Closing keynote with Van Jones and Benjamin Jealous

Closing keynote with Van Jones and Benjamin Jealous

Session Type(s): Plenary

Starts: Saturday, Jun. 9 4:30 PM (Eastern)

Ends: Saturday, Jun. 9 6:00 PM (Eastern)

The closing session at Netroots Nation 2012 will be anchored by activist and Rebuild the Dream co-founder Van Jones. We’ll also hear from NAACP President Benjamin T. Jealous, Howard Dean, Congressman David Cicilline (RI-01), Rhode Island State Representative Teresa Tanzi and Chuck Rocha. The evening will be emceed by comedian and writer Elon James White.

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Closing keynote with Van Jones

Storified by Netroots Nation · Sat, Jun 09 2012 18:48:42

The evening kicked off with the hilarious Elon James White.
Nice. @elonjames is crushing right now @ #nn12 keynote. We’re not worthy! #p2Mike Nellis
"We don’t need facts, we need to work on some goddamn propaganda." @elonjames #nn12Raven Brooks
Next, David Cicilline took the stage.
"there’s a sense that those in Washington either don’t care or don’t understand what Americans are going through." @davidcicilline #nn12DemocracyForAmerica
@davidcicilline Corporate spending in politics isn’t about ideology. It’s a business transaction to increase revenue. #NN12 @Netroots_NationTDL
"We need to make sure the most powerful voice in Washington belongs to the American people." @davidcicilline #nn12DemocracyForAmerica
Then Chuck Rocha, Executive Director of The American Worker, Latino Project spoke.
Tweets cannot do justice to "Mexican Redneck" @ChuckRocha’s accent as he tells #nn12 to take our country back!Jesse Bacon
@ChrisRocha is hilarious! "More people claimed to have seen Bigfoot than committed voter fraud" #NN12 closing. He’s awesomeAmber Washington
#NN12 Chuck Rocha: More people saw Big Foot in Texas (66) than accused of voter fraud (38) #usw #p2 #1uUSW Blogger
Arshad Hasan from Democracy for America spoke about the Netroots Nation community and how important it is to support Netroots Nation financially.
"drawing strength is one of the most important part of our community. We have connected w each other n meaningful way" @arshadhasan #nn12DemocracyForAmerica
Next, President Obama addressed Netroots Nation via video.
President Obama Addresses Netroots Nation 2012netrootsnationvideo
President @BarackObama addresses @Netroots_Nation & stresses importance of job growth and the affordable care act #nn12 #nn12lgbtThe Task Force
.@BarackObama – "And as long as you’re willing to keep up that fight, I’ll be right there with you." #NN12Josh Peterson
Rhode Island State Rep. Teresa Tanzi urged the audience to keep working for progress.
An inspiring progressive politician from Rhode Island. Hell yes! @ Netroots Nation 2012 (#nn12)
Then Governor Howard Dean spoke.
Gov. Dean brings up the know nothing party and says "make the #GOP caused this recession." @GovHowardDean #nn12DemocracyForAmerica
Howard Dean says Tea Party and the "Hate Wing" of the Republican Party are dying out. #NN12Josh Peterson
"Pretty soon the Republican party is going to realize you can’t make a country better by hating some of the ppl in it" @govhowarddean #NN12PolicyLink
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse thanked everyone for coming to Providence.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse: Thank you for coming to Providence @Netroots_Nation #NN12 #waterfirePlanned Parenthood
President and CEO of the NAACP Benjamin T. Jealous spoke next.
@benjealous gets the #nn12 crowd fired up with the chant "fired up – ready to go."DemocracyForAmerica
"If we hoped that we were in the early days of a post-racial nation, from Troy Davis to Trayvon – we are not there yet!" @BenJealous #nn12 Shanelle Matthews
@benjealous says if @NAACP could end racial profiling alone they would have done it. We need all of you. #endrp2012 #NN12Linda Sarsour
"it is our duty To build a nation that empowers our children." @benjealous quoting Frederick Douglas #nn12DemocracyForAmerica
Ben Jealous talks about racial profiling. I can’t help thinking about our sons, as a tear falls. #NN12Karran Harper Royal
"By standing up together, against all the lies… that is the way we hasten the future together" @BenJealous #NN12Adam Robbins
Finally, activist and co-founder of Rebuild the Dream Van Jones took the stage.
Now speaking #nn12 is @VanJones68 "some people died for change. Some of us want to give up in the face of a bad tweet" Wheeler
Van reminds us that we lost Wisconsin because we sat on the sidelines. Very true… #NN12Prune Juice Media
"when we do our minimum and they do our maximum, how do we expect to win." @vanjones68 #nn12DemocracyForAmerica
"We like this president but we are not in love with him like we used to be! We went from having a crush to being crushed" @vanjones68 #nn12valentinasweet
.@VanJones68: "When the Tea Party gets power they use it to decimate us," decapitating the unions. #NN12Sharoney
Van Jones: "The EPA has probably saved more lives in the last 30 years than the Justice Department." #nn12 #fbTalia Whyte
Van Jones: This election is about fear; they fear us, we should be terrified of them. #nn12avri
GOP and Tea Party wouldn’t pass even their own bills right now; hurting American ppl for own gain, to win re-election @VanJones68 #nn12Denise
@VanJones68 – we’re far too interested in bipartisanship and need to stop it. The other side is QUITE partisan. #nn12Dr. Goddess
"You have to have a President willing to be moved. And you have to have a movement willing to do the moving." @VanJones68 #nn12 #p2Raven Brooks
Two tasks: stop tea party in november & win the budget ballot in Dec. @VanJones68 #nn12jeanne mccann
@VanJones68: America is not broke, and we’re a better country than this. #NN12Sharoney
"we do not have the right to sit in this room & feel sorry or ourselves. Somebody has got 2 stand up. We can do better. @vanjones68 #nn12DemocracyForAmerica
"Somebody has got to stand up! What better place than here? What better time than now?" — @VanJones68 #NN12Rebuild the Dream
The event ended with the announcement that Netroots Nation 2013 will be in California!
We’re going to San Jose, CA June 20-23 for #nn13! Register now: #nn12 We can’t wait! #p2Netroots_Nation


Elon James White


Elon James White is a Brooklyn-based comedian, writer and creator of the award-winning web series This Week in Blackness, a satirical look at race, politics and pop-culture in a so-called “post-racial” America and the award winning podcast Blacking it Up! White has been a featured commentator on MSNBC’s The Melissa Harris Perry Show, VH1’s “Black to the Future”, “The Great Debate” and HLN’s “The Joy Behar Show.” His commentary on race and politics has been featured on, Daily Kos, The Huffington Post, Giant Magazine, Salon, Alternet & The Root. Praised as “The perfect comedian for the Obama era, talking race while exploding racial stereotypes” by Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry on & as “Precise, thought provoking and hilarious” by Daily Show creator Lizz Winstead, White continues to win accolades from critics, academia and audiences alike

Other sessions: This Week in Blackness RADIO #TWIBRADIO, This Week in Blackness RADIO #TWIBRADIO, Laughing Liberally, Comedy for Activists: Using satire, pranks and creative video for troublemaking


Rep. David Cicilline


David N. Cicilline was born on the South Side of Providence, Rhode Island and is one of five children of Jack and Sabra Cicilline. After graduating from Narragansett High School, David attended Brown University as an undergraduate and later earned a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.

David was first elected mayor of the City of Providence in 2002, and re-elected for a second term in office four years later in 2006. David’s eight years in office were characterized by the implementation of a formal city ethics code, the influx of $3 billion in new investment, the lowest crime rates in more than four decades, and the implementation of a nationally recognized after-school program.

David won election to Congress in 2010 and immediately began fighting for common-sense policies to help get small businesses, manufacturers, families, and seniors through these challenging economic times.

Other sessions: Why Can't Apple Make Your iPhone in America?, Gun Politics after Trayvon and Tucson: New Life for a Deadly Issue

my website

Benjamin T. Jealous


Benjamin Todd Jealous is the 17th President and CEO of the NAACP. Appointed at age 35 in 2008, he is the youngest person to lead the century old organization. During his tenure, the NAACP’s online activists have swelled from 175,000 to more than 600,000; its donors have increased from 16,000 individuals per year to more than 120,000; and its membership has increased three years in a row for the first time in more than 20 years.

Jealous began his career as a community organizer in Harlem in 1991 with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund while working his way through college. In 1993, after being suspended for organizing student protests at Columbia University, he went to work as an investigative reporter for Mississippi’s frequently-firebombed Jackson Advocate newspaper.

Over past two decades, he has helped organize successful campaigns to abolish the death penalty for children, stop Mississippi’s governor from turning a public historically black university into a prison, and pass federal legislation against prison rape. His journalistic investigations have been credited with helping save the life of a white inmate who was being threatened for helping convict corrupt prison guards, free a black small farmer who was being framed for arson, and spur official investigations into law enforcement corruption.

A Rhodes Scholar, he is a graduate of Columbia and Oxford University, the past president of the Rosenberg Foundation and served as the founding director of Amnesty International’s US Human Rights Program. While at Amnesty, he authored the widely-cited report: Threat and Humiliation–Racial Profiling, Domestic Security, and Human Rights in the United States.

Van Jones


Van Jones is president and co-founder of Rebuild the Dream, a platform for bottom-up, people-powered innovations to help fix the U.S. economy.
Van has a 20-years of track record as a successful and award-winning social entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change, and Green For All. He is the author of two New York Times best sellers, The Green Collar Economy, and Rebuild the Dream. TIME magazine named Van a global environmental hero in 2008, and one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2009.
Van was the green jobs advisor to the Obama White House in 2009, and helped run the inter-agency process that oversaw $80 billion in green energy recovery spending.
Van is on the board of Demos and NRDC. He is currently a Visiting Fellow in Collaborative Economics at Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco.

my website

Chuck Rocha

Chuck Rocha

Chuck Rocha is from Texas and began his career as a union worker and became the youngest officer elected there He was later appointed as the National Political Director of the United Steel Workers of America in which he managed a $30 million dollar budget.

In 2009, Chuck founded Solidarity Strategies, a political consulting firm that specializes in campaign services including mail, phones, media, and general consulting.

Chuck is a graduate of the Harvard University Trade Union program. He has served on the board of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement and is a Fellow for the Center for National Policy.

Chuck frequently appears on the news providing insight on Latino and current political issues and races. He is a regular contributor to MSNBC and FOX News as a Latino vote expert and as a democratic strategist.

my website

State Rep. Teresa Tanzi

State Rep. Teresa Tanzi

Rep. Teresa Tanzi is a freshman in the Rhode Island House of Representatives, a pathological organizer, a feminist mom, a gardener, an activist, a biker, a wanna-be farmer and sometimes even makes dinner. She is a terrible friend, but a passionate advocate for women’s equality, marriage equality, public transportation, tax fairness, producer responsibility, and walkable, bikeable, livable communities. Since moving to RI in 2000, she has worked with victims of domestic violence, helped start a community garden, organized a farm-to-food pantry program, joined the executive boards of the R.I. National Organization for Women and Rhode Island’s own progressive stalwart, Ocean State Action. She unseated an 11-year incumbent in her first run for political office and looks forward to campaigning this summer to serve another term. She says she has so much more work to do and loves every minute of it.

my website