Six months ago we invited anyone who wanted life in Connecticut to be more free, fair, and fun to join us for a day-long summit in New Haven. We looked at the future of liberty in our state and started to build a coalition of leaders united by the ideas of a free society.

The first Connecticut Future of Freedom Summit was a big success with more than 100 attendees, 70 under the age of 35.

The theme of the inaugural conference was Free to Succeed. The sessions investigated and proposed solutions for a freer and fairer economy, improving the well-being of young people and our cities, and messaging ideas that work to new audiences. There was a choice of breakout sessions covering criminal justice reform, online activism, influencing lawmakers and many others.

Special thanks to attendees, donors who provided scholarships, co-sponsors Reason Foundation and National Review Institute, the Omni Hotel and Cask Republic.

Yes, Connecticut is worth fighting for

There is a troubling attitude among too many in Connecticut: It’s too late. The politicians and special interests have won and any energy spent advocating for a freer and fairer state, they say, is not worth the effort. Go to work, send the kids to school, take a trip, pay the bills, or scope out a new life in another state. Nothing will change, so why take time away from the things that really matter?

Conceding defeat is a self-fulfilling prophecy that allows the politicians and special interests to run free without accountability. As Milton Friedman famously said, “The way you solve things is by making it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing.” I am not willing to concede defeat because Connecticut is worth fighting for, and there are many solutions to our problems ready at hand…. Read more in the New Haven Register

Criminal Justice Reform

At the summit, a distinguished group discussed the possibility of criminal justice reform in Connecticut.

Since then, Yankee and Reason Foundation co-authored a policy brief on reforming bail to increase safety and save taxpayer money.

On March 30 at 9 a.m., many of the same speakers will meet at the Legislative Office Building to further discuss bail reform.

Beware of Experts

When Harwinton-based author Marc Fitch joined us at the summit to talk about his forthcoming book, Shmexperts: How Ideology and Power Politics Are Disguised as Science, we knew we were in for a great conversation. But we couldn’t have known that Marc would join the Yankee team in January as our new investigative reporter. Check out his latest reporting.


  • KEYNOTE: Charles C.W. Cooke, National Review and author of The Conservatarian Manifesto
  • Suzanne Bates, Yankee Institute
  • Brian Bolduc, speechwriter, Romney-Ryan 2012
  • Sean Cleary, Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce
  • Marc Fitch, author of Shmexperts: How Ideology and Power Politics are Disguised as Science
  • Lauren Galik, Reason Foundation
  • Kat Murti, Cato Institute
  • Donald Poland, Connecticut Partnership for Balanced Growth
  • Liz Kurantowicz, CAP Public Affairs
  • Andrew Markowski, Statehouse Associates
  • Anthony Randazzo, Reason Foundation
  • Prof. Jonathan Wharton, Southern Connecticut State University


8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Breakfast, registration and networking
9:30 a.m. Opening remarks
9:35 a.m. Free to Work: Reviving the Connecticut economy so every young professional has a job Moderator: Jordan King, Reason Foundation Speakers: Suzanne Bates, Yankee Institute; Anthony Randazzo, Reason Foundation
10:40 a.m. Free to Live: Letting our cities thrive (and what that means for the rest of Connecticut) Moderator: Zachary Janowski, Yankee Institute Speakers: Prof. Jonathan Wharton, SCSU; Don Poland, Connecticut Partnership for Balanced Growth; Julie Daly Meehan, Hartford Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs
11:45 p.m. Keynote lunch: Charles C.W. Cooke, National Review and author of The Conservatarian Manifesto
1 p.m. Breakout I
Online Activism: Liz Kurantowicz, CAP Public Affairs; Kyle Reyes, The Silent Partner Marketing; Kat Murti, Cato Institute; moderated by Jordan King, Reason Foundation
Criminal Justice Reform: Lauren Galik, Reason Foundation; David McGuire, ACLU CT; Sen. Gary Winfield (D-New Haven); Rep. Aundre Bumgardner (R-Groton); moderated by Suzanne Bates, Yankee Institute
1:50 p.m. Breakout II
Beware of Experts: Marc Fitch, author of Shmexperts: How Ideology and Power Politics are Disguised as Science, a discussion with Zachary Janowski, Yankee Institute
How to influence lawmakers: Nicole Cline, CBIA; Sean Cleary, Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce; discussion led by Andrew Markowski, Statehouse Associates
2:45 p.m. Let’s Talk about Freedom: Messaging free-markets to your co-worker, your roommate and your mom (OFF THE RECORD) Moderator: Jordan King, Reason Foundation Speakers: Liz Kurantowicz, CAP Public Affairs; Kat Murti, Cato Institute; Jared Meyer, Manhattan Institute; Brian Bolduc, Romney-Ryan 2012
3:50 p.m. Closing remarks
4 p.m. Happy Hour and book signing, featuring Charles C.W. Cooke and other authors

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