We’re pleased to announce our Netroots Nation 2012 agenda! Below you’ll find panels, training sessions and more. You can view the program electronically here.
Panel; Thu, 06/07/2012 - 09:00am, Ballroom A
Led by: Marc Lamont Hill
Panel; Thu, 06/07/2012 - 09:00am, Ballroom D
Wall Street crashed our economy, perpetrated widespread fraud on millions of homeowners, bankrupted our communities and continues to inject unfettered corporate money into our democracy. That’s the bad news. The good news: In an extraordinary example of progressive power, a group of organizations and individuals built a dynamic movement to challenge big bank power and rebuild our economy. People have occupied their homes, moved millions of dollars out of big banks, taken over big bank offices and annual shareholders meetings, won a federal investigation into big bank fraud and made big bank power the pariah in media coverage. In this session, participants will dive into specific strategies—from grassroots organizing to online mobilization to popular education—that led to this groundswell. We’ll also have a lively discussion on taking lessons back into your own community to and how to make this a central issue this election cycle.
Led by: Tracy Van Slyke
Panel; Thu, 06/07/2012 - 09:00am, Ballroom C
When the right-wing noise machine gets started, any progressive group or individual can find themselves the target of a coordinated wave of attacks (remember ACORN?). Fighting back isn’t easy—it takes courageous leadership, a strong voice, savvy staff and the ability to rally committed supporters online. Join leaders and organizers from three of the right’s favorite targets—Planned Parenthood, AFSCME and Jewish Voice for Peace—as they talk about their experiences fighting back in the face of relentless, vicious opposition. They’ll share tactics and strategies for organizing and mobilizing activists to stand strong when the right wing comes after you.
Led by: Will Valverde
Panel; Thu, 06/07/2012 - 09:00am, 552
Culture is the realm of ideas, images and stories; it is where people make sense of the world and where they find meaning and forge community. History shows that when the culture changes, politics follows. Culture can reach audiences beyond the bounds of what community organizing and policy-based organizing can do. While the media is laced with myths, stereotypes and misrepresentation of grassroots movements, cultural interventions can play a key role in pushing forward stories that help shift the public debate. A growing movement of artists around the country are using cultural tools to fight economic inequality, corporations, banks and anti-migrant hate. In this session, artist-activists, writers, cultural leaders and creative institutions will discuss models for connecting artists to movements for social change.
Led by: Favianna Rodriguez
Panel; Thu, 06/07/2012 - 09:00am, 551
Studies show women voters are the key to election success and that women rule social media platforms. But few candidates or causes use those tools to effectively engage those crucial women voters. What’s working—and what isn’t—when it comes to social media outreach to women? This panel will focus on successful case studies and tips for effective engagement, as well as what backfires when trying to persuade these influencers to support your efforts.
Panel; Thu, 06/07/2012 - 09:00am, Ballroom B
In state after state, working people and the progressive community have met unprecedented attacks on their salaries, pensions and social services with blow-out success. But it’s not enough to play defense. Labor-progressive coalitions must work in 2012 to elect state lawmakers who support working people to prevent further assaults on our jobs, our families and progressive democracy. This panel will examine how we can take back control at the state level by sharing hands-on strategies and equip activists with tools to successfully energize the public and get out the vote.
Led by: Jordan Kupersmith
Panel; Thu, 06/07/2012 - 09:00am, Ballroom E
Panel; Thu, 06/07/2012 - 10:30am, 552
The Occupy movement created a major opportunity and an imperative for progressives: Figure out what a new system, one that isn’t based solely on individual greed and a race to the bottom, might look like. In this session, we will explore how Occupy has changed the game in the fight for economic justice and how progressives might start to invest in earnest in building a real alternative economic and political system that works for us—one that is designed as a tool to help us achieve a set of societal goals including human rights and fulfillment.
Led by: Jenifer Fernandez Ancona
Panel; Thu, 06/07/2012 - 10:30am, Ballroom A
This January, against long odds, the environmental movement dealt a blow to Big Oil, forcing President Obama’s rejection of a presidential permit for the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline—the industry’s marquee project and a conduit to the continent’s biggest “carbon bomb.” The hard-fought campaign united indigenous communities, Nebraska ranchers and Texas landowners, union representatives, youth climate activists, interfaith leaders and grassroots citizen activists and breathed new life into a movement fractured and demoralized after having failed to advance meaningful climate legislation following the election of a Democratic Congress and a new president who promised to lead on clean energy and climate solutions. Panelists will discuss the lessons the environmental, climate and progressive movements can take from the KXL fight and how these movements might build on this success to continue fighting the southern leg of the pipeline expedited by the president and to reclaim our democracy from corporate polluters and gain lasting wins for a safe climate and justice-fueled future.
Collaboration, Not Co-option: Labor, Community Organizations and Occupy Wall Street Working Together
Panel; Thu, 06/07/2012 - 10:30am, Ballroom B
Occupy Wall Street has not only been a successful movement in and of itself, but it was pivotal in reinvigorating the work of labor unions and community organizations throughout the country. This panel will examine how labor and community organizations have collaborated with OWS over the past year—on endeavors including Occupy the Boardroom, Occupy Our Homes and bank actions throughout the country—and what the future holds for progressive partnerships.
Led by: Greg Basta
Panel; Thu, 06/07/2012 - 10:30am, Ballroom E
With reproductive rights under constant attack, young women and men face some of the most extreme consequences of social conservatives’ anti-sex policies and are too often sold out in compromises from the left. Whether it’s parental notification laws, the Obama administration caving to political pressure to deny young women access to Plan B emergency contraception or the manufactured “controversy” over birth control, the rights of youth are too often traded away in larger political fights. In a culture that demonizes young people’s sexuality while denying them everything from sex education to basic health care, this panel will explore how youth activists and their allies are fighting back.
Led by: Rachel E. Cooke
Panel; Thu, 06/07/2012 - 10:30am, Ballroom D
The SOPA and PIPA bills were defeated by a fascinating combination of forces. There was an inside game in Washington and an outside one online. It included liberals and conservatives, and it brought together the public, non-profits and the business community in common cause. The panel will look at the cross-cutting effects of the effort and determine what lessons to take away for other campaigns at the federal, state or local level.
Led by: Art Brodsky
Panel; Thu, 06/07/2012 - 10:30am, Ballroom C
Vote modeling, voter targeting, consumer data, NCEC, vote scores, crosstabs. What does this all mean? This panel of data geeks will walk through common uses of data in politics and share some cutting-edge techniques that will be used in 2012.
Led by: Darcy Burner
Panel; Thu, 06/07/2012 - 03:00pm, 552
The Occupy movement has been taking homes throughout the year and plans to continue throughout the summer. What does this campaign contribute to larger progressive goals? Should the progressive movement support this work?
Led by: Sarah Jaffe
Panel; Thu, 06/07/2012 - 03:00pm, Ballroom B
The editors of Daily Kos Elections invite you to join them for an in-depth Q&A about the 2012 elections. Thirty-three Senate seats and all 435 seats in the House are up for grabs (plus 11 governorships). We’ll take questions on all topics: polling, fundraising, redistricting, who’s in, who’s out and who’s likely to win. If you want to know more about what’s going to happen in November—and what it will mean for Democrats, Republicans, and the entire country—come to this panel!
Led by: David Nir
Panel; Thu, 06/07/2012 - 03:00pm, 551
At the same time that President Obama is pushing an energy plan built on natural gas, there is a national movement to ban fracking building around the United States and abroad. Find out how New York was able to get a moratorium on fracking and build a grassroots movement that has amplified the ban message in a climate where national mainstream groups are pushing for regulation. Learn how groups are engaging citizens through film, media and online and offline organizing to build a powerful movement that is calling for a ban on fracking.
Led by: Sarah Alexander
Panel; Thu, 06/07/2012 - 03:00pm, Ballroom E
Super PACs, 501(c)(4)s, outside spending groups and their untraceable dollars are now de rigeur in elections, with unfettered and undisclosed campaign spending threatening the very heart of our democracy. Bringing political power brokers to light and tracing fundraising to its source is critical in establishing accountability for our elected officials. So what new strategies must reporters employ, and how can financial reporting be as clicktastic as a Kardashian scoop and as effective as a Wikileak? What reforms are necessary to bring big-money campaign spending to light? Financial reporters join financial disclosure experts, watchdog groups and national legislators to discuss reporting and reform how-tos.
Led by: Kathy Kiely
Panel; Thu, 06/07/2012 - 03:00pm, Ballroom D
From birth control to same-sex marriage, it’s clear that the right is reinvigorating a culture war on sex and sexual freedom ahead of the 2012 election. We need to fight back with language—and movements—that include and accept a diversity of sexual practices and identities instead of reproducing the casual shaming and marginalization offered by the right. Panelists, ranging from polyamorous organizers to famous sex writers and activists, will lead a raucous and fun discussion of why the progressive movement can only benefit from fully embracing of people who live, love, and—yes—have sex, in radical defiance of existing norms of gender, family and sexual practice.
Led by: Jenifer Fernandez Ancona
Panel; Thu, 06/07/2012 - 03:00pm, Ballroom A
The American Legislative Exchange Council has been behind virtually every major right-wing state law in the past two years, including union-busting, teacher-bashing, voter suppression, attacks on immigrants, privatizing basic public services and gutting environmental and health regulations. Learn more about ALEC, who backs them and what you can do to stand in their way.
Led by: Rashad Robinson
Organizing Outside the Lines: "Hard-to-Reach Communities" Winning Major Victories by Moving from Moment to Movement
Panel; Thu, 06/07/2012 - 03:00pm, Ballroom C
What does it take to organize on and offline to change the conversation, build our base, and push real systemic and policy? Come hear about a couple of moments that have changed their movements from some of the strong, agile organizations and coalitions that helped make it happen.
Led by: Christina Hollenback
Panel; Thu, 06/07/2012 - 04:30pm, 552
Years worth of bailouts and bank regulation debates have placed a new level of political focus on the Federal Reserve. It has been a topic for the Occupy movement and those concerned with out-of-control financial institutions and the weak recovery. And in the next year, the Federal Reserve, without political pressure, could dismantle financial regulation and stop an economy about to take off. How does the left engage the Federal Reserve? This panel will dive into potential answers.
Led by: Mike Konczal
Panel; Thu, 06/07/2012 - 04:30pm, Ballroom C
From epidemics of asthma to water shortages, our most vulnerable populations are disproportionately impacted by pollution and global warming—and it’s time for our environmental fights to reflect this. For decades, communities of color and indigenous peoples have fought discriminatory environmental policies and disproportionate toxic burdens from polluting industries, but these efforts must be brought to the mainstream. Fortunately, youth leaders from communities impacted by environmental racism are already doing just that—utilizing new media, GPS mapping and social networks to advocate for solutions that support environmental justice and the ever-growing realities of global climate change. This panel will share tools and strategies for energizing communities and holding polluters and legislators accountable, including the role open-source technology has in creating and maintaining national collaborations, and tricks for connecting clicks and likes with boots on the ground.
Led by: Katie DeCarlo
Panel; Thu, 06/07/2012 - 04:30pm, Ballroom A
Black and brown voters turned out in record numbers in 2008. However, the introduction of voter ID initiatives in many states creates a new barrier for many Americans, particularly in traditionally disenfranchised communities of color. Voters in these communities—as well as students, seniors, the working poor and those with disabilities—will be most impacted. What coalitions and campaigns are underway to ensure these voters have equal access to the polls? How can we ensure that their voting rights are safeguarded and their voices counted? Panelists will provide case studies of campaign strategies and community solutions and tackle tough questions concerning voter ID laws.
Led by: Erica Williams
Panel; Thu, 06/07/2012 - 04:30pm, Ballroom D
There are new emerging movements online that differ from their identity-based or multi-issue predecessors, ones that bring new people into the progressive movement and represent an exciting evolution of our organizing theories and practices. The offline-to-online engagement of Occupy, the emergence of a banking and housing crisis constituency online, laser-focused corporate accountability campaigns, new approaches to organizing women and the emergence of a global LGBT movement all represent huge interconnected communities dealing with major structural issues that have the potential to build global long-term progressive power. But how did this happen? What are the opportunities that emerged to make room for new movements? And how are the organizers capitalizing on those opportunities?
Led by: James Rucker
Panel; Thu, 06/07/2012 - 04:30pm, Ballroom B
Anti-gay attacks banning same-sex marriage, as well as pro-marriage equality legislation, ballot initiatives, judicial cases and electoral fights, have swept the country since 1996 when Congress passed the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. Since then, activists and campaigners have been criss-crossing the country working to secure equal marriage rights for all. This panel will bring together leading activists and experts to discuss what lessons can be learned from previous fights in California, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, New York and Washington. Panelists will provide insight into how those lessons can be applied in a changing 2012 landscape and practical advice for launching an effort in your own state.
Led by: Monte Jarvis
Panel; Thu, 06/07/2012 - 04:30pm, Ballroom E
Working across class, generation, ethnic and trade barriers, Working Rhode Island is following the “One Big Union” model in exciting and dynamic ways. Built out of a common need to organize against a conservative Republican governor, the groups assembled around the Working Rhode Island table left the old rules behind to figure out new ways to work together against common enemies. It’s led to amazing results, including seeing the Rhode Island AFL-CIO endorse marriage equality legislation, primary challenges to Democratic incumbents from labor-backed candidates and immigrant rights being considered workers’ rights. There have been fights and losses along the way, but plenty of victories too. Without a doubt, Working Rhode Island is a model for the nation.
Led by: Patrick Crowley
Panel; Thu, 06/07/2012 - 04:30pm, 551
Much of progressive organizing relies on registering and turning out underrepresented communities and mobilizing those communities against the conservative agenda. New technology aims to eliminate barriers to democratic participation by making it easier for voters to register to vote, find their polling place, obtain an absentee ballot, research candidates, connect with each other and advocate for positions to their elected officials. This panel of leading technologists will speak about the ways technology is making it easier to participate in the democratic process.
Led by: Anthea Watson Strong
Panel; Fri, 06/08/2012 - 10:30am, 552
American public education is under concerted attack: Americans are told we are failing in international comparisons, urged to blame teachers and break their unions, turn more of our public education system over to private interests and rely ever more upon tests to make critical decision. These and other tactics are designed to delegitimize and ultimately destroy meaningful public education. Three nationally-known experts explore aspects of that attack and offer specific suggestions of how progressive supporters of public education can fight back.
Led by: Kenneth Bernstein
Panel; Fri, 06/08/2012 - 10:30am, 551
Despite the fact that we’ve been in a foreclosure crisis for more than four years, precious little attention has been paid to how banks have used faked documents to steal homes from American borrowers. This panel will break down just how the banks have defrauded homeowners, local governments and the state judicial system, and why meager settlements or more promises for loan modifications are completely inadequate to hold the guilty parties responsible for the crime. This panel brings together foreclosure fraud experts, along with the people actually working on the front lines to stop illegal evictions and bring forward justice. We will also take a look at citizen-led efforts to protect people’s homes and hold banks accountable—and how you can join those efforts.
Led by: David Dayen
Panel; Fri, 06/08/2012 - 10:30am, Ballroom B
Transgender advocacy has exploded in recent years in no small part due to the ability of transgender people to connect nationally online. The immediate and swift outcry against the proposed stripping of gender identity protections in the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA) demonstrated this community’s online power. But while blogging significantly shapes political activity within the transgender community, there is a risk that all of the community’s concerns may not be considered in online responses to real-world events. This panel will explore the historical development of the activated transgender community and the impact blogging and online activism have on its formation and focus. Presenters will share examples of the powerful role this online community plays in moving transgender rights forward, while also examining what is missing from the conversation.
Led by: Jillian Weiss
Panel; Fri, 06/08/2012 - 10:30am, Ballroom D
How can social and racial justice organizations leverage technology on behalf of criminal justice campaigns? Panelists will discuss how their respective organizations utilize the internet, social media platforms and mobile devices to spread awareness about criminal justice violations impacting communities of color. Particular campaigns to be highlighted include those against the NYPD’s racially-targeted “Stop and Frisk” policy; the wrongful imprisonment of 10 innocent men in Cook County, IL, on the basis of forced confessions; the execution of Troy Davis without proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt on the basis of unreliable eyewitness testimony; and the proposal to replace the storm-damaged Orleans Parish Prison with a massively-expanded facility. Panelists will share best practices, successes and challenges and ways to improve the efficacy of 21st century technology in criminal justice campaigns.
Led by: Dani McClain
Panel; Fri, 06/08/2012 - 10:30am, Ballroom E
Activists tend to be motivated by a powerful, inclusive sense of connection to all beings and the planet. Yet guilt, frustration, weariness and internal conflict can remove us from the sense of purpose we need to work for the long haul. When activism is disconnected from a deep understanding of interdependence, we may unintentionally create some of the very conditions we are fighting against—persecution instead of justice, hatred instead of compassion. The vital source of reconnection to a larger vision was called “the love that does justice,” by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Gandhi called it “satyagraha,” or truth force. The Netroots offers an unparalleled opportunity to create a community of change that is aligned with our deepest values of a more just and sustainable world. This panel will explore in-person and online tools for resilience of body, mind and spirit to help support a sustained, transformational activism.
Led by: Carla Goldstein
Panel; Fri, 06/08/2012 - 10:30am, Ballroom C
The Latino vote is expected to exceed 12.2 million in the 2012 elections. This diverse electorate includes those who have been here since the days of Aztlan and others who arrived more recently. Latinos are not a monolithic group. We don’t all know what arepas taste like, and many of us might not know how to salsa. So what ties us together? Ask five Latinos, and you’ll likely get five different answers. Whether it’s language, religion, culture or a sense of rhythm, Latinos make up a key voting bloc. This session will serve as a cross-pollination of regional knowledge that will help organizations springboard their 2012 electoral narratives. We’ll look at the strategies, tools and approaches organizers are using in a variety of regions around the country to create a powerful and progressive Latino voting base.
Led by: Eddy Morales
Panel; Fri, 06/08/2012 - 10:30am, Ballroom A
On June 5, progressives across the country will either be celebrating Scott Walker’s recall loss or angry about his victory. Either way, this panel will serve as a post-mortem for the long, hard fight for sanity in Wisconsin.
Led by: Kaili Lambe
Panel; Fri, 06/08/2012 - 03:00pm, Ballroom E
In just over a year, a new grassroots movement has emerged to demand common-sense laws to keep guns out of the wrong hands. Representatives of two successful recent “Gun Politics 2.0” campaigns and political leaders will explore how progressives are using social media and organizing to reframe an issue sometimes—and wrongly—considered a political third rail. In January 2011, following the mass shooting in Tucson, Mayors Against Illegal Guns launched the National Drive to Fix Gun Checks to educate the public about the 34 Americans who are murdered with guns every day and to build support for reforming the national gun background check system. After Trayvon Martin’s tragic shooting, a new coalition of national civil rights groups and Mayor Michael Bloomberg launched the Second Chance on Shoot First campaign to demand that states reform reckless laws written by the NRA and ALEC that led to Trayvon’s death.
Led by: Mark Glaze
Panel; Fri, 06/08/2012 - 03:00pm, Ballroom C
The Department of Veterans Affairs has released data estimating that one in three women has been sexually assaulted and/or raped while on active service, double the rate for civilians, according to the DoJ. Rape is notoriously unreported, particularly in the hyper-masculine environment of the military. Women troops who do seek justice find themselves quickly ostracized, their psychological wounds left untended, their attackers not charged. They are expected to carry on and often face their rapists on a daily basis. This panel is designed to explore the issue of Military Sexual Trauma or MST.
Led by: Joan Brooker
Panel; Fri, 06/08/2012 - 03:00pm, 552
In Rhode Island, public transit service is under perennial threat of service cuts and fare increases due to a flawed funding mechanism, the gas tax. Transit systems around the country—from Oakland to Detroit—face similar service cuts at a time when public transportation is more necessary than ever for both our economic and environmental sustainability. This panel will relate how workers, riders and even transit systems are forming coalitions in the fight to save and expand public transportation. We’ll explore the campaign in Rhode Island to Save RIPTA, the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority, and discuss how the successes of this local campaign can be translated to other communities nationwide.
Led by: Greg LeRoy
Panel; Fri, 06/08/2012 - 03:00pm, Ballroom B
Bold progressive candidates—those who publicly commit themselves to the 99% movement and a populist economic vision—are running for Congress across the nation this year. Progressive infrastructure is giving these candidates vital support, resulting in some early primary wins against conservative Democratic opponents. More big primaries are coming and then significant general election fights are ahead. Hear from some of these bold candidates and learn how you can help them succeed in 2012.
Led by: Stephanie Taylor
Panel; Fri, 06/08/2012 - 03:00pm, 551
Community heroes across the country are taking great risks to stand up and say no to coal pollution and other environmental injustices, and they’re succeeding—more than 100 of the nation’s 500 coal plants have already announced that they will retire. Activists from Appalachia to Arizona are using creative strategies and tactics that are breaking through the noise and building power in communities that are often marginalized. This session will put some of these David vs. Goliath stories front and center and address how activists can use these lessons in fighting for environmental justice in their own communities.
Led by: Mary Anne Hitt
Panel; Fri, 06/08/2012 - 03:00pm, Ballroom A
The Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United opened the floodgates to massive amounts of anonymous corporate spending in our elections and allowed Super PACs to spend millions on campaign ads with no accountability. In the Republican presidential primary, we’ve seen Super PACs acting as shadow arms of the candidates’ campaigns. This new doctrine of “corporate speech rights” threatens to drown out the voices of the American people. Organized by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and Center for American Progress Action Fund, this panel will examine the far-reaching impact of Citizens United and discuss how legislators, activists, bloggers and stakeholders can help restore sanity to our elections.
Led by: Tom Perriello
Panel; Fri, 06/08/2012 - 03:00pm, Ballroom D
Androids and iPhones are quickly becoming our primary gateways to the Internet. The ways that we organize political and advocacy campaigns, produce and communicate with our world depends on access to them and the broadband data connections they provide. But imagine livestreaming video from a protest and running up against data caps. Imagine planning out your next SMS campaign, and the phone companies telling you they don’t like the content. These threats to mobile freedom are real. As we fight for control over our mobile experience, it’s fair to say that your phone is political. This panel will discuss how the power dynamic between the carriers and the public is affecting our ability to communicate via mobile phones, why the progressive community must stand up for mobile freedom and how we can create better policies that protect us from wireless carrier abuse.
Led by: Josh Levy
Panel; Fri, 06/08/2012 - 04:30pm, Ballroom B
Despite broad opposition from military and security leaders in the United States and internationally, the sponsors of the Iraq War have attempted to fear-monger their way into another costly Middle East conflict. Bush has dropped from the headlines, but the architects of his foreign policy have taken over the shadow cabinets of GOP presidential contenders, the corner offices of think tanks and the halls of Congress. But 2012 is not 2003. A restrained economy, an ascendant model of less-militarized foreign policy and a war-weary public create an opportunity for a responsible policy outcome and a definitive blow to the (neo)conservative death-grip on national security politics. Attendees will hear from experts well-steeped in the trends and decisions behind the war drumbeat both then and now, who will spotlight the web of familiar players, debunk their arguments and discuss strategies for achieving a sounder policy and winning the political debate.
Led by: Karen Finney
Panel; Fri, 06/08/2012 - 04:30pm, Ballroom A
When Occupy Wall Street first started, almost no one thought it would work. What does the explosion of interest in OWS say about the tactics of the occupation? What can progressive organizations learn from Occupy’s success in shifting the dialogue from austerity to inequality?
Led by: Max Berger
Panel; Fri, 06/08/2012 - 04:30pm, Ballroom D
This panel will explore case studies that exemplify outstanding mobile organizing practices and how they’re going to be critical in 2012. Panelists will share their experiences in bridging the digital divide by using texts to drive advocacy phone calls; taking the work out of calling your legislator through click-to-call widgets; using texts to build your list of supporters and syncing that list with the data that in your CRM to move supporters up the ladder of engagement. Plus we’ll discuss how to generate action, online and offline, and benefit from a high return on engagement.
Led by: Jed Alpert
Panel; Fri, 06/08/2012 - 04:30pm, Ballroom C
This panel will address the needs, successes and obstacles to having greater participation from people of color in the blogosphere. Using the models of the Native American Netroots and Black Kos as a beginning point for the discussion, we’ll cover topics such as color blindness vs. representation and how to get historically underrepresented groups and their views heard. We’ll discuss how to organize outreach between the larger blogosphere and blogs that are specific to communities of color and how to form stronger connections to ongoing organizing efforts and activism in communities of color. We’ll also focus on how organizations can promote diversity within new grassroots organizations.
Led by: David Reid
Panel; Fri, 06/08/2012 - 04:30pm, 551
American college campuses are hotbeds of idealism and activism. The 2008 election, the massive protests in Wisconsin and Ohio and the Occupy movement showed that when this young constituency is politically mobilized, history can be made. While youth vote turnout is often addressed, too little is done to address this constituency’s issues: affordable college education, student debt and limited job prospects. Meanwhile, college students find themselves the target of voter ID laws and other efforts to suppress their voice in the political process. Student organizations and their allies are organizing students to get active around the issues that are important to them. Come hear how to mobilize the student vote for affordable higher education, immigrant rights, voting rights and a host of other issues.
Led by: Chris Goff
Panel; Fri, 06/08/2012 - 04:30pm, Ballroom E
Deval Patrick won an unlikely race for governor in 2006; two years later, Barack Obama was elected president. In January 2010, Scott Brown won an unlikely race for U.S. Senate; ten months later, Republicans swept the national Congressional races—except in Massachusetts, where all 10 Congressional seats went Democratic and Patrick won re-election in a race many thought he couldn’t win. Now, Elizabeth Warren is running for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts and Barack Obama is up for reelection, possibly against a former Massachusetts governor. What can recent elections in Massachusetts tell us about national trends? Experts from Patrick and Warren’s campaigns, plus one of the Boston Globe’s top political columnists, will dive into this question.
Led by: David Kravitz
Panel; Fri, 06/08/2012 - 04:30pm, 552
Over the course of the next year, the Supreme Court is poised to rule on nearly every major political issue facing the country today. By the time the current term ends in late June, the Court will issue potentially monumental decisions in the cases challenging the Affordable Care Act and Arizona’s draconian immigration law. When it reconvenes in October, the Court will consider the constitutionality of affirmative action and is likely to accept for review cases on same sex marriage, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, abortion, indefinite detention and campaign finance. The Court’s decisions in these cases will have serious implications for the fundamental freedoms we enjoy, the equality of opportunity to which we aspire and the democracy which we have built. Join our panel of experts as they discuss the cases before the Court and how we can mobilize effectively around them.
Led by: Nan Aron
Panel; Sat, 06/09/2012 - 10:30am, Ballroom E
For many low-income areas and communities of color, education is regarded as the key to rebuilding our communities and overcoming injustice. So why has education policy become so divisive? In this session, panelists will draw on their experience and expertise as public school teachers, parents and advocates to guide attendees toward an understanding of the ways in which education reform has been used as a wedge issue to pit members of historically underserved communities against each other, as well as how these communities have been used by outside interests in the pursuit of other ideological goals. This will also be a space to envision how communities can come together to resist these trends and build a vision of public education that uplifts the entire community and serves our collective best interests.
Panel; Sat, 06/09/2012 - 10:30am, 551
Building on investigative reporting in WIRED Magazine and the New York Times, this session will explore why a company so good at design is so lousy at high-tech manufacturing, particularly in the United States. Nearly every blogger uses a piece of hardware made overseas, sometimes in deplorable conditions. Does it matter? Does it have to be this way? Do we have an obligation to help change this? Panelists will explore the obstacles and opportunities for rebuilding a high-tech supply chain in America. The panelists will also explore what public policies are needed to recapture high-tech production jobs: trade, innovation, training and taxes. No issue crystallizes the challenges facing the American economy like Apple: great products for the creative class, but few jobs for American workers.
Led by: Scott Paul