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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Looking Back at 2008: NPI Milestones

Just like that, another year has come and gone.

The second installment in our retrospective series looking back at the last twelve months is an overview of the year's most significant achievements, accomplishments, and noteworthy events. So as we look forward to what 2009 has in store for us, here's a look back at important events and achievements in 2008.

January 3rd, 2008: Barack Obama wins the Iowa caucuses, setting the stage for a long six month battle for the Democratic nomination between himself and Hillary Clinton. NPI's caucus coverage receives significant traffic.

January 24th, 2008: NPI Outreach & Advocacy Director Rick Hegdahl testifies in Olympia in support of the Homeowner's Bill of Rights, NPI's top 2008-2009 legislative priority. The Homeowner's Bill of Rights would allow Washingtonians whose builder erred in constructing their house to seek justice in a court of law, which is currently illegal.

January 30th, 2008: David Goldstein announces that his weekend radio show on 710 KIRO has been canceled by station management. NPI drafts an Open Letter to 710 KIRO protesting the cancellation of the show. Within a week, well over a thousand people add their vocies to the Open Letter as signatories.

February 8th, 2008: NPI sends six staff members to cover the Stand for Change Rally with Barack Obama at a packed KeyArena, teeming and packed to capacity with Obama supporters. NPI Executive Director Andrew Villeneuve appears on Portland, Oregon's Air America affiliate (AM 620 KPOJ) to talk about the Washington precinct caucuses, scheduled to occur the next day.

February 9th, 2008: NPI's live coverage of the Washington State precinct caucuses shatter all previous traffic records, drawing thousands of readers an hour from all over the United States and around the world. Barack Obama's official website also links to NPI's coverage.

March 8th, 2008: NPI launches a special series to explain why the Evergreen State needs the Homeowner's Bill of Rights. The series, which ultimately includes ten installments posted over the span of twenty seven hours, features stories from Washingtonians victimized by negligent construction.

March 29th, 2008: NPI's Official Blog turns four. The same day, NPI launches a naming contest to give a blog "a proper name". The winning submission, "NPI Advocate" becomes the new name of the blog on July 14th, 2008.

May 17th, 2008: NPI holds its first ever Spring Fundraising Gala. Guest speakers include Mike West, Chip Hanauer, Major General Paul Eaton (Ret.), and Darcy Burner, with music by Don Mock. The event is a smashing success, drawing supporters from near and far.

June 13th-15th, 2008: NPI provides live coverage of the State Democratic Convention in Spokane, Washington.

June 20th-21st, 2008: NPI organizes the third annual NWroots Conference in Tacoma, Washington. Guest speakers include John Ladenburg, Peter Goldmark, Julie Anderson, and Eric Oemig.

July 17th-20th, 2008: NPI staff attend the Netroots Nation Convention in Austin, Texas, which includes a surprise appearance by Al Gore. For the first time, NPI hosts a booth in the Convention Exhibition Hall.

August 22nd, 2008: NPI celebrates its five year anniversary.

August 25th-28th, 2008: NPI offers extensive live coverage of the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, from the Big Tent, the PepsiCenter, and Invesco Field.

October 7th, 2008: NPI Executive Director Andrew Villeneuve liveblogs from onboard the first successful test run of Sound Transit's Link light rail system. The test is the first open to non-engineers.

October 19th, 2008: NPI covers the Rally for Change with Joe Biden in Tacoma, Washington. During his speech introducing Peter Goldmark, Congressman Jim McDermott mentions his support of NPI's Downballot Project.

November 4th, 2008: A tidal wave of change washes across America with the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States of America and the strengthening of Democratic majorities in Congress. Locally, Chris Gregoire is reelected, Tim Eyman's Initiative 985 is defeated, Sound Transit Proposition 1 passes, Peter Goldmark ousts Doug Sutherland, Jeff Merkley topples Gordon Smith, and Jim McIntire succeeds Mike Murphy as Treasurer. NPI's elections coverage attracts an unprecedented number of readers.

December 20th, 2008: NPI Executive Director Andrew Villeneuve joins Reporter Newspapers as a regular columnist, making the leap to print media. His first column, "Ways to make your voice heard" encourages readers to share their feedback with national and state leaders.


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