Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Looking Back at 2005: NPI Milestones

2005 has truly been an amazing year for this organization. The Northwest Progressive Institute has grown by leaps and bounds during the past few months, and it looks like we'll be growing even more in 2006.

Here's a look back at NPI's milestones in 2005.

January 2nd, 2005: Intermittent posting to NPI's official blog ends. Near daily posting begins. The first hot topics are the tsunami in Southeast Asia and the Republicans' attempt to stop Christine Gregoire from being sworn in as Governor.

January 25, 2005: The Public Disclosure Commission fines Tim Eyman and his partners for violating the public disclosure law, acting several months after the filing of a complaint by NPI's Permanent Defense, TaxSanity, and Taxpayers for Washington's Future.

January 31st, 2005: NPI launches Pacific Northwest Portal, a regional information gateway and media center, to counter the local Republican Noise Machine. The launch is announced on NPI's official blog, on Daily Kos, on, and elsewhere. Traffic to the NPI network surges dramatically, quintupling in a matter of hours, and plateaus in the following days, never again returning to the previous low level.

February 1st, 2005: NPI debuts its Reading List, offering a selection of recommended books for members and supporters.

February 4th, 2005: NPI Executive Director Andrew Villeneuve becomes the first ever guest poster on David Goldstein's while its author is in midair, following the developments in the Republicans' court challenge to unseat Gov. Christine Gregoire.

February 16th, 2005: NPI Executive Director and Permanent Defense Chair Andrew Villeneuve testifies before the House Finance Committee, urging representatives to consider a tax reform proposal to address the regressive property tax.

February 27, 2005: NPI launches Pacific Northwest Portal Version 2.0, with a revamped homepage and an enhanced directory of local blogs.

March 1st, 2005: Lynn Allen of Evergreen Politics publishes a interview with NPI Executive Director Andrew Villeneuve.

March 29th, 2005: NPI's Official Blog celebrates its one year anniverary.

March 31st, 2005: NPI Executive Director Andrew Villeneuve publishes a lengthy analysis of Rep. Dave Reichert's Social Security "town hall" meeting. The analysis is subsequently picked up on Josh Marhsall's Talking Points Memo. NPI's official blog receives several thousand visitors in twelve hours.

April 4th, 2005: NPI launches its National Defense section.

April 25th, 2005: NPI publishes another significant update to Pacific Northwest Portal.

May 10th, 2005: NPI publishes the transcript of a live interview conducted the day before with comedian and Air America radio host Al Franken. NPI's Pacific Northwest Portal also debuts a new Toolkit section and is recognized on Daily Kos.

May 15th, 2005: America Online, Inc. carries a post from NPI's Official Blog in its blogs section.

May 17th, 2005: NPI Executive Director Andrew Villeneuve's first column is published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, entitled: Eyman out to destroy representative democracy.

May 20th, 2005: Frank Sennett from the Spokane Spokesman-Review publishes a column in the paper's "Weekend" section about Pacific Northwest Portal and NPI Executive Director Andrew Villeneuve.

May 22nd, 2005: NPI relaunches Washington Defense to fight Initiative 912, a right wing initiative to eradicate the 2005 Transportation Package - key legislation approved by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Gregoire to invest in roads, ferries, and transit.

May 23rd, 2005: NPI begins providing live coverage of the trial in the Republicans' court case to have the 2004 election results nullified and Gov. Christine Gregoire thrown out of office.

June 6th, 2005: In a landmark, decisive victory for Democrats, Chelan County Superior Court Judge John Bridges upholds the 2004 gubernatorial election of Christine Gregoire, confirming NPI's prediction about the outcome of the GOP lawsuit the day before. NPI announces the victory live to the world on Pacific Northwest Portal, its Official Blog, and Daily Kos. Later in the day, Dino Rossi announces he won't appeal the decision and ends his attempt to challenge the election.

June 22nd, 2005: NPI publishes a special guest column written by Dr. Reed Davis (previously the chair of the King County Republican Party), who explains why political parties are vital to a healthy democracy, and lead to stronger grassroots political involvement. The column is part of NPI's series defending the open primary system in Washington State.

July 8th, 2005: Initiative 912 proponents turn in well over the 225,000 required signatures to get on the ballot in November. NPI's Washington Defense division immediately begins preparing for a fall campaign.

July 14th, 2005: Washington Defense relaunches again, this time in preparation for the fall campaign against Initiative 912.

July 15th, 2005: The "Top Two" primary strongly opposed by NPI is struck down by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Zilly. NPI applauds the ruling, which means the Secretary of State will have to prepare for an open primary for the second year in a row.

July 20th, 2005: NPI launches "True Blue", or Pacific Northwest Portal Version 3.0, in the biggest revamp of the website since its inception. Navigation and interface are overhauled, new pages are introduced, and feed reliability is greatly strengthened.

July 28th, 2005: NPI's Permanent Defense division relaunches to fight Tim Eyman's Initiative 900, which got enough signatures to make the ballot thanks to Eyman's wealthy multimillionaire backer, Michael Dunmire.

August 3rd, 2005: The Seattle Weekly announces that Pacific Northwest Portal is the "Best Local Website" in its 2005 "Best of Seattle" readers poll.

August 16th, 2005: NPI members attend the kickoff of the Progressive Legislative Action Network (PLAN) featuring speeches by John Edwards and Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer.

August 19th, 2005: NPI begins a "Disaster Picture of the Week" series, featuring a picture of a collapsed bridge or transportation structure every Thursday until Election Day. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer mentions the new series the following Saturday on its editorial page.

August 22nd, 2005: NPI's Official Blog gets a dramatic makeover, with a crisper template.

August 27th, 2005: Pacific Northwest Portal begins offering live coverage of Hurricane Katrina.

September 20th, 2005: NPI provides comprehensive coverage of the primary election in King County on its Official Blog and Pacific Northwest Portal.

October 9th 2005: The Vancouver Columbian publishes an editorial slamming Initiative 912 and mentions NPI's support for the 2005 transportation package and opposition to I-912.

October 24th, 2005: NPI launches "Marine Green", or Pacific Northwest Portal Version 3.5, which includes syndication changes, an improved navigation bar, new graphics, and new pages.

October 26th, 2005: NPI organizes a "Viaduct Hazard Demonstration", arguing that the passage of Initiative 912 will cripple the state's ability to invest in transportation infrastructure. KIRO and KCPQ, two of Seattle's four television news stations, carry the story (combined, the two stations' clips add up to about eight minutes of airtime), as does 710 KIRO News Radio. The Seattle Times also sends a reporter out to cover the press conference.

November 8th, 2005: NPI and its allies' hard work pays off in an amazing series of unbelievable victories. Initiative 912 is defeated by voters statewide, Ron Sims is reelected as King County Executive, and Dave Somers retakes his council seat from GOP shill Jeff Sax.

November 14th, 2005: NPI releases an upgraded version of its blog design (Version 3.1) which fixes some display problems.

November 21st, 2005: NPI names new member Alan Harvey as its Senior Economist and launches its new Economics section. The same day, Pacific Northwest Portal gets a minor update.

December 9th, 2005: NPI begins extensive network maintenance work for prepare for 2006.

December 19th, 2005: Buzzflash, Daily Kos, and several news services carry an NPI Official Blog post about Senator Maria Cantwell's efforts to block legislation which would permit drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge. The resulting traffic, over six thousand visitors in one twenty four hour period, marks an an all time high for the Official Blog.

What a year it has been.

<< Home