Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

LIVE from Austin: Lunchtime and caucuses

It's only midday here in Austin, but already it feels like the day has been really long. I've taxed the battery on my notebook and am now blogging from my BlackBerry.

After breakfast this morning, most of our team (including myself) headed over to the Exhibition Hall to set up the NPI booth, which is adjacent to the commons area inside the room. At our booth we're selling convention t-shirts featuring the Washington Progressive Blogroll, offering locally-grown fruit for people to snack on, and handing out information about our work.

We had a fine turnout at our Evergreen State lunch caucus, held at the Moonshine Bar and Grill. The food was excellent, the service wonderful, the conversation upbeat and lively. Over a third of the Washington delegation to Netroots Nation showed up. We talked about some of the downballot races, Sound Transit 2, and events that are happening later this weekend.

I am currently at one of the first afternoon caucuses - the Youth Caucus. We're having a thoughtful discussion so far about where the progressive youth movement is today and where we want it to go in the future.

Hot topics in our conversation through the first hour: leadership development (nurturing young leaders, beginning in high school so they can get experience early on, like I did), uniting behind common goals (i.e. student rights) reaching young progressives who aren't on campus (where many youth organizations are focused), or don't own a computer.

Jim Slattery, who is running against Pat Roberts for U.S. Senate in Kansas, listened to our discussion and then spoke to us briefly about the "generational robbery" that is going on - the giant mess that is being left to future generations by the current Republican administration and their allies.

In particular, Jim told us that energy policy is shameful and embarrassing.

Years from now, our children will be asking why it took so long for us to start moving beyond fossil fuels and slow the emission of the greenhouse gases that are causing the climate crisis.

The agenda for today is mostly caucuses, although Chairman Howard Dean will give a keynote speech tonight. General Wesley Clark will also make an appearance.

I'm headed to the job expo next to talk to people about joining NPI.


Blogger jniles said...

I trust you used the Austin Capitol Metro Bus #100 to travel between downtown Austin and the airport. I moved quite well around Austin on their transit system when I went down there from Seattle last May to make a presentation at American Public Transportation Association's bus conference.

July 19, 2008 7:22 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

I did use the Airport Flyer, though I wish there was a light rail line from Austin Bergstrom to downtown. The trip would have gone much faster. Fortunately, Capital Metro is working to bring rail to greater Austin.

July 19, 2008 7:34 PM  

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