Blog | January 30, 2017

How Council for a Strong America Gears Up for the Upcoming Year

Highlights from our annual 2017 retreat

Every January, the phones go unanswered and inboxes pile up for three days. Why? The Council for a Strong America staff gathers in the Virginia countryside to talk about our policy priorities for the year ahead.

With 87 employees, 10 state offices, and a busy national headquarters in Washington, D.C., Council for a Strong America schedules an annual retreat that allows everyone to take a deep breath and a step back. As a team, we study the unique policy and political landscape that each new year brings, and focus on how we as an organization can make a measurable impact on the lives of America’s children and families. We talk about everything from federal and state policy, to how to leverage social media and blogging in order to share our research and bring our members’ work to life.

This year, we also discussed (and celebrated) the launch of our Police Training Institute, which aims to train law enforcement to improve and de-escalate interactions with youth, especially in communities of color.

Then, we heard from a few of our members via Skype: Board member and ReadyNation member Roy Bostock, Vice Chairman of Delta Airlines and former chairman of Yahoo!, reaffirmed the importance of making investments in early childhood education—a priority for our organization. We also heard from Champions for America’s Future member Michael Harper, a former Portland Trailblazer. A businessman and an athlete—two leaders from completely different backgrounds but with one common goal: to help at-risk kids succeed in life. That’s what Council for a Strong America is all about.

All in all, the 2017 retreat was a uniting experience that left all of us buoyed for the year’s hard work that lies ahead. Here’s to another year of strengthening families, communities, and our nation.


  1. Virginia