Victory in Detroit on the Water Crisis!

protestWe’re excited to let you know about a big win that happened today in Detroit: Control of the Detroit Water and Sewage Department has been returned back to the hands of the people. Your activism, energy and help in generating media attention at Netroots Nation played a big role here.

Kevyn Orr, the city’s unelected emergency manager, relinquished control back to the mayor’s office. It’s expected that the mayor and city council will approve a water affordability plan that caps a household’s water bill at no more than 3 percent of their income.

There’s a lot of work to be done to get Detroit residents back on their feet, but returning control to Detroit’s elected officials is a huge step.

In the meantime, you can help a Detroit resident directly by submitting a payment to the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department on their behalf.

Click here to pay someone’s bill.

The announcement comes a week after the department said it would grant a 15-day moratorium on the shutoffs that have been plaguing the city.

This is huge news to those who are currently without water or struggling to pay their bills.

Thanks to groups like the People’s Water Board Coalition, Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, We the People of Detroit, Detroit Water Brigade and more for their round-the-clock efforts to assure that every resident has access to clean water.

Remember, you can click here to help pay the water bill of a local resident who is struggling.

#NN14: Saturday Highlights

We wanted to share a few quick highlights from our last day of programming:

More on the Detroit water crisis

In this morning’s keynote session, local activists shared more about the Detroit water crisis and the organizing happening around this critical issue. A few comments from the Twitterverse:

From @RJHuf: “We can’t call this the greatest country in the world if we fail to take care of our fellow citizens. We’re all Detroit.”

From @rebelnurse: “Detroit activists talking about pension theft, foreclosures, water and organizing are heartbreaking, yet inspiring.”

We’ll have full video from this session soon.

New Tools Shootout Winners
This afternoon, attendees chose their favorite app, product or technology at the New Tools Shootout event. Action Network won for best overall technology and best startup technology. The Sunlight Foundation’s OpenCongress won best new feature or product, and Organizer won for best mobile or Facebook app. Congratulations to the winners!

Rev. William Barber video
Did you miss the live stream of Rev. Barber’s inspiring remarks? Click here to view the video. We’ll be posting more videos and photos soon, plus a recap of media coverage from Netroots Nation.

Until then, thanks for following along with us!

#NN14: Friday Highlights

Here are some of our favorite moments from Netroots Nation Day 2:


Keynote with Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Sen. Elizabeth Warren fired up the standing-room-only crowd, calling for tougher regulations and oversight of Wall Street and making sure blue-collar families can earn a livable wage and retire with a social safety net.

“Conservatives and their powerful friends will continue to be guided by their internal motto: I got mine, the rest of you are on your own,” she said. “We’re guided by principle and it’s a pretty simple idea: We all do better when we work together and invest in building a future.”

Sen. Warren pledged to fight a rigged system in a time of rising income inequality, saying “we can’t win what we don’t fight for.”

Click here for a recap of Sen. Warren’s remarks as captured on social media. 


Detroit Water Rally

Actor Mark Ruffalo paid a surprise visit to Detroit for the “Turn on the Water” march and rally. He and hundreds of Netroots attendees joined with local activists to call for a moratorium on the water shutoffs that are happening throughout the city.

Click here for photos from the water march and rally.


Video archive


Even if you can’t join us in Detroit, you can follow some of the action from home. These will be streaming live tomorrow, along with interviews throughout the day:

  • 8:30 a.m.: Morning News Dump with Lizz Winstead, Shannyn Moore and Cliff Schecter
  • 9:30 a.m.: Keynote: Remarks from Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Mark Schauer, followed by a Detroit water crisis panel
  • Noon: TWiBPrime with Elon James White
  • 4:30 p.m.: Closing keynote: Ignite at Netroots Nation

You can also follow more of the action on Twitter by searching the #nn14 hashtag.

#NN14: Thursday highlights

Here’s your daily wrap up as we conclude another successful first day of Netroots Nation! Please consider sharing this with those not able to join us. Here are some highlights from our first day:

Keynote with Vice President Joe Biden
Vice President Joe Biden gave some real talk to Netroots attendees, hitting on topics including marriage equality, compassion for immigrants, expanded access to the ballot box and more in his mid-day remarks. In his first appearance at Netroots Nation, he said the country has reached an inflection point and that progressives have a chance to bend the arc of history.

“We have probably reached this point in our history three to four times,” Biden said. “What are we going to do? Our hands are on the wheel. We get a chance to bend history just a little bit.”

Click here for a recap of Vice President Biden’s remarks as captured on social media.

Evening keynote with Rev. William Barber
Rev. William Barber took attendees to church during his remarks, giving a history lesson on the politics of division and urging everyone to come together as allies. “We must resist the moment mentality,” Barber said. “We are not here for a moment. We must be here to build a movement.”

@mfpseth on Twitter said: This ardent atheist loves Rev. William Barber. He is a powerful moral voice in a country that doesn’t like discussing morality.

Click here for a recap of Rev. William Barber’s remarks.

*Quick bits*
• We’re expecting about 3,000 attendees throughout the weekend. More than 1,000 are first-timers.
You never know who might photobomb you at Netroots Nation.
Click here to check out some images from Netroots Nation Day 1. 

Even if you can’t join us in Detroit, you can follow some of the action from home. These will be streaming live tomorrow, along with interviews throughout
* 9 a.m.: Morning News Dump with Lizz Winstead, Shannyn Moore and Cliff Schecter
* 10 a.m.: Morning keynote featuring Sen. Elizabeth Warren
* 2 p.m.: Black Caucus
* 3:00 p.m.: TWiBPrime w/ Elon James White
* 4:30 p.m.: #BlackWomenLead: Harnessing Black Women’s Political Power and Leadership Potential w/ Sen. Nina Turner
* Follow more of the action on Twitter by searching the #nn14 hashtag.

#NN14: Schedule for the live stream

For those watching from home, all major events, interviews, and more will be piped in throughout this week on our live stream. Here’s the schedule of main events.:

Thursday, 7/17

8:00 a.m.: Morning News Dump with Lizz Winstead, Shannyn Moore and Cliff Schecter
10:00 a.m.: AM TWiB w/ L. Joy Williams
11:30 a.m.: The Shannyn Moore Show
1:00 p.m.: Historical Blackness: Movements as Models: What the History of Organizing Can Teach Today’s Organizers
3:00 p.m.: TWiBPrime w/ Elon James White: Biden Introduction
3:30 p.m.: Keynote featuring Vice President Joe Biden
4:30 p.m.: TWiBPrime w/ Elon James White: Biden Reaction
7:15 p.m.: Opening keynote featuring Rev. William Barber
9:00 p.m: Laughing Liberally Comedy Show

Friday, 7/18

9:00 a.m.: Morning News Dump with Lizz Winstead, Shannyn Moore and Cliff Schecter
10:00 a.m.: Morning keynote featuring Sen. Elizabeth Warren
2:00 p.m.: Black Caucus
3:00 p.m.: TWiBPrime w/ Elon James White
4:30 p.m.: #BlackWomenLead: Harnessing Black Women’s Political Power and Leadership Potential w/ Sen. Nina Turner
5:30 p.m.: The David Pakman show

Saturday, 7/19

8:30 a.m.: Morning News Dump with Lizz Winstead, Shannyn Moore and Cliff Schecter
9:30 a.m.: Keynote with Senator Debbie Stabenow and Mark Schauer followed by a Detroit water crisis panel
12:00 p.m.: TWiBPrime w/ Elon James White
4:30 p.m.: Closing keynote: Ignite at Netroots Nation

You’ll find this stream on our home page and on the sites of many of our progressive media partners.

#NN14: Town Square Events – Highlights

The Netroots Nation Town Square 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 some of the great features of this year’s Town Square:

MORE THAN 80 EXHIBITORS—Visit the booths of your favorite progressive organizations and companies—and get to know some new ones. Many organizations are hosting drawings in their booths, so you might just leave with a prize like an iPad mini from Salsa.

Unwind and recharge in the always popular LOUNGE, sponsored by ProgressNow. Pull up a barcalounger and jump online with our complimentary wireless. And don’t fret, power chargers abound here.

Senator Elizabeth Warren will have a BOOK SIGNING of her book, A Fighting Chance, in the Town Square Events Area on Friday, July 18th from 2:45 – 3:45.

HUNGRY? Check out the concessions including hot and healthy carts. Or come by for morning coffee and afternoon snacks courtesy of our great sponsors.

Treat yourself to a CHAIR MASSAGE located next to the Netroots Nation booth.

Feel the heat and adrenaline rush of fire-fighting by joining the IAFF at its AERIAL LADDER TRUCK. Perform a search and rescue inside a vapor smokehouse or try on some gear and talk to Detroit firefighters!

Commemorate Netroots Nation 2014 with a classic PHOTOBOOTH EXPERIENCE thanks to the American Federation of Teachers. Laugh, cry, or stick out your tongue and wear silly sunglasses! You’ll even get a photo strip to take with you as a memento.

On Friday, we’ll host a battle of the Professional Left! THE PUNDIT CUP—powered by The Franklin Forum, Social Security Works, and ProgressiveVoices—will bring together your favorite progressive talkers for a little healthy competition. Pundits will square off against “conservative” gadflies and each other in a tournament culminating in a raucous, possibly drunken, championship showdown. If that’s not enough to entice you, then come for the open bar.

MORE PROGRESSIVE ENTERTAINMENT—Live broadcast, interviews and engaging content will take place along Radio Row and at the Town Square stage, headed up by the great team at This Week in Blackness.

#NN14: Follow from home

If you can’t make it to Netroots Nation this year, there are a number of ways you can follow the action at home.


This year we’re streaming all of our scheduled keynote sessions as well  as interviews, curated programming and special content produced by  This Week in Blackness (TWiB) before and after keynotes.

Click here to view the schedule of sessions that will be streamed and to  watch online.


We’ll be updating keynote pages with tweets, video and photos from the  sessions as they happen.


Each year Netroots Nation has a strong presence on Twitter. Many sessions take live feedback from the Twitter stream; speakers often post presentations and video there; and you can generally stay up to date on all the action. Follow Netroots Nation and #NN14. You can also get some great behind the scenes insights by following NN staffers @ravenb, @nolan and @merickles.


We’ll be updating our website frequently with clips, previews and highlights, significant media coverage, photos and more, so check back often.

Even if you can’t make it to Detroit, you can still catch all the action as we celebrate our ninth annual convention.

See you online!

#NN14: Read this or John Boehner will sue you

Detroit_Skyline_colorOK maybe not, but he does seem to be tossing lawsuits around for no apparent reason these days. But seriously, you should read this email as it contains important information you should know before you begin your journey to Netroots Nation 2014.

If you have questions not addressed then please let us know.


We’ve got an exciting four days planned for you, with 80 panels, 40 training sessions, a screening series and tons of parties and events. You’ll receive a  program and printed schedule grid once you arrive, but  you can plan your weekend in advance with our online  agenda or browse the printed program online.

If you haven’t already downloaded our Netroots Nation 2014 mobile app, you can download it here. The free app (thanks to American Federation of Teachers) allows you to browse the schedule; create your personal calendar for the weekend; and connect with other attendees before, during and after the conference.


Please be aware that cabs are in short supply at the airport. Your best option to get to either the hotel or convention center is to take Rideskoot (a shuttle service) or a rental car. You can find information on ground transportation options here. If you need to get there quickly, you may want to contact Allstar car service and arrange for a car to be waiting for you. There is a bus, but the ride is nearly 2 hours, you can find that information here.


If you’re staying at the Marriott (the HQ hotel) and you’re booked under the NN group, wifi is included in your guest room rate. When you get to your room and get online, it will look like you’re going to be charged $12.95 a day, but this charge will not appear on your room bill upon check-out. If you select the higher level of wifi service at $15.95 a day, you will have a $3 charge (per day) on your bill. (If you’re staying at the Westin Book Cadillac, you’ll also have free in-room wifi.)


If you’re a speaker and plan to show slides during your panel, you must bring your own video adapter. (Don’t forget your chargers for your devices.)


The registration desk will be open Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m. if you’re in town early. Otherwise, you can pick up your credentials Thursday starting at 8 a.m. Registration is located in the COBO Center in Hall E.

Don’t miss the official Welcome to Detroit! kick-off party on hosted by The Michigan Senate Democrats and the DLCC Wednesday night! The party’s taking place at the the Detroit Beer Company (1529 Broadway St.) at 7 p.m., and includes Michigan Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer as well as other special guests.

Be sure to check out all the parties and social events being hosted by Netroots Nation and our sponsors. There’s also a huge list of unofficial events going on this week.


All of our hotels are union properties. Let’s all live our values and support the working class. The workers who clean your room each day have a rigorous and often thankless job. You can show your appreciation and support working families in a big way by tipping $3-5 per day (more if you decline service until the end of your stay). Make sure to leave your tip with a note so the staff doesn’t think you forgot your cash.

If you have time before you take off on Sunday morning, join us for the Sunday Morning Recovery Party. The party’s happening from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Andiamo Detroit Riverfront, Renaissance Center. Bring your luggage; catch up with friends one last time; and have coffee, a Mimosa, or Bloody Mary to get the day started while DJ Samala spins some chill morning grooves.

Finally, as you’re experiencing and sharing all the happenings in Detroit, be sure to tag your Tweets, posts and photos with the #NN14 hashtag. As always, wifi in the Netroots Nation areas of the Convention Center is provided at no charge to you courtesy of Communications Workers of America.

See you very soon!

Download the NN14 mobile app

We’re just days away from Netroots Nation 2014! For the second year in a row, we’re offering a Netroots Nation app, sponsored by the American Federation of Teachers, to help you get connected and stay organized during the convention.

The Netroots Nation 2014 app is your one-stop-shop for all things Netroots Nation. Use it to browse our schedule of events; look up speakers, sponsors and exhibitors; create your personal schedule for the weekend; and, more importantly, connect with attendees before, during and after the event.




To download, just search “Netroots Nation 2014” in your app store, or click here from your phone. Available for iPhone, iPad, Android, Android Tablet, HTML5 and Windows Phone. Please note that there are currently some issues with the Android version of the app. They should be resolved by Tuesday.

Earn points for a chance to win an iPad, just by using the app!
To make things fun we’re awarding points for using the app. The 20 users with the most points at the end of the convention will be entered into a drawing to win one of three iPads. The rest of the top 20 will receive Netroots Nation t-shirts (while supplies last). You can earn points by:

  • Visiting Town Square booths (10 pts per booth – just scan the QR code, then follow the instructions to post an update)
  • Check in to a session (4pts)
  • Include a comment with a check in (1 pt)
  • Share a status update w/ or w/o a photo (4pts)
  • Tag an item in an update (1pt)
  • Comment on an update (1pt)
  • Rate a session (1pt)
  • Upload a profile photo (3pts)

We’ll also be selecting a handful of booths each day as our secret “exhibitors of the day”. Visit one of those exhibitors and receive 20 additional points.

Other app features include:

  • A fully searchable schedule so you can explore the schedule on the go
  • Create your own personalized schedule by favoriting sessions
  • Check-in to sessions and share photos and notes in a Facebook-like interface
  • View maps of the convention facilities and Town Square
  • Get information about sponsors, exhibitors, speakers
 and after parties
  • Get breaking news from the event organizers

We hope the app will help you navigate Netroots Nation 2014. Just click here to get started.

#NN14: Tips for First Timers



We’re excited you’re attending Netroots Nation for the first time and wanted to give you a few tips to make you feel right at home from day one:

Registration …

The first place you’ll want to go after you check-in at your hotel is our registration desk in the Cobo convention center. Look for the signage directing you to the first floor, Hall E. You’ll get your all-important lanyard that gives you access to all our sessions and social events, plus a printed program and schedule grid. Early registration is Wednesday, 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM and again all day Thursday from 8:00AM to 7:00PM.

Magic happens in the hallways and on our App …

You’re about to experience an action-packed weekend filled with 80 panels, 40 training sessions, 5 keynote sessions and tons of caucuses and parties. There’s no shortage of things to do. The best way to keep track of the happenings is by downloading our app by clicking this link.  The free app (thanks to American Federation of Teachers) allows you to browse the schedule; create your personal calendar for the weekend and connect with other attendees before, during and after the conference.

Make sure you spend some time in the hallways, common areas and our Town Square meeting other attendees, too. Netroots Nation has been the genesis of new projects and organizations large and small—maybe your big idea will be next!


You’ll find no shortage of fun things to do while you’re here. There are lots of special events put on by our sponsors, plus AFT has put together a list of all of the unofficial parties. That list is also available in our mobile app (if you haven’t downloaded that yet, just go to your app store and search “Netroots Nation 2014”).

Excited to see you in a few days!