NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

Register for NWroots 2011

Short­ly before we lost our beloved Lynn Allen to ovar­i­an can­cer three months ago, she entrust­ed us with the respon­si­bil­i­ty of car­ry­ing for­ward the polit­i­cal and civic caus­es she was so pas­sion­ate about. One of those caus­es was bring­ing pro­gres­sive activists togeth­er to orga­nize and mobi­lize for change.

Not long after Lynn and I attend­ed Camp Well­stone togeth­er in June of 2005, we start­ed talk­ing about orga­niz­ing a con­fer­ence for net­roots and grass­roots activists. As sum­mer became autumn, and autumn became win­ter, we began active­ly work­ing to pull togeth­er mon­ey and reserve facil­i­ties for what became the first NWroots Con­fer­ence. It was an eye-open­ing expe­ri­ence for me, because I’d nev­er planned some­thing like it before. Lynn had, and her knowl­edge and dis­ci­pline kept us on track as we firmed up all of the details.

Two more NWroots Con­fer­ences fol­lowed, in Feb­ru­ary 2007 and June 2008. After 2008, the con­fer­ence went on hia­tus due to the reces­sion and our desire to con­cen­trate our ener­gy and resources on oth­er projects. It was our hope that some­body else would pick up the man­tle and bring NWroots back to life.

And for­tu­nate­ly, some­body has. Robert Sar­gent, who knows me well and knew Lynn well, has stepped for­ward to orga­nize the fourth NWroots Con­fer­ence for local writ­ers, read­ers, activists, elect­ed offi­cials, and pro­gres­sive can­di­dates. Robert has formed the NWroots Fel­low­ship to orga­nize the event in coop­er­a­tion with NPI.

NWroots 2011 will be hap­pen­ing on July 9th, 2011, in Pio­neer Square. Reg­is­tra­tion is now open, and is only $50 for activists and $25 for stu­dents. Both rates include break­fast and lunch.

(Note that you can also RSVP on Face­book.)

Most ses­sions will take place at Com­e­dy Under­ground, which many NPI read­ers are undoubt­ed­ly famil­iar with. The even­t’s keynote speak­er will be Ujjal Dosan­jh, for­mer Pre­mier of British Colum­bia and for­mer Cana­di­an Health Min­is­ter, who will talk about the impor­tance of uni­ver­sal healthcare.

Fol­low­ing his remarks, he’ll take ques­tions from the audience.

In the after­noon, Seat­tle’s own rep­re­sen­ta­tive to Con­gress, Jim McDer­mott, will address a gen­er­al ses­sion of the conference.

Here’s a quick run­down of some of the break­outs we have planned:

  • Tony Ven­trel­la is putting togeth­er a media pan­el to dis­cuss what on earth hap­pened to journalism.
  • Uni­ver­si­ty of Wash­ing­ton grad­u­ate Alon­so Chehade will talk about the Dream Act and his quest to gain the right to remain and work in the U.S.
  • Recipe for Amer­i­ca author Jill Richard­son will host ses­sions on our messed up food sys­tem, and Mon­san­to’s world­wide influ­ence on agriculture.
  • Bev Har­ris, who has fought to end black box vot­ing for years, will lead a ses­sion on the per­ils and inher­ent flaws with elec­tron­ic voting.
  • Karen Poo­ley is going to tack­le the ongo­ing mort­gage crisis.

Plus, there will be doc­u­men­taries to screen, a can­di­dates’ social, and an after-party.

Plan­ning an event like this is no easy under­tak­ing… we know from expe­ri­ence. That’s why we urge you to reg­is­ter today. If you can­not attend, but can afford a con­tri­bu­tion of any amount, that would be great­ly appre­ci­at­ed. Any mon­ey left over after expens­es will be donat­ed to NPI.

If you have any sug­ges­tions, or would like to make a pre­sen­ta­tion or lead a pan­el dis­cus­sion, please con­tact Robert. The agen­da is by no means final­ized, and if you’d like to par­tic­i­pate as a speak­er, we’d love to have you.

Again, reg­is­tra­tion is just $50 ($25 for stu­dents). Reg­is­ter today and let us know that you’re com­ing to NWroots 2011!

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