On Thursday, February 23, Whig Clio and ODUS welcomed Ryan Clancy, Chief Strategist of No Labels, an organization focused on promoting bipartisan engagement in the United States, in conversation with alumna Martha Ehmann Conte '85. No Labels, as their name suggests, sees United States politics as being too deeply divided by party affiliations. Their mission since 2009 has been to connect representatives and lawmakers from across the aisle. As stated on their website, their core beliefs include that they “care about this country more than the demands of any political party” and that “political leaders need to listen more to the majority of Americans and less to extremists on the far left and right.” Among their accomplishments so far are the creation of the Problem Solvers Caucus in 2017 and their many published reform proposals, books, and weekly fact sheets.
Martha Ehmann Conte '85 is an active philanthropist, civic leader, and investor based in San Francisco, CA. Martha is the co-founder of WomenRUN, an organization to find and support center-right women to run for federal office. She has served on the boards and committees of numerous non-profit organizations, including the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, the Exploratorium, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Berkeley Repertory Theater, with a particular focus on brand strategy, marketing and development. She graduated with an Economics degree from Princeton, where she first got into politics with the College Republicans. Dedicated to the classic Republican value of limited government, Martha felt increasingly left behind by the more extreme aspects of the Party platforms over the years, which yielded her connection with No Labels. She firmly believes that the inclusion of more women in the political process will lead to greater collaboration, increased bipartisanship and more effective government.
Following the interactive presentation, conversation, and Q&A, students had the opportunity to join Ryan Clancy and Martha Ehmann Conte for a dinner conversation.