LINCS 2017 Legislative Summit Agenda

Aug. 6-9, 2017 | Boston

2017 NCSL Legislative Summit LogoConnect with legislative communicators from across the country at the NCSL Legislative Summit, the largest gathering of state legislative staff and legislators in the country. See the schedule below for sessions and activities sponsored by LINCS as well as other events of particular interest to legislative staff. 

LINCS Preliminary Agenda at Legislative Summit
sunDay, aug. 6

7:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Boston Convention Center North Lobby

Summit Registration  

8-11:30 a.m.

Westin Waterfront Burroughs

Young and New Professionals Preconference


Join NCSL's YNP group for a series of discussions about successfully navigating your work in the legislature.

1-2 p.m.

General Session

Boston Convention Center Ballroom

From Politics to Statesmanship: Solving Problems in a Bipartisan World


Solving complex problems is always difficult, and the job is harder when the participants are from different parties. Hear from Massachusetts’ two legislative leaders—both Democrats—and the Commonwealth’s Republican governor on how they roll up their sleeves and reach consensus to move their state forward.


  • Presiding: Senator Dan Blue, North Carolina
  • Moderator: William Weld, former Governor, Massachusetts
  • Panelist: Governor Charles Baker, Massachusetts
  • Panelist: Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, Massachusetts
  • Panelist: Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, Massachusetts

2:15-4:15 p.m.

Boston Convention Center 257 B

Co-sponsored by LINCS

In the Trenches with Social Media


We're rolling out the brand-bew Facebook Guide for State Legislators! Be among the first to obtain this handy tool and hear directly from Facebook about how to get the most out of the world's largest social media site. We'll explore other social media apps as well during informal roundtable discussions. Join us to learn best practices for influencing the narrative surrounding social media content, how to manage these apps properly, and tactics other states are using to master this dynamic and challenging landscape.



  • Eva Guidarini, U.S. Government & Political Outreach, Facebook

4:15-5:30 p.m.

Boston Convention Center 206 AB
Co-sponsored by LINCS

Expecting the Unexpected  


A sudden special session, protesters at the capitol, a natural disaster or security threats--legislative staff are on the front line when the unexpected happens. Hear from legislative colleagues in various roles about how they prepared for, dealt with or found solutions for unexpected situations. (Note: This is a live-streaming session.)



  • Raul Burciaga, New Mexico State Legislature, Peter Capriglione, North Carolina General Assembly, Anthony "Steve" Pike, Virginia General Assembly

5:25-6 p.m.

Boston Convention Center SE Lobby B2

Legislative Staff Red Carpet Meet and Greet


We're rolling out the red carpet for legislative staff! Take time to see old friends and meet new colleagues before heading to the reception at the Lawn on D.

5:30-7:30 p.m.

Lawn on D

Social Event at the Lawn on D (Opening Reception)

After your last session, head to the BCEC's outdoor space for a night of BOSTON-OPOLY fun. Our opening night extravaganza gives you the chance to interact with our life-size BOSTON-OPOLY game board, entertainers and chance wall. Network with your peers over festive appetizers and cocktails. This is a one-of-a-kind event you won't want to miss! You must have your badge to enter.

7:30-9 p.m.

LINCS Dinner sponsored by NCTA - The Internet & Television Association

monDay, aug. 7

7:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Boston Convention Center North Lobby

Summit Registration

9-10 a.m.

General Session

Boston Convention Center Ballroom

Voters' Opinions: Where Do We Stand?


From budgets to taxes, education to healthcare, Americans are demanding action from their legislators -- right now. But what issues matter most? What do voters truly want to hear? Find out how to speak to your constituents with the words (and visuals) that work for the issues and concerns that matter.


  • Speaker: Frank Luntz, Luntz Global, Virginia

10-11:45 a.m.

Boston Convention Center 205 ABC
Co-sponsored by LINCS

Legislative Staff University


Working in a legislature is stressful--long days, constant requests, deadlines on deadlines can make even the most dedicated legislative staffers feel like they're drowning. What to do? Willow Jacobson, associate professor at the University of North Carolina School of Government, will tell you about cutting-edge research—and practical ideas—to motivate people, recognize and reward employees, and improve the workplace for everyone.


  • Presiding: Wendy Jackson, Wisconsin State Legislature
  • Speaker: Willow Jacobson, School of Government, University of North Carolina 

3:45-5 p.m.

Boston Convention Center 253 A
Sponsored by LINCS

A Free and Responsible Press in Today's Political Climate


Confidence in the media is at all-time low, and its traditional role as a government watchdog is being challenged. Is freedom of the press being eroded by modern forces like the current political climate and digital and social media? Are charges of “fake news” fair? Join us for a robust roundtable discussion with journalists, legislators and government communicators about the state of the Fourth Estate and what it means for state lawmakers and legislative communications professionals.



  • Speakers TBD, plus roundtable discussion 
tuesDay, aug. 8

7:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Boston Convention Center North Lobby

Summit Registration   

12:30-2 p.m.

Boston Convention Center Ballroom
Co-sponsored by LINCS

Salute to Legislative Staff Luncheon


Conversations are easy, right? You talk to people every day, and your success at your job hinges in part on how well you communicate. But did you know the essential ingredients to good conversations are honesty, brevity, clarity--and a whole lot of listening? Celeste Headlee, award-winning journalist, author and expert on the art of conversation, will lead you through 10 steps to make you a superstar conversationalist. Prepare to be amazed.


  • Presiding: Raul Burciaga, New Mexico State Legislature
  • Speaker: Celeste Headlee, Celeste Headlee Media LLC, Georgia

2:15-3:30 p.m.

Boston Convention Center 258 AB
Co-sponsored by LINCS

Critical Thinking: Objective Analysis for Today's World


Critical thinkers know how to evaluate massive amounts of information filled with sophisticated rhetoric designed to sway their decisions. In today’s world bombarded with instant information, learn how to filter out bias, recognize misrepresentations, and teach others how to distinguish bias from fact.



  • Kevin de Laplante, Cirtical Thinker Academy, Ontario 

6:30-9 p.m.

Fenway Park

Social Event at Fenway Park (Reception)


What's a trip to Boston without visiting Major League Baseball's oldest and most beloved ballpark? Fenway Park is opening its doors for a night of behind-the-scenes fun. Take a tour of the ballpark, go for a walk along the field, and get up close and personal with the Green Monster, all while snacking on delicious ballpark cuisine. A night at Fenway Park is a night you won't soon forget! You must have your badge to enter.

wednesDay, aug. 9

7:30 a.m.-Noon

Boston Convention Center North Lobby

Summit Registration

8-9:15 a.m.

Boston Convention Center 205 ABC

Legislative Staff Breakfast: Take the Crazy Out of Change


Barbara Dershowitz, a change management specialist and author of "The Secret Life of Change," will help you ease the path of change in your life, your office, your organization, and deliver you--fully functioning, sane and intact--into a new normal that is stable, feels right and works to your best advantage.


  • Presiding: Chuck Truesdell, Kentucky State Legislature
  • Speaker: Barbara Dershowitz, Barbara Dershowitz LLC, New York

12:30-2:15 p.m.

General Session

Boston Convention Center Ballroom

2018 Kick-off Luncheon: Where Do We Go From Here? Leadership in Challenging Times


Presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin will refelct on more than 150 years of U.S. history to put into context our most recent unconventional presidency. Goodwin will bring to life some of our most successful presidents to provide insight for today's leaders, and to demonstrate that however fractured our modern political culture has become, our democracy is also resilient and has survived--even thrived--through troubled times in the past.


  • Speaker: Doris Kearns Goodwin, Massachusetts