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About DL21C

Locate! Educate! Activate!

Who We Are

Since 1993, Democratic Leadership for the 21st Century (DL21C) has been the foremost independent organization of young, progressive New Yorkers interested in learning about and becoming active in Democratic politics, current events and issues on local, state, national and international levels.

DL21C is not affiliated with the Democratic party and does not endorse candidates. Rather, it is an independent forum where New Yorkers with an interest in politics can go to network, have the opportunity to hear from and ask questions directly to America’s top elected officials, candidates, policymakers and authors and, most importantly, have fun!

Our members range from those with a casual interest in politics to political insiders, so everyone is welcome to join! We strive to locate those in our community who are not yet politically involved, and give them the information and opportunities they need to become active participants in the political process.

What We Do

DL21C hosts frequent events featuring prominent public officials and politicians. We also maintain Issue Committees that focus on research, discussion and policy development on a specific issue. Each election cycle, we host debates and visits from candidates, plus a Campaign Clearinghouse that gives volunteers the opportunity to become involved with campaigns.

Events We’ve Done

DL21C has hosted the 2004 and 2008 Democratic Presidential candidates, as well as dozens of US Senators, Governors and other elected officials ranging from Senators Landrieu, Warner and Schumer to Mayor Cory Booker to Governor Paterson. Other recent events have included visits from General Wesley Clark, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Al Franken, Arianna Huffington, Valerie Plame Wilson, Danny Glover, Ted Sorensen, Chuck Todd, and Mika and Joe from MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

We have also featured discussions on issues such as the New Jersey corruption scandal, human trafficking, Afghanistan, the crisis in Darfur and the debate on term limits for New York City elected officials, as well as book readings and signings by guests including Stan Greenberg, Leslie Gelb, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Terry McAuliffe, and others.

DL21C also maintains a local focus, and in 2009 we hosted town hall meetings with the candidates for NYC Mayor, Public Advocate and Comptroller, as well as Manhattan District Attorney.

How Do I Join?

A $50 annual membership fee will get you an official DL21C membership card, which will grant you free entry to all of our events, without waiting in line. To become an annual member, you can give a check made out to DL21C to one of our Steering Committee members at any of our events or mail to the address on this site, or click here to pay online (PayPal or credit card). Otherwise, you can pay $7 (usually) at the door to attend a particular event. However, we ask that you RSVP in advance via our website or Facebook group to streamline entry into an event.

What Are DL21C Events Like?

DL21C regularly hosts events at Manhattan’s top nightclubs and bars, featuring prominent public figures and politicians. At these forums, our speakers address the group for 20 minutes or so and our members then have the opportunity to directly ask substantive questions. Before and afterwards, we mingle and get to know each other over cocktails. We also host film screenings, election night parties, policy discussions, campaign road trips, and more!

Click here to see a complete list of our past events.


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