The Netroots Nation program and schedule grid are now finalized. You’ll get a printed copy of both when you pick up your badge, but you can also check them out now. Click here to download a PDF of the 2013 schedule grid, or view the program online below:
The Netroots Nation Town Square (formerly the Community and Exhibit Hall) has grown by leaps and bounds to the point where it has become the central gathering place when attendees are not in sessions.
So after you’ve had a chance to check out the outstanding content that the NN staff and hundreds of volunteers have developed for this year’s convention, stop by the Town Square to relax, network and check out the 90 exhibitors in the Town Square this year.
Here are just some of the great features of this year’s Town Square:
Arcade Games – Let the games begin! The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) will have American-made arcade games at their booth. These include pinball, Ms. PacMan, Asteroids, foosball and a putting green. On top of that, they’ll be conducting arcade tournaments.
Oh, speaking of AAM, they are sponsoring an epic event on Saturday night. Suffice to say if you like baseball and/or dancing, this is for you. AAM was formed in 2007 by some of America’s leading manufacturers and the United Steelworkers to explore common solutions to challenging public policy topics such as job creation, infrastructure investment, international trade, and global competitiveness.
Fire Truck and More! – Have you ever been to one of those Touch-a-Truck days at community events where all the kids get to climb into the cab of a fire truck? And I bet you thought to yourself, “I wish I could do that.” Well, now you can!
The International Association of Fire Fighters is bringing in a ladder fire truck INTO the Town Square for all attendees to check out. You’ll even be able to try out firefighter gear and take a look at their big tool kit. The IAFF represents more than 300,000 full-time professional fire fighters and paramedics who protect 85 percent of the nation’s population.
Art Space – A group of talented artists, led by longtime NN participant Favianna Rodriguez, is bringing a dedicated art space into the Town Square.
Visit the Educators – We’re so pleased that the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) will be represented in the Town Square. Don’t forget to visit AFT’s school house or NEA’s lounge. AFT represents more than 1 million members nationwide. The NEA is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, with affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.
DailyKos Lounge – Why, of course we’ll have the Daily Kos Lounge! Come here to chill out with fellow attendees, catch up on emails (iPads will be available to use in the Lounge as well) or put your feet up in a barcalounger. Oh, and for you pootie fans, let’s just say a nod to you will be found in this area.
Hug a Thug – Oh, the creativity of the AFL-CIO. Here’s what they’ve got going on at their booth this year according to their spokesperson: “Sample some union-made beer, hug a union “thug” at the Hug-a-Thug photo booth and get game-show style answers to your workplace questions in “Can Your Boss Do THAT?!!!” The AFL-CIO is an umbrella federation for U.S. unions, with 57 unions representing more than 12 million working men and women.
Radio Row – Several radio shows will be broadcasting from the Town Square as well including several Sirius programs, Ring of Fire, This Week in Blackness and Progressive Voices.
Other features in the Town Square include concessions for your snackage/lunch needs, the Netroots Nation booth where you can pick up your registration bag and buy NN t-shirts, the Town Square Stage (including appearances by former Congressman Barney Frank, Joan Walsh and Lizz Winstead) and the self-organized caucus area.
And don’t forget to check out all the exhibitors in the Town Square who are leading the charge on activism and innovation.
There is so much more going on, so keep an eye on the #nn13 hashtag as exhibitors announce events taking place at their booth. And see you in San Jose!
Earlier this week the Senate finally introduced an immigration bill, and it’s already cleared an important hurdle with a cloture vote. This has been a long time coming, but the fight is far from over.
At Netroots Nation we’ve been lifting up the voices of DREAMers and immigration activists since 2009, and over time, the rest of the progressive community has joined in the fight. We’re proud of the role we’ve played in the evolution of this issue.
So it’s fitting that next week we’ll have a keynote session called “Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Where We Stand and What’s Next.” It’ll be held at 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 22nd.
Panelists include Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, The Latino Project’s Chuck Rocha, Daily Kos’ Markos Moulitsas and DREAM activist Mandeep Chahal. We’ll have special introductory remarks from Dolores Huerta. The keynote will be moderated by Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim.
This session will explore where we are and what’s to come on this crucial issue—and how the Netroots can leverage its power to ensure the right reforms are adopted.
Don’t miss your chance to join us in person in San Jose. Click here to register now if you haven’t already.
See you next week!
If you’re on our email list you saw that we announced Senator Jeff Merkley will Thursday’s opening keynote speaker. He wrote an email for us if you missed it:
I first attended Netroots Nation in 2008 as a candidate for Senate and I knew immediately that I was among friends and allies. The people who fill the halls of Netroots Nation are fighting in their communities for the same things I fight for in the halls of the United States Senate: a strong middle class, a sustainable future and a fair and equal society for all.
Since that first visit as a candidate, I’ve been back to Netroots Nation twice as a Senator. Netroots Nation is an amazing gathering of the people who help give me a louder voice in the Senate. I make it a point to attend because I know I’ll get to talk to people who take daily actions that—when added together—create great momentum that enables progressive change.
In the Senate, I’ve led the fight to end predatory sub-prime mortgages, to create a firewall between traditional banking and hedge-fund style big bets with the Volcker Rule, and to wind down the war in Afghanistan and bring our sons and daughters home.
I’ve worked with Senator Tom Udall to reform the filibuster and restore a Senate that can take on the big challenges we face as a nation. And I’ve pushed to end LGBT employment discrimination so no one gets fired for being who they are.
We have a lot of work to do. That’s why I’m so excited to see you in San Jose, where activists, organizers and citizen journalists will come together to brainstorm about these and other pressing issues facing our country.
We’d now like to announce the other speakers who will be joining him on stage Thursday evening. We’ll hear from:
- San Jose city councilmember Ash Kalra
- Gov. Howard Dean
- Rep. Barney Frank
- CREDO’s Becky Bond
- CA Assembly Speaker John Pérez
- Sandra Fluke
- Rep. Mike Honda
- Elon James White will emcee
For the first time we’ll also be announcing our location and dates for NN14, so you won’t want to miss it.
It’s been 175 days since the tragedy in Newtown, CT, and since then, thousands more Americans have died from gun violence.
Rampant gun violence has plagued our country for decades but thanks to NRA lobbyists, it’s been a nearly untouchable issue. Each shooting seems to be more violent and tragic than the last.
It seemed that our elected leaders finally had the will and integrity to take action. But sadly, we’ve been disappointed that even the most common sense and widely supported legislation hasn’t yet passed in the Senate.
But an outside movement is still building power, and several state legislatures have begun to take bold action to curb gun-related deaths. That’s why we’ve decided to elevate the issue in one of our keynote sessions at this year’s Netroots Nation.
On Friday morning, you’ll hear from some of the leaders of this movement about our successes, failures and what the Netroots can do to help stem the tide of gun violence and keep our communities safe. This is a critical opportunity to push for change, so you don’t want to miss out.
Jehmu Greene will moderate the panel composed of Rep. Robin Kelly, California Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, AFT’s Randi Weingarten, NEA’s Lily Eskelsen, Mayors Against Illegal Guns’ Mark Glaze and MoveOn’s Anna Galland.
We hope to see you there as we talk about this pressing issue and the opportunities we have to make change.
This year we’re trying something a little different. We’ll be closing Netroots Nation 2013 with an engaging, fast-paced keynote that will inspire and entertain.
Using the Ignite format, each speaker will be given 5 minutes to talk, while 20 slides that advance automatically every 15 seconds are shown on the screen.
The theme for this year is Inspiration, Innovation and Progress. We’ve assembled a great group of speakers who will share their unique experiences and personal stories.
Over the course of the program you’ll hear from Aspen Baker, Ash Beckham, John Brougher, Rafael Casal, Zack Exley, Ian Inaba, Sally Kohn, Amanda Marcotte, Colin Mutchler, Femi Oke, Favianna Rodriguez, Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Rinku Sen, Anat Shenker-Osorio, Joel Silberman and Zach Wahls. Jasiri X will also perform during the program. Netroots Nation regulars Jenifer Fernandez Ancona and Adam Mordecai will co-host the evening.
After a two-month long process of reading, scoring and discussing, we are thrilled to announce our 2013 agenda. And this year, we’ve expanded our offerings to include and additional 10 trainings and 10 panels.
Our final list of 80 panels includes some timely topics like the 2012 elections, the current immigration fight and climate change, plus we’ll highlight campaigns and issues from our host state of California. Our agenda is rich with stories of workers, students and activists working to fight for equality and a better, more just society. And this year we’re also including some topics not often touched on by the traditional media, including transgender issues, mass incarceration and drones.
Special thanks to everyone who submitted proposals. We had almost 500 submissions this year, which gave us an amazing breadth of topics to consider.
One of the coolest things about Netroots Nation is that our panels and training sessions come exclusively from our community. We kicked off this process at the beginning of the year by asking folks to submit their ideas, and when the deadline rolled around we had 397 panels and 115 training sessions in the mix.
We gathered a group of 148 experts from across the Netroots to help us select the strongest submissions. Collectively we spent about 37 hours during March and April on the phone discussing each one, and countless hours in between reading, preparing and debating the best ones. The submissions this year were by far the highest quality yet so it certainly wasn’t an easy task. We’d like to extend our thanks to all of the people who gave their time and expertise to help us create this year’s great agenda.
Please join us in thanking the following people:
Ana Beatriz Cholo
Kyle de Beausset
Kimberly “Dr. Goddess” Ellis
Elon James White
Kaili Joy Gray
Maria Teresa Kumar
Tracy Van Slyke
I hope you’re making plans to attend Netroots Nation this June 20–23 in San Jose. You won’t want to miss it—we’re expecting our largest crowd ever and are expanding our program in anticipation of our biggest year yet!
To help you get there, we’re partnering again with Democracy for America and America’s Voice to offer 40 scholarships to deserving bloggers, organizers and activists.
The Democracy for America Netroots Nation Scholarship Program is designed to send the movement’s best and brightest to the biggest progressive conference of the year.
This is your chance to tout what you’re doing to make your community a more progressive, inclusive place. And it’s our chance to ensure that activists and organizers—regardless of age, background, economic situation or geographic location—are able to participate, too.
And because the scholarship covers the cost of registration and lodging, it’s also a great way to help make sure you have the resources to be there.
Each year, some of the brightest minds in our movement—from bloggers to social justice advocates, union workers to tech innovators—come to Netroots Nation to make new connections, beef up their organizing skills and build stronger relationships with others working on the issues they care most about. And each year has resulted in strengthened progressive alliances, deeper relationships and new collaborations.
The contest runs through May 7. The five applicants with the most votes at 11:59 PM PST will automatically win a scholarship. Others will be chosen by a selection committee.
Are you ready to apply to be part of the 2013 scholars class? Then do it now.
Best of luck!
We’re excited to announce that House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi will be returning to Netroots Nation this year in San Jose! But we’re also really honored to introduce you to this year’s Ask the Leader moderator, Zerlina Maxwell. If you haven’t had the opportunity to meet her yet, you’re going to want to make sure you’re following her on Twitter and other online venues.
Many evenings she’s battling it out on cable news with conservatives. After being activated by Barack Obama in 2008, she found her way to Netroots Nation in 2010 as a Democracy for America scholarship winner. Check out her announcement to our email list below. We feel like this announcement encompasses some of the best pieces of what we do at Netroots Nation each year.
My name is Zerlina Maxwell. As a feminist blogger, pundit and member of the Netroots community, I’m honored to be moderating a conversation with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi this summer at Netroots Nation.
Like past Ask the Leader sessions at Netroots Nation, questions will be solicited online in advance of the interview. I’ll collect questions on blogs and Facebook in the coming weeks, but you can start submitting questions now on Twitter.
I hope you’re planning on attending Netroots Nation. Over the past several years, the conference has given me a chance to meet many of the journalists and activists I’ve admired online for years–relationships that evolved into collaborative efforts and career successes, including this opportunity to interview House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi on the big stage.
Like many of you, I was captivated in 2008 by Barack Obama’s candidacy and campaign. When his primary victory became official, I decided to become a part of history, eventually moving to Virginia to work on the campaign. That experience was the beginning of my Netroots story.
After the campaign, I returned to law school and became involved with New Leaders Council, which trained me on things like fundraising and communication. It was during that process that I realized I wanted to write about politics and become involved in punditry. So when I heard about the Netroots Nation scholarship program, I applied and won a scholarship to Netroots Nation 2010.
Since 2010, I’ve become heavily involved in the Netroots community, speaking on panels and being a part of their panel selection committee. So as a member of this community, I’m excited to moderate this conversation with Leader Pelosi.
Thanks for being a part of this with me.