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.
- Northeast legislator commented: “That was easily the best conference I’ve ever been to.”
- A newly elected state lawmaker from the Southeast remarked: “I can’t even begin to convey all the benefit I gained in the experience.”
- “Excellent content and organization,” said a young lawmaker from the Pacific Northwest.
- Meanwhile, a candidate-to-be from the desert Southwest summed up the powerful impact of the week in a single word: “Incredible!”
Learn more about the Statesmen Academy — and how you can support this investment in better lawmakers and better policy.
This week, I have had the pleasure of attending the annual Family Policy Alliance FPC conference and Statesmen Academy at Family Policy Alliance headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It’s been a refreshing week filled with praying, learning, and strategizing with other state directors and pro-family elected officials from across the United States. I wish each of you could attend and be inspired by these heroes working for life, family and religious freedom!
Two highlights for me were sessions on judicial activism featuring former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and lessons in effective lawmaking from former U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn.
But, by far, my favorite seminar was a case study in statesmanship led by Matthew Spalding of Hillsdale College. Spalding walked us through President Lincoln’s 30-year political career, demonstrating the brilliant, incremental moves Lincoln made that culminated in the total elimination of slavery. Spalding proved that Lincoln maintained a consistent, principled stand on the immorality of slavery, yet was willing to accept imperfect compromises and solutions that moved the country closer to his goal.
The analogy of Lincoln’s work to end slavery and our current battle with the politics of abortion was obvious. It gave me great hope that with diligence, wisdom and courage we can achieve our goal of ending the great injustice of our era, too.
The special opportunity to attend this conference and bring the lessons learned back to Kansas is possible thanks to the generosity of my ministry partners – like you. Thank you so much for your continuing support.
TAKE ACTION: It is your generous support of Family Policy Alliance of Kansas that makes it possible for me to attend these types of events. Thank you! Please help us to continue the work on our shared values with a financial gift today.
The Founding Fathers saw an important difference between “Freedom” and “Liberty” – and that’s why they tended to prefer one word over the other.
Do you know the distinction between the two? Stuart Shepard explains it in a winsome way in his Stoplight® commentary.
Consider supporting our Statesmen Academy.