Presidential 2016: One Year on the 2016 Presidential Campaign Trail


The following post was written by America Forward Government Affairs Director, Nicole Truhe and America Forward Manager, Juanita Tolliver.

One year ago, America Forward launched its 2016 Presidential engagement effort with the formal release of our Presidential briefing book entitled Moving America Forward: Innovators Lead the Way to Unlocking America’s Potential. Moving America Forward represents the best ideas and most effective approaches to addressing the biggest challenges facing our nation, ideas shaped by our social innovators that offer a wealth of opportunities for policymakers to scale social results into national impact.

Every four years, the American people have the opportunity to set a new direction for our nation through the election of a new President. Throughout the past year, America Forward has worked to promote innovate policy ideas that align with the America Forward Coalition’s agenda of elevating effective, local solutions to the national level to drive system level change. Specifically, America Forward has:

  • Held more than 25 briefings and meetings with presidential primary candidates and their senior policy staff.
  • Crafted and presented several policy briefs detailing our Coalition’s policy solutions to our nation’s biggest challenges.
  • Hosted three Town Halls in battleground states and two Twitter Town Halls elevating key messages around #TodaysStudent, post-secondary education, workforce development, and social innovation challenges and opportunities.
  • Facilitated a number of roundtable discussions, and site visit and rope line interactions between the various campaigns and America Forward Coalition members and #TodaysStudent ambassadors.
  • Published more than 25 Coalition-authored blog posts lifting up the challenges and solutions we want the next President to address and prioritize.
  • Deployed 18 #TodaysStudent ambassadors on community college and university campuses in three battleground states to amplify student voices and engage the campaigns in discussions about the challenges today’s college students face.
  • Participated in radio interviews and published videos and op-eds to capture and share the impact and influence the America Forward Coalition is having on the campaign trail.

With only 25 days left until Election Day, the effort to lift up proven solutions to our most pressing challenges and to ensure our next President knows that communities are developing and delivering innovative and effective solutions to advance opportunity for all Americans continues.


Following Election Day, America Forward will work to influence the next President’s first 100 days and first term agenda, just as we did during the 2008 and 2012 election cycles. We believe the next President has the opportunity to lift up the innovative community solutions of our Coalition members by fostering an environment that nurtures the productive potential of the American people, measuring what matters and investing in what works, and cultivating cross-sector partnerships. And we will continue to present concrete and actionable policy ideas that our next President can advance to make this vision a reality.

It has been an interesting and exciting year on the trail; one filled with great interactions, uplifting stories, and wonderful opportunities to bring the America Forward Coalition message to our next President and other policy leaders. The stakes are high for ensuring our collective audacious vision of an America where every child growing up has the opportunity for a successful life and where anyone who falls off a path to opportunity gets a second chance at a better future. We hope you will join us in our mission to move all of America forward.

Read more about how social innovators in the America Forward Coalition are solving America’s biggest problems in communities across the country every day in our Presidential briefing book, Moving America Forward: Innovators Lead the Way to Unlocking America’s Potential and join the conversation. Follow @America_Forward and use #AFPresidential16 in your tweets.

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