Netroots Nation 2012

Posted in Editorials on June 11th, 2012
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This year was my first Netroots Nation. For those of you who couldn’t make it, or who, like me, were unable to be in multiple locations at once, many of the panels were recorded and are available to watch for free online at NetrootsNation.org.

My favorite moments included:

Getting to see Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. He spoke at the opening keynote and during a panel about Citizens United.

Jasiri X performance:

Trayvon

Jordan Miles

I attended a training from the Analyst Institute called, “Randomized Controlled Experiment Results To Win Your Campaign: What We Know Works – Getting Closer To Your Goal With Proven Tactics.” It was a really fascinating look at the science of voting behavior, and my biggest takeaway was that no one should hesitate to conduct small experiments within their own campaign as it’s going on. For example, try several differently worded emails, and see which one brings in more donations or volunteers.

Frustrated with Eric Schneiderman’s slowness to act, The Progressive Change Campaign Committee distributed these placards before his speech at the opening keynote:


When he took the stage, a woman yelled, “INVESTIGATE THE BANKSTERS!” He paused and said, “Thank you. I’m getting to them.” He handled a very mixed reaction with grace, and even said “Thank you for pushing me.”

Cecile Richards speech celebrating Planned Parenthood’s victories this year.

Darcy Burner’s speech, even if it depressed the heck out of Adam, and the rest of her panel about the War on Women featuring Mazie Hirono and Elizabeth Warren.

The story of how Netroots Nation came to Providence this year. The conference had been scheduled to be there last year, but was moved in support of union workers fighting for a contract.

The Center for Reproductive Rights party on Friday night was an amazing success! Amanda Marcotte and Marc Faletti DJed as lots and lots of people danced the night away at the basement of The Salon.

The Daily Kos 10th Anniversary Party on Saturday night at Whiskey Republic was also a great party, featuring a performance from the What Cheer band.

Netroots Nation Link Roundup – Below are organizations I became aware of or learned more about during the conference:

Advocates for Youth – “champions efforts that help young people make informed and responsible decisions about their reproductive and sexual health.”

350.org – “a global, grassroots effort to solve the climate crisis.”

Ella Baker Center For Human Rights – “The Ella Baker Center is named for an unsung hero of the civil rights movement who inspired and guided emerging leaders. We build on her legacy by giving people opportunities and skills to work together to strengthen our communities so that all of us can thrive.”

CREDO PAC – “The CREDO SuperPAC is launching the Take Down the Tea Party Ten campaign to hold the worst congressional extremists accountable for their radical attacks on women, science and equality. We’ll engage millions of activists to power a unique, effective and unabashedly progressive field campaign, with staff, offices and volunteers in all 10 districts — and deal a knockout blow to tea party extremism in Congress.”

Mom’s Rising – “MomsRising takes on the most critical issues facing women, mothers, and families, by mobilizing massive grassroots actions.”

Much has been written about the lack of enthusiasm displayed at the conference, and how this portends badly for President Obama. It’s true that liberals are frustrated with the President and that we have been for a while. However, I saw plenty of exuberance from Netroots Nation – for labor, for feminism, for civil rights and social justice. I think that the same enthusiasm that elected Barack Obama in the first place is still available. It’s just going to require a little more than a “Hey guys…. I’m over here…” video address.

There was so much going on that I’m going to be blogging more about the convention with additional posts. Upcoming topics including a review of a film I saw, the beer scene in Providence, my previously promised post on race, several Letter Writing Sundays!

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