ncsl legislative summit denver 2022

The Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver is the site of this year’s NCSL Legislative Summit.

Ready, Set—Summit!

By Kelley Griffin | July 26, 2022 | State Legislatures News | Print

This year’s NCSL Legislative Summit offers dozens of sessions covering major policy issues, exploring leadership strategies and giving legislators and their staffs a chance to connect and compare notes. Nearly 5,000 people are expected to attend the event in Denver, set for Aug. 1-3.

The Summit has concurrent sessions where attendees can learn about elections, housing, infrastructure, energy, redistricting, pensions, cannabis and more. The Summit also features inspirational speakers, including Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin, “Shark Tank” host Kevin O’Leary and Charlie Cook, founder of the Cook Political Report.

Gene Rose, NCSL’s communications director, says NCSL staff and the leadership team began planning the Summit in January. They focused on the high-profile issues facing state legislators and set out to “bring the best national experts on public policy.”

That includes experts from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the EPA to talk about infrastructure; the U.S. Census Bureau; national education groups; and an international consultant in education policy, Anthony MacKay.

The Summit also includes sessions where state lawmakers and other officials will share their experiences with elections, cannabis regulation, tax credits to reduce child poverty, and pensions.

More Than Policy

But the Summit is about more than the policy sessions. “It’s very important that we also provide professional development and sessions about the legislative institution,” Rose says.

To that end, Summit sessions will explore ethics for state legislators, best practices for social media and engaging constituents, how to use the power of mentoring in the legislative environment and more.

And given the evolving response to the pandemic and its impact on the workplace, a group of legislative staff will share their experiences and reflect on the resiliency of their institutions.

The Summit will also feature speakers whose work outside of the legislative realm provides lessons in leadership and teamwork.

Major League Baseball player and longtime manager Clint Hurdle will offer “Leadership Lessons from the Dugout.” Hurdle has won 1,269 games as manager of the Colorado Rockies and Pittsburgh Pirates. He led the Rockies to their first National League Championship Series title and first World Series appearance, and he oversaw the Pirates’ first winning season and playoff appearance in 20 years.

World-champion adventure racer Robyn Benincasa will share lessons she’s gleaned from harrowing athletic feats—and their application in everyday life. Molly Bloom will let attendees in on her playbook for winning, derived from her experiences competing with the U.S. Ski Team, running the world’s largest poker games, writing a bestselling memoir and making an Oscar-nominated movie. Master storyteller Donna Washington plans to unpack the power of the story: why they work and how they can be used to communicate more effectively with colleagues and constituents. 

And Curt Stedron, director of NCSL’s Legislative Training Institute, will host a session on an extraordinary moment in history: the Christmas truce of 1914, when British and German soldiers established an unofficial cease-fire and celebrated the holiday together. Stedron will explore how that event might inform lawmakers’ efforts to bridge political divides today.

These are just some of the offerings at the Summit. For those who can’t attend, some events will be livestreamed, and many of the sessions will be reported in State Legislatures News during and after the event.

Kelley Griffin is a writer and editor at NCSL.

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