Stand with Walmart workers this Black Friday

Walmart workers on strike in the Dallas area. (Photo courtesy Making Change at Walmart)


Walmart workers are fighting back against intimidation and disrespect like this:

In an interview, she spoke of her struggle to make ends meet even while working fulltime at Walmart. She earns $11.65 an hour and is her family’s only source of income since her husband was laid off. They and their five children rely on state assistance for housing, food and healthcare.

Walmart spokespeople have said that workers in Washington earn an average wage of $13 an hour. Gilbert said she knew of only a few people who earn that much, and they’ve worked for the company for decades.

Beyond a better wage, Gilbert said she wants to be treated with respect. She decided to speak out about work conditions after her manager came up behind her while she was bent, restocking shelves, and adjusted Gilbert’s pants to cover some exposed skin.

Gilbert said the manager tried to turn it into a laughing matter. Gilbert complained, but she said no action was taken.

“They treat it like it’s a joke, but it’s not a joke to me,” she said.

It’s a simple proposition: people deserve to work with dignity and treated fairly. Walmart is one of the largest and most profitable corporations on the planet, and their workers deserve better.

Netroots Nation is helping OUR Walmart get the word out about workers taking actions across the country between now and Black Friday. The workers are causing a stur, getting a bit of coverage, and they’ve got lots of tools that allow everyone to take part. Here are a few things you can do:

Wherever you are spending this holiday, stand with Walmart workers!

Organizing Outside the Lines: “Hard-to-Reach Communities” Winning Major Victories by Moving from Moment to Movement

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.

Organizing Outside the Lines: Reaching Hard-to-Reach Communities Online and Offline

Miss this panel? No problem! Here’s what happened.

Storified by Netroots Nation · Thu, Jun 07 2012 16:40:22

The panelists talked about some hard topics but stayed in good spirits.
@OccupyTheHood @jasiri_x at #nn12 teaching and preaching #goodstuff
Naturally, the Trayvon Martin case came up as a tragedy and an opportunity for organizing.
@OccupytheHood #Trayvon wasn’t a new story, just what opened door to white America hearing what’s happened here for centuries #nn12 #noi12Jamie McGonnigal
White, Black & Latino community finally seeing what’s happening and caring about each other’s issues @occupythehood #nn12 #noi12Jamie McGonnigal
They also added some general thoughts about organizing.
"You can’t be afraid of religious culture [in the South]; you have to embrace it." @DCtwiterati #nn12Shannon Moriarty
To be an activist, you don’t have be out there whooping & hollering. Everyone has an activist in them. @occupythehood #nn12Shannon Moriarty

Organizing Lessons from SOPA and PIPA

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.

Watch live streaming video from freespeechtv at

Organizing Lessons from SOPA and PIPA

Miss this panel? No problem! Here’s what happened.

Storified by Netroots Nation · Thu, Jun 07 2012 14:37:16

Art Brodsky leads a conversation with Stephen DeMaura, Amalia Deloney, Andrew McLaughlin and David Moon about the offline/online organizing efforts to defeat SOPA and PIPA.
#NN12 participants – Follow @mediaaction and @mediajustice to learn more about our recent fight vs. #SOPA and future media policy battles.MAG-Net
Watching MAG-Net at Netroots Nation talk about SOPA/PIPA. #NN12 #mediajustice #SOPA (via @thousandkites)CMJ
Why We Fought SOPA: "There Would Be No Hip Hop Without Sampling and Re-Sampling". @mediajustice @stevenrenderos #nn12LoudSauce
Photo: #SOPA panel #NN12 Evry
@stevenrenderos #SOPA became a household issue. Regular people understand this issu, not just media policy people. @mediajustice #NN12MAG-Net
@stevenrenderos breaking down how regular folks cared about #SOPA–when people linked it to their day to day needs and desires #NN12CMJ
#JoshLevy If brought to the table, consumers can help construct good Internet policy. SOPA/PIPA #NN12Rep. Diane Russell
Check out the video.
[Video] Organizing Lessons from SOPA and PIPA #nn12 @mediajustice @demandprogress @artbrodsky @McAndrewNetroots_Nation

The Inside Game: Progressive Legislative Caucuses at the State and Local Level

Every year on the state and local level, the Netroots works to elect candidates to offices large and small, win victories in legislative fights and hold their elected officials accountable. Increasingly, these efforts are being matched by the building of critical internal infrastructure within legislative bodies themselves: progressive caucuses of lawmakers who are working to advance policy agendas, win messaging wars and influence the debate in their states and cities. This session brings together many involved in these efforts—from advocacy groups, city councils and state legislatures—to address critical questions and share their experiences about how state and local progressive caucuses can best work with allies to define progressive values in red and blue states alike and grow the national progressive movement.

Watch live streaming video from freespeechtv at

Whose Law Is It Anyway? ALEC’s Influence on State Legislatures and What We Can Do About It

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.

Watch live streaming video from fstv1 at

Whose Law Is It Anyway? ALEC’s Influence on State Leg


Storified by Netroots Nation · Thu, Jun 07 2012 17:00:19

Lisa Graves of the Center for Media & Democracy explained the origins of ALEC, and how they exposed them ay
Lisa Graves: Origin of ALEC is infamous Powell Memo to build conservative infrastructure #NN12
RT @rashadrobinson: I’m moderating "Whose Law Is It Anyway? ALEC’s Influence on State Legislatures and What We Can Do About It" @ #nn12
Rashad Robinson of Color of Change also deserves lots of credit for getting big corporations to pull out of ALEC
Uh oh, #ALEC. More exposure. Does sunlight burn? #ALECexposed #NN12
Lisa Graves of CMD thanks @ColorOfChange and @rashadrobinson for our work targeting corporate members of #ALEC #NN12
Surprise surprise: I found a family connection between ALEC’s director and the NRA in Florida. #nn12
.@theLisaGraves at #NN12 #ALECexposed panel: ALEC activism rooted in Cincinnati protests.. look how far its come
I’m moderating "Whose Law Is It Anyway? ALEC’s Influence on State Legislatures and What We Can Do About It" @ #nn12
RT @Karoli: Speaker notes that ALEC agenda isn’t just at state level. Ryan budget is an ALEC budget. #NN12
Anielle Alioto at #ALECexposed panel at #NN12: "state legislators are dropping out without us even asking… the #ALEC brand is so toxic"
We learned that the Koch brothers have spent lots of money promoting and helping ALEC
Lisa Graves: ALEC was bailed out by Koch brothers in the 90s #NN12
.@thelisagraves: Koch Brothers gave ALEC half a million loan in late 90s to keep organization afloat #NN12 @ALECexposed
“@TakeBackCourts Check our our new report released today at #NN12 on ALEC civil justice work.”
RT @ALECexposed: Anielle Alioto at #ALECexposed panel at #NN12: nobody is going to bat for ALEC because you can’t defend the indefensible
.@theLisaGraves at #NN12 #ALECexposed panel: "Every American ought to be deeply concerned by #ALEC"
Lisa Graves at #NN12: ALEC allows lobbyists to "vote as equals" to our legislators on laws and public policy
RT @AriBerman: .@thelisagraves: Koch Brothers gave ALEC half a million loan in late 90s to keep organization afloat #NN12 @ALECexposed
Dump You And Dump #ALEC Too! #ForgetYou parody – Amazzzzing vid: @prwatch @thelisagraves #dumpALEC #ALECexposed. #NN12
Rashad Robinson: "98% of ALEC’s money comes from corporations" #NN12
at the panel on #ALEC at #NN12. Big kudos to Color of Change & CMD ( for exposing them for the sham ALEC is.
#ALEC has been successful because has been able to do work behind scenes, says moderator. But that isn’t the case anymore. #NN12
#ALEC is part of a large clandestine corporate infrastructure that is trying to control the political process at all levels. #NN12
ALEC does its work behind the scenes but corporation have to answer to the customers they’re trying to reach – @rashadrobinson #NN12
"Our leverage goes up as voting goes down." ~Founder of #ALEC #NN12
Marge Baker: Effort to pushback ALEC is starting to "taint" any association with ALEC #NN12
The push to privatize public schools is an ALEC priority
Kim Anderson: ALEC claims to join #edreform bandwagon but they "put kids last" #NN12
Kim Anderson: ALEC edu-agenda is to sell off public schools to charters, online learning companies, for-profit education #NN12
Kim Anderson: Michelle Rhee is an "honorary member" of the school privatizing cabal driven by ALEC #NN12
#ALEC is also getting into pension slashing efforts. @RepJonDBrien50 wants to fix Woonsocket deficit by taking from city pension fund. #NN12
Photo of our own @ProgressNow ED Aniello Alioto (left) talking about ALEC and their influence. #ALECexposed #NN12
RT @ALECexposed: Aniello Alioto at #ALECexposed panel at #NN12: Next big #ALEC initiative is limiting the power of state attorney’s to sue corporations
And finally, you an help keep the pressure on ALEC
.@theLisaGraves at #ALECexposed panel at #NN12: ALEC agenda is on the move and #ALEC $$ on the move. We need your help documenting it.
RT @ALECexposed: .@theLisaGraves at #ALECexposed panel at #NN12: In 2013 legislators will come in and aim to pass the #ALEC wish list, we need to expose this
Marge Baker of @peoplefor at #ALECexposed panel at #NN12: Best resource on #ALEC is

Organizing Issue-Based Campaigns with College Students

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.

Organizing Issue-Based Campaigns with College Students

Miss this panel? No problem! Here’s what happened.

Storified by Netroots Nation · Fri, Jun 08 2012 17:59:43

Universities are already on the front lines of economic and social battles.
Universities are big time union busters. #nn12Erik Loomis
"Universities are carriers of the virus of austerity." #nn12Erik Loomis
Panelists talked about the main goal of any student-led campaign.
.@studentactivism "you either take power…or you convince the folks in power that it’s in their interest to do what you want them to" #nn12Josh Eidelson

Women Rule: Keys for Social Media and Electoral Success

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.

Women Rule: Keys for Social Media and Electoral Success

Miss this panel? No problem! Here’s what happened.

Storified by Netroots Nation · Thu, Jun 07 2012 14:16:08

The panelists arrived ready to break down social media and electoral success.
RT @womensmediacntr: Social media mavens @CarolJenkins, @PunditMom, @Anita_Sarah, @veronicaeye! #NN12 Karmel
They talked about how women want to be engaged:
"women want authentic engagement with people online and the people doing that well are brands and marketers" via @PunditMom #nn12Sarah Burris
"Women don’t want to be talked at, they want to be talked with!" – @PunditMom #nn12 Shanelle Matthews
They also highlighted companies and politicians who are doing this well.
.@PunditMom points to Disney as an example of a brand that directly engages and reaches out to moms. #NN12 #NN12womenBarnacle
@punditmom gives shout out to @Sengillibrand for particularly effective engagement of women online #Nn12Gloria Pan
Women are online and should not be ignored.
RT @lovenheim: fast facts: On any given week, 36M #women are online; 59% of @Twitter users are #women — @punditmom #NN12Doug Pennington
Joanne Bamberger on what pols need to do to reach women: Use social media! Women are the majority of social media users. #NN12 @momsrisingElisa Batista
.@CarolJenkins: think of the role that media plays; if women aren’t participating at highest levels, voices not heard #NN12 #NN12womenBarnacle
They offered tips for engaging with women online.
.@PunditMom: politicians need to not just ask potential voters to do things for them, need to directly engage #NN12 #NN12womenBarnacle
.@PunditMom contrasts @elizabethforma’s Twitter engagement w/many pols who have a ton of followers but follow no one. Bad form. #NN12 #rm551womensmediacenter
.@CarolJenkins says she thinks pols underestimate women’s intelligence & that’s why the weak engagement. Don’t talk down to us! #NN12 #rm551womensmediacenter
Parting advice for campaigns to reach women online? @PunditMom: GET ONLINE. Spend just a day or 2 learning how it works! #NN12 #rm551womensmediacenter

Turn It Up: Using Hip-Hop to Mobilize in 2012

This panel will discuss how hip-hop can be utilized as a tool to amplify the message of the progressive movement, as well as inspire and energize activists across the country. Panelists will address the political ideals of current artists and their fan bases and how the progressive movement can work congruently with both. Learn how hip-hop could be the game-changer in the 2012 election.

Turn It Up: Using Hip-Hop to Mobilize in 2012

Miss this panel? No problem! Here’s what happened.

Storified by Netroots Nation · Sat, Jun 09 2012 17:02:53

@Jasiri_x, @BDOLANSFR, @drgoddess and @paradisegray discuss using Hip Hop to get communities who aren’t normally politically active to be involved and be engaged. Music is a powerful medium to communicate and to inspire people to unite, collaborate and work towards real world change.
B. Dolan @BDolanSFR on Mobilizing w/ Hip Hop in 2012 panel #nn12 #nn12hipHop
In the Using Hip-Hop to Mobilize in 2012 session, @drgoddess tells us "It’s ok to ask artists to be change agents" #NN12PolicyLink
@paradisegray dropping hip-hop history on how music transformed NY gang culture & created a strong community-voter registration, etc #NN12PolicyLink
We need a story telling project specifically for hip hop. Forrealz. #nn12hiphop #nn12jenifer daniels
Davey D is talking about a lot of institution – building that was done through hip hop. #nn12 #nn12hiphopJamie Boschan
RT @ErikasWay: Using Hip Hop to Mobilize session at #NN12 @drgoddess @jasiri_x @mrdaveyd and Paradise Gray #NN12hiphop X
I stress the potential of hiphop 2 affect local politics Vote on judges that are putting the people that you love in jail #nn12 #nn12hiphopChenjerai Kumanyika
Hip Hop music used to be about community, but now it’s more about personal vanity. The panel discussed today the importance of bringing a community message back in to the music to get folks moving and mobilized.
Great point @mrdaveyd, hip-hop used 2 be about community & now it’s more "look at me, don’t u wish u could be like me" #NN1212HipHop #NN12Amber Washington

Promoting People of Color in the Progressive Blogosphere

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.

Salsa, Cumbia and Merengue: Connecting to the Different Beats of the Latino Electorate

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.