Family Policy Foundation’s fourth-annual Statesmen Academy was held this summer in Atlanta, Georgia.  Twenty-eight elected officials and aspiring political leaders gathered for a week of rigorous training from national issue experts, historians and experienced Christian statesmen.

This fourth-annual event was a huge success, perhaps summed up best by one of our participants: “Just outstanding!  The terrific speakers, excellent information, devotions, worship, relationship-building and outstanding accommodations all exceeded my expectations!”

The 2019 Statesmen class hailed from 14 states and a variety of elected offices and careers, including state representatives and senators, city and county commissioners, pastors and law enforcement officials.  They gleaned from returning stalwart speakers Dr. Wayne Grudem of Phoenix Seminary, Dr. Matt Spalding from Hillsdale College, Clarke Forsythe of Americans United for Life, Retired Senator Dr. Tom Coburn from Oklahoma, and Former Indiana Speaker Pro Tem Eric Turner.

In addition, the 2019 class had the opportunity to hear from Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan, U.S. Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, UC Berkley graduate Isabella Chow, radio host Erick Erickson and several other policy makers and shapers from around the country.  They also engaged in dynamic panel discussions on hot-button issues including the LGBTQ agenda, parental rights and Heartbeat legislation.

When the Statesmen Academy launched in 2016, its mission was to provide politicians and promising legislative leaders with rigorous training to equip them for effective, Christ-centered public service.  Our mission remains the same today, and it is now being realized through our 105 Statesmen alumni.

Since graduating from the Academy, these passionate men and women have carried the water on a plethora of pro-family bills, many of which have been signed into law by governors across the country.  Most recently, their legislation has included dismemberment abortion bans, chemical abortion reversal notification, born-alive infant protection, medical professional conscience protection, Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Student and Educator Religious Freedom Act, Adoption Protection Act, and many more.  Several Statesmen Academy alumni have been elected to higher office, including one to U.S. Congress.

These results would not be possible without the army of Family Policy Foundation supporters and friends across the country.  Thank YOU for making these outcomes possible!  We believe the return on your investment is strong and promising.

If you would like more information about the Statesmen Academy, or have questions about how you can be involved, please email us at mail@familypolicyfoundation.com.

The Family Foundation Team

 

Last week, 30 up-and-coming policy leaders from around the nation converged on Colorado Springs for the second annual Statesmen Academy, sponsored by Family Policy Foundation.

Most of this year’s Statesmen are new state legislators — serving their first or second term in office — while a few are planning to run in the near future. But all of these outstanding men and women were selected because of their leadership potential for advancing pro-family principles in the public square.

This year’s Statesmen heard from veteran pro-family lawmakers like former U.S. Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida, State Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka of Minnesota, and former Rep. Eric Turner of Indiana.  They used principles and countless examples to encourage attendees to stand strong in their beliefs, but also to conduct themselves winsomely and prudently.

They also heard from authorities on America’s founding principles like Dr. Matthew Spalding of Hillsdale College, as well as issue experts like Clark Forsythe of Americans United for Life.

This year’s class came from every corner of the country, but their reactions by the end of the week were strikingly similar.

Learn more about the Statesmen Academy — and how you can support this investment in better lawmakers and better policy.

You may not know me, but I spent the 2017 legislative session as the newest legislator in Georgia. Elected in a special election, I am proud to represent District 54- which covers the Northwest corner of the state.

Having never served in elected office, my great hope is that my intentions, convictions, and desires- to serve people, glorify my God, protect innocent life, champion religious liberty, and promote the family- will help me overcome career politicians whose only interest is the preservation of the status quo.

That’s why I’m so glad Family Policy Foundation is here to help me with that, and proud to partner with Family Policy Alliance of Georgia in my state.

In a few short weeks, I will join other Christian leaders from around the country in Colorado Springs for the Statesmen Academy. If you are not familiar with this program, you can learn more on the Statesmen Academy webpage.

I am incredibly excited to take part in this training. Throughout my first legislative session, I established myself as one of the most conservative, pro-family voices in the State Senate. This training will help me be all-the-more effective, to lead others, and make a more profound difference for our values.

You, the faithful supporters of Family Policy Foundation are making this possible, and I want to thank you. I also want to humbly ask for your prayers- prayers for myself, my fellow Georgians, and other statesmen as we seek to grow, lead, and impact in our state. Please pray that we emerge from our time in Colorado Springs more capable, more faithful, and more primed to glorify our God in the public square.

One of my personal themes is to “Be The Difference.” I am confident that the Statesmen Academy will better equip me to make an even greater difference in the State Senate.

For the past several months, it has been a great honor to serve the people of Georgia at the Golden Dome. Over the next several years, I cannot wait to use the tools I learn at the Statesmen Academy to partner with you and with Family Policy Foundation for a Georgia where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished.

Faithfully Serving,

Chuck Payne

P.S. I will be joining 4 other Georgians and 35 others from around the country in Colorado Springs very soon. Please pray for a profitable, Christ-honoring, and beneficial time for each of us as we seek to be banner carriers in our states!

Last July, Jim Banks attended Family Policy Foundation’s first Statesmen Academy as a state senator from Indiana. And a few weeks ago, as a freshman congressman, he took the speaker’s chair to preside over the U.S. House of Representatives.

Congressman Banks is one of several Statesmen attendees who are already stepping up to defend the family at new levels of leadership, thanks to the training they received through your generous support of Family Policy Foundation.

One of his 2016 classmates, Rep. Dean Arp from North Carolina, decided as a result of attending the Academy to run for Majority Whip in his state legislature. After winning that leadership race, he played a key role in stopping efforts to repeal North Carolina’s new law that protects the safety and privacy of women and girls in vulnerable places like bathrooms.

In Colorado, fellow 2016 Statesmen alum Rep. Patrick Neville was hesitant to run for a leadership position because of his young family. But his wife, who attended the Statesmen Academy with him, came away emboldened by the training and encouraged him to run. He’s now serving as Minority Leader of the Colorado House.

Meanwhile, Jim Banks calls the Statesmen Academy “outstanding” and encourages other rising legislators – and those called to run for office in the future – to attend. “I will be one of your best ambassadors for [your future] events.” Because of sacrificial gifts from you and other pro-family Americans, the next Statesmen Academy will be held the last week of July – training 40 rising leaders how to stand strong and lead effectively.