fundraiser With Alex Askew

When : Wednesday, June 19, 2019 from 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Where: Home of Lisa Flanagan (Address provided after RSVP)
What : Join Sister District Project for an opportunity to learn about the crucial importance of state legislatures, and to meet their candidate,  Alex Askew ! Alex, candidate for the 85th District of the Virginia House of Delegates (Virginia Beach), will join them by Skype at 7:45 pm. Democrats are just one seat down in both the Virginia House of Delegates and the Virginia Senate. Sister District is helping candidates like Alex win so they can flip both houses of the legislature blue. Virginia is one of the most gerrymandered states in the country. The legislature that is elected in 2019 will redraw district maps for the next decade. For more information or to RSVP,  register online .
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