Introducing NDTC Honorary Co-Chairs Katie Porter, Lauren Underwood, and Nikema Williams

Running for Congress as the youngest African American ever takes boldness. Running for Congress as a single mom in a swing district takes courage. And running for Congress to build Democratic infrastructure and inspire a movement of change across America takes vision. 

With this in mind, NDTC is thrilled to announce that U.S. Representatives Lauren Underwood (IL-14), Katie Porter (CA-45), and Nikema Williams (GA-05) will serve as the organization’s first Honorary Co-Chairs. 

Each of these trailblazing congresswomen recognizes the importance of building power and democratizing access to the very knowledge that helps elect Democrats nationwide. These champions of Democratic values will work to introduce NDTC’s free online library to Democratic candidates, staff, and local leaders across America.

NDTC looks forward to working with Representatives Porter, Underwood, and Williams, as Honorary Co-Chairs this election season and beyond. Their new roles signal a commitment to securing Democratic victories up and down the ballot and empowering a more diverse and representative leadership across the country.

NDTC Honorary Co-Chair
U.S. Representative Nikema Williams

As John Lewis’s successor in Congress, Representative Nikema Williams is a passionate advocate for Democratic values and voting rights. A graduate of Talladega College, an HBCU in Talladega, AL, Rep. Williams won election to the Georgia State Senate in 2017 in a special election. 

In 2018, then-State Senator Williams was arrested at the Georgia State Capitol while protesting against voter suppression. In 2020, Williams won election to the U.S. Congress. She has used her position to fight for the passage of the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

Rep. Williams is also the first Black woman to serve as the Chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia. As a result, she was a key player in Democrats’ historic victories in November 2020.

“The work NDTC does is critical for Democrats as we build the largest, most diverse bench in the country” said Rep. Nikema Williams. “Whether you’re running for school board, city council, or Congress, NDTC’s trainings and resources are helping the next generation of leaders to move our country forward, and I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of this effort.” — U.S. Representative Nikema Williams

 

NDTC Honorary Co-Chair
U.S. Representative Katie Porter

Prior to serving in Congress, Katie Porter spent two decades as a consumer protection advocate and specifically worked with the victims of the 2008 Housing Crisis. In 2012, then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris appointed Porter to serve as an independent watchdog to work on behalf of working families cheated by big banks. She also served as California’s independent monitor in a nationwide $25 billion foreclosure settlement.

These experiences prepared Rep. Katie Porter to be a champion for American families. She has fought to make corporations pay their fair share, promoted fair housing legislation, and advocated for Medicare for All. Porter is also a champion of democracy reform, and ending corruption in politics. She is endorsed by NDTC’s partner End Citizens United for this very reason.

Rep. Porter is also well-known for her style of questioning in committee hearings. She uses a white board during these hearings to illustrate issues and simple math for those testifying. She’s used this technique to grill big pharma about raising the prices of lifesaving drugs and taken CEOs to task for the pay gap at big banks such as JP Morgan.

“Access to knowledge can be the biggest obstacle to people getting involved in politics. And NDTC is stepping up to the plate to make that information wholly accessible to anyone who wants it.” — U.S. Representative Katie Porter

 

NDTC Honorary Co-Chair
U.S. Representative Lauren Underwood

Lauren Underwood, a lifelong resident of Naperville, IL, is an expert in healthcare policy. As an appointee of President Barack Obama, she helped communities prepare for and respond to public health emergencies. She also worked to implement the Affordable Care Act by expanding access to Medicare, improving the quality of healthcare, and reforming private insurance.

At 34, Congresswoman Underwood is the youngest Black woman ever elected to Congress, and the first woman to represent Illinois’ 14th District. She has championed transparency and accountability during her time in Congress. In fact, she hosted 25 town halls and 135 community meetings across the 14th District over her first term. 

Rep. Underwood also spearheaded legislation to lower the cost of insulin with the bipartisan Lower Insulin Costs Now Act. In addition, Congresswoman Underwood, in a mission to combat gun violence, has written a bill to establish universal background checks for all gun sales and close loopholes allowing criminals and the mentally ill to purchase guns.

When I decided to run for Congress, I didn’t know where to begin, so I turned to the free resources that NDTC offers. My campaign training with NDTC was the game changer that launched me on the path to victory. I want as many Democrats as possible to do just that,” said Rep. Lauren Underwood, who used NDTC’s programming to win her election in 2018. “I know from first hand experience that NDTC is putting in the work to set the next generation of candidates, campaign staff, and volunteers up for success.”

“Their platform is all about giving everyone the tools needed to win, regardless of background, resources, or prior experience.” — U.S. Representative Lauren Underwood

 

Meet NDTC’s Co-Chairs at These Two Events

On September 14, 2021, NDTC will host a special virtual Q&A session with Honorary Co-Chairs Katie Porter and Lauren Underwood. They will share their best tips for running for office, as well as serving on a campaign team. Come prepared with questions about running for office, effective campaigns, and progressive advocacy! 

In addition, join us on September 19th during NDTC’s first ever Build Blue Week for a special Q&A with Honorary Co-Chair Nikema Williams. Rep. Williams will discuss how you can drive change, as well as unite progressive organizations in your community.

With the leadership and guidance of these political powerhouses, NDTC looks forward to taking the next steps in order to grow and evolve as an organization serving thousands of Democrats each week.

Join Us!

 

Mentions: Washington Post, Roll Call, MSNBC, National Journal, NBC News, Politico’s Morning Score, Politico’s Illinois Playbook, Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Independent

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Kelly Dietrich

As founder and CEO of the National Democratic Training Committee (NDTC), Kelly Dietrich brings more than 20 years of experience on dozens of Democratic campaigns across the country.

Kelly started NDTC in 2016, where at the time it was a collection of videos covering an array of campaign topics, available to campaigns and their volunteers for free. Five years later, those videos grew into a fully fledged training program with hundreds of courses, videos, and articles about running effective campaigns. Kelly’s expertise in various areas — fundraising, staff training, sci-fi (maybe not as much) — have shaped NDTC into an industry leader in Democratic politics.

Originally from Missouri, Kelly lives in Chicago, IL with his wife, daughter, and dog, Tulip, who is allegedly part cat. Beyond work, Kelly is a diehard Kansas Jayhawk and an avid poker player. Kelly also serves on the board of directors at his local park, Sheil Park. This is where he “plays” basketball, which according to his wife can only be loosely considered a hobby. Even with all these interests, Kelly remains committed to making sure high quality tools and training are available to any Democrat who steps up to run for office, work on a campaign, or make their community better.