We’re going to St. Louis!

If you missed our announcement during Netroots Nation, I wanted to make sure you knew: We’re going to St. Louis in 2016 and plan to make racial justice a central issue to the progressive agenda.

In Phoenix, we learned how increased border militarization, the for-profit deportation system, racial profiling and criminalization and persistent economic inequality impacts all Americans, but especially people of color.

We also witnessed a group of women affiliated with the Movement for Black Lives conducting a direct action during the Presidential Town Hall, calling on both candidates—as well as the progressive movement as a whole—to acknowledge the black women who have died in the custody of the police and understand the importance of confronting and dismantling structural racism now.

We’ve got work to do as a movement and organization to make sure all communities—Black, Native American, transgender, undocumented and more—feel included and valued. We’re committed to making sure Netroots Nation is a safe space for all our attendees and that all voices are not just heard but uplifted.

So next year, as the 2016 cycle is heating up, we’re going to push the envelope further and send a powerful message with not only our voices, but our presence. We’re going to a city that’s been an epicenter of the racial justice struggle recently so we can connect with and support local organizers who have been leaders not only in Ferguson and St. Louis but nationwide.

By going to Detroit two years ago and Phoenix last month, our attendees have a better understanding of issues like water rights and immigration and how local activists are leading the fight nationally on a critical issue. In going to St. Louis, we want to send an important message about the importance of standing up with the organizers of the Movement for Black Lives in tackling structural racism.

The progressive movement is at a crossroads right now, and it’s important to make sure we’re on the right side of history.
Will you make a commitment now to join us in St. Louis for Netroots Nation 2016?

Prices won’t get any lower, so click here and reserve your ticket today at Eventbrite, the official registration and ticketing platform of Netroots Nation.

Media coverage from NN15

Reporters from outlets across the country attended Netroots Nation last week. Below are a few pieces from the coverage.

Buzzfeed: The Biggest Gathering Of Progressives Will Be More About Latinos And Immigration Than Ever Before

Buzzfeed: In Arizona, Black And White Progressives Jolted By The Harsh Lives And Stories Of Undocumented Immigrants

Raw Story: Private companies are now exploiting Arizona’s immigrants in courts and in prisons

Buzzfeed: Demonstrators From Across The U.S. Protest Controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio In Phoenix

Phoenix New Times: Huge Turnout for Anti-Arpaio, Immigrant Rights Rally

MSNBC: Immigration Takes Center Stage at Netroots Nation

MSNBC: 10 Things to Know from Netroots Nation 2015

The Nation: Elizabeth Warren Just Issued a Major Challenge to All Presidential Contenders

NBC: Netroots Notebook: Sanders Slips, O’Malley Misses, #BlackLivesMatter Wins

The New Republic: Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley Failed Their #BlackLivesMatter Test

Eclectablog: #BlackLivesMatter Protest at Netroots Nation through the Eyes of a Photographer

Meet Yesenia


LGBTQ migrants in Phoenix are at the crossroads of racist, anti-migrant, trans- and homophobic attitudes and legislation.

Those in detention disproportionately face human rights abuses, yet Immigration and Customs Enforcement has demonstrated little ability or desire to create even minimally humane conditions within the detention system. Trans people are categorically misgendered, and detained LGBTQ individuals suffer epidemic levels of sexual, verbal, physical and psychological violence, often with no outside support or encouragement.

That’s why we’re supporting the Phoenix-based Arcoíris Liberation Team as they support detained LGBTQ community members by sending letters of encouragement and raising funds for bond payments.

read on

Fight for an Arpaio-free AZ

Sheriff Joe Arpaio has a long history of abusing power and terrorizing immigrant families in Maricopa County, home to Phoenix and the metro area. A Department of Justice report affirmed that Arpaio’s office is the worst purveyor of racial profiling investigators have ever seen: from the creation of Tent City, the most inhumane jail in the country, to his relentless persecution of the migrant community.

But even though he has been denounced by the people and sanctioned by the courts, the Obama administration continues to deport his victims. Just last week, Arpaio claimed to have sent 5,000 people to ICE for deportation in the last year and a half.

It’s time for Arpaio to resign and take his legacy of inhumane treatment and racial profiling with him. That’s why we’re partnering with Puente Arizona on a conference-wide direct action on Friday during Netroots Nation.

Join us July 17 at noon to rally at the 4th Avenue Jail for an #ArpaioFreeAZ. Immediately after the morning keynote, we’ll march a few blocks to the jail to demand that ICE immediately remove their deportation agents from Arpaio’s jails.

Here’s what we are fighting for alongside our local partners:

Arpaio’s immediate resignation: Arpaio needs to go and take the racist, abusive policies and practices he institutionalized with him.

An end to Police-ICE collaboration: As the first sheriff to have his officers allowed to act as ICE agents by the federal government, Arpaio paved the way for SB1070. Now police departments across the state can racially profile with impunity. We demand ICE agents immediately leave the 4th Avenue Jail and that ICE stop deporting those swept up in the criminal justice system through the corrupt, abusive Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department.

Human rights in Maricopa County Jails: We demand the immediate closing of Tent City, independent investigation into all deaths in custody, and adequate healthcare and mental health care for inmates. Arpaio has worked to strip the dignity of people in his custody through chain gangs, inadequate meals, striped uniforms and pink underwear. Stopping the dehumanization of inmates in county jails starts with ending these practices of intimidation and humiliation.

End discriminatory and abusive enforcement: Arpaio’s posse must be disbanded, and all racial profiling and abuse by officers must be investigated and sanctioned by an independent commission.

Justice for Arpaio’s victims: Justice in Maricopa County is not just the absence of Arpaio. The Sheriff and his cronies have destroyed countless lives over his nearly 25-year reign of terror. It’s time for us to turn the tables on Arpaio and fight to repair the damage he’s done.

Restoring justice in Maricopa County starts with bringing Sheriff Arpaio to justice. The federal government has the power to stop working with Arpaio immediately, so join us Friday, July 17, to make a bold statement that we don’t support Arpaio’s policies, actions, or the systems that support them.


The NN15 Town Square

This year’s Town Square (aka Exhibit Hall) is like nothing you’ve seen before at Netroots Nation. Located in Hall C & D of the Phoenix Convention Center, the Town Square is packed with new and returning features that will be great for working, meeting up with friends, noshing, and getting informed and entertained. Check out the offerings:


MORE THAN 80 EXHIBITORS. Visit the booths of your favorite organizations and companies—and get to know some new ones. If you’ve entered our mobile app contest, you can get points by stopping by an exhibit booth. Be on the lookout for exhibitors who are hosting drawings at their booth.

NEW! Part news room, part lounge. The BNR NEWSLOUNGE is the center of the universe for attendees who want a place to relax while watching the BNR team create the best political progressive content online. Be in the news by coming to the BNR NewsLounge and hear their take on current progressive issues while you enjoy free snacks and catch up with friends.

PROGRESSIVE BROADCASTS. Live interviews and engaging content will take place along Radio Row as well as on the popular This Week in Blackness stage.


On Thursday, the OPENING RECEPTION will take place in the Town Square. Performances at the reception feature renowned musicians the Chapin Sisters and Irene Diaz. Both of these acts bring vocal strength and beauty to the opening reception stage. The Town Square will also be the location for several sponsored coffee and snack breaks throughout the conference.

On Friday afternoon, the SECOND ANNUAL PUNDIT’S CUP gives attendees a chance to deliver their message in mock interviews with progressive media hosts in a bracket-structured challenge. The final rounds, held on the Town Square Showcase Stage, will have an open bar, as you watch finalists compete for fame, glory, and a red solo cup stuffed with $500 cash! Sponsored by Social Security Works and Progressive Voices, with support from Franklin Forum.

NEW! The PEOPLE FOR THE AMERICAN WAY SHOWCASE STAGE in the Town Square is part of the Netroots Music Project and features acoustic performances, slam poetry, artist meet and greets, autograph opportunities and a chance to enjoy socially-minded music across a variety of genres from up-and-coming and well-established performers. This chill, coffeeshop-like space gives stars a chance to shine and those who like music something to move to. Plug in your laptop, relax and recharge your devices and mind by taking in these cultural showcases.

Relax and recharge in the popular PROGRESS NOW LOUNGE. Settle into a comfy couch and jump online with free wifi. And don’t fret, power chargers abound here.

The CHAIR MASSAGE booth, provided by local company Precision Massage, is a Town Square favorite. Visit these massage therapists and let them work on those sore muscles while you get refreshed!

NEW! Grab a friend and have fun playing TABLE TENNIS or BOARD AND CARD GAMES found throughout the Town Square, including chess, checkers, Scrabble, Cards Against Humanity, Bananagrams and Exploding Kittens.

HUNGRY? There is a concession station located by the registration area. Grab some food and recharge your devices at one of the many tables found throughout the Town Square.


NEW! ARTIST’S AVENUE gives space to visual artists and collectives who push the boundaries of our comfort and attack societal ills head on through their self-expressions. Radical art has been around since the dawn of time. This space features 100% socially conscious visual artists from across the nation and beyond.

NEW! The CRAFT AND COMMERCE AREA features local artisans who have products unique to the area and are affiliated with smaller area non-profits. Come get a taste of the Southwest while supporting grassroots organizers! This space features talented Indigenous bead workers, elder traditional Diné (Navajo) rug weavers, direct-trade coffee from beyond the U.S./Mexico border and more.


Purchase a Netroots Nation 2015 T-SHIRT or pick up your REGISTRATION BAG at the Netroots Nation booth in the back of the Town Square.

Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday, 11:45 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.
Saturday, noon to 3 p.m.

We’re leaving a mural behind in PHX

More than 6,000 people have lost their lives crossing the U.S.-Mexico border since 1998, and there are more than 900 unidentified bodies in Pima County alone. These lives lost are those of children, parents and loved ones—many fleeing violence at home and seeking to reunite with their families.

During Netroots Nation, a group of artists from the JustSeeds Artist Co-operative will paint a mural in Phoenix in support of the work done by the Colibrí Center for Human Rights, which assists families in their search for missing loved ones and brings closure to those suffering a devastating loss.

Artists Mata Ruda, Jess X. Chen, Jetsonorama and Thea Gahr have designed beautiful murals featuringcolibrí (the Spanish word for hummingbird), an indigenous symbol for safe passing. They soar as messengers between life and death, and their hundreds of species have been found migrating across the U.S./Mexico border for thousands of years similarly to how thousands of humans have migrated. JustSeeds paints hummingbirds to honor the undefeatable spirits of the migrants who lost their lives during the journey.

We need to raise about $2900 to purchase paint and supplies, rent a lift and make this happen. Click here to donate today.

Murals can last for 10 years or more. So long after Netroots Nation is over, these pieces will serve as a reminder of the humanitarian crisis happening within our own borders and the journey that thousands of immigrants started but tragically did not finish.

This action is a part of our #AZDispatch campaign, which aims to expose some of the most unjust practices in our current immigration system and to elevate the stories and voices of local activists fighting back against those practices.


Hear Elizabeth Warren speak at NN15

Netroots Nation is known for bringing together the leading voices in the progressive movement. At Netroots Nation 2015, you’ll hear from one of our biggest progressive champions—Senator Elizabeth Warren. Sen. Warren will speak Friday, July 17 at 10:30 a.m.

She fired up the crowd last year in Detroit, pledging to continue fighting a rigged system in a country of rising income inequality and stressing the importance of fighting for progressive values.

Sen. Warren also joined us in 2010 and in 2012, as a candidate for the U.S. Senate seat she now holds.

For the past year, she’s continued to boldly speak out about solutions to poverty and student debt and the need for everyone to play by the same rules.

In addition to hearing from Sen. Warren, Netroots Nation attendees will have access to 80 panels and 45+ hands-on training sessions, film screenings, musical showcases and tons of opportunities to meet fellow activists and organizers from around the country. And we’ll be releasing more keynote speakers in the coming weeks.

The only way to see her speak in person is to register here.


More scholarships from the Steelworkers!

Our friends at the Steelworkers have generously sponsored an additional 20 scholarships, and I’d like to introduce the winners to you. Here are a few of their stories:

“My proudest moment is when I was able to settle my job with my anti-union employer to improve the working conditions of all my co-workers in our contact negotiations. I was wrongfully terminated and targeted for being the union representative and shop steward. We won the best raises and improvements the workers have ever had at that workplace, and I am proud I was able to win justice.” —Emmanuel Gallardo-Sanidad

“Last year, I played a key role in defeating an extreme public employee pension initiative in Phoenix. I wrote and designed each mail piece for our comprehensive direct mail campaign, and the campaign worked closely with the firefighters union, mobilizing hundreds of volunteers who were out knocking doors every day. On Election Night, we trounced the opposition by 16 points-a 25-point turnaround in just six months.” —Gabi Porter

“My proudest moment was hearing that two of the women I trained and managed as volunteer grassroots organizers had successfully run and won their OWN campaign—adding another woman to the Rhode Island state house, a woman who would then cast a deciding vote for passing Marriage Equality there. I saw the ripple effect of my own organizing work. It caused me to recognize the importance of intensive, interactive training as a part of change. It’s why I just launched a training startup to help more women advocate for their rights as workers.” —Emilie Aries

Below is a full list of the winners. Thanks to the Steelworkers for helping bring strong voices to Netroots Nation!

Melissa Byrne
Emilie Aries
Aaron Krager
Dulce Saavedra
Matt Murray
Kate Spaulding
Emmanuel Gallardo-Sanidad
Antonio Valdovinos
Nicholas Mahon
Jenny Carrillo
Gilbert Romero
Sally Kim
Gabi Porter
Jenn Studebaker
Tyler Paxton
Alexandra Flores-Quilty
Danny Spitzberg
Emilio Vicente
Thang Vu
Prerna Lal

Showcase your organizing technology at NN15

We’re excited to once again bring the Great Netroots New Tools Shootout back to Netroots Nation in 2015. This is your chance to (re)introduce the Netroots community to your voting, organizing, campaigning, make-the-world-a-better-place technology solution.

Just click here to submit your product, app or feature for entry.

The New Tools Shootout will be held Saturday, July 18, at 11:45 a.m. and will include all the great product demos, plus awards given out in four categories. The event is open to all Netroots Nation attendees.

During the event, select presenters will have 5 minutes to make a live pitch. Attendees will then vote on their favorite new feature/product, favorite mobile app or social media technology, and favorite startup technology. We’ll select an overall winner for best new organizing tool. Winners will be announced at the event and receive a shout-out during our Saturday closing keynote session.

Applications close May 26. Update: due to the holiday weekend we’re extending the deadline to Friday, May 29th.

Announcing 40 great trainings for NN15

We’re thrilled to announce the 40 training sessions that will be offered at Netroots Nation 2015. We’ve got sessions on topics ranging from data and analytics to field organizing to graphic design, messaging and more.

This is our most diverse training program yet: 63% of our trainers are female and 42% are people of color.

There’s a little something for everyone, from basic online organizing to more advanced tactics. Here are just a few of the sessions that will be offered:

Turbo-charging Your Campaigns via Online Influencers
Using Powerful Tools to Ramp up Your Organizing Game on Twitter
Email Campaigns that Engage Activists, Raise Money and Move Your Mission
How to Get Coverage in Spanish Language Media
Field Testing 101: Even the Smallest Campaigns Can Benefit

Click here to check out the training lineup.