Get ready! The latest Netroots Nation regional conference -- Netroots New York on December 17th and 18th -- is coming up soon, and it couldn’t be in a better time or place.
Occupy Wall Street is rapidly transitioning, and the 99 percent movement at large is steaming full speed ahead. Likewise, I’m especially encouraged about how this conference could be used both as an assessment point for where we are at, as well as a launch pad for US as we progress further.
My confidence here is directly related to how last year’s Netroots Wisconsin conference helped ‘unite the Cheddarsphere’. As the Wisconsin uprising has illustrated, the power of connecting activists on the ground and online so that they can work in concert just can not be underestimated.
The burgeoning Netroots New York schedule already reflects a similar sentiment.
On my end, I have helped put together a Wisconsin panel with key players on the ground and in media from the occupation last spring and since, including:
[Update: unfortunately, due to last minute scheduling conflicts, Peter and Xavier will not be able to join us. Fortunately though, we picked up another amazing speaker, Blue Cheddar!]
Peter Rickman: union leader and UW-Madison graduate student that put his academic study of the labor movement to work, most famously by being a chief instigator of the Capitol occupation. In light of his efforts, Peter accepted the 2011 Paul Wellstone citizen leadership award on behalf of the Wisconsin movement at this summer’s Take Back the American Dream conference. You can check out video of him on the megaphone at that first historic demonstration below:
Jenni Dye: Wisconsin attorney, progressive activist, social media organizer, and candidate for Dane County Board. Jenni, aka @legaleagle, was one of the top tweeters during the Capitol occupation and a key organizer of the Walkerville tent city following from it. Moreover, her work at Walkerville in particular helped inspire the parallel Bloombergville occupation that proved to be so crucial to Occupy Wall Street.
John Quinlan: Madison, WI-based community leader, journalist, nonprofit development consultant, civil rights activist, media reformer, gay community leader, and radio show host. John has an almost unparallelled understanding of Wisconsin’s media environment, and has been documenting and producing social media coverage of the uprising through ventures like the Media Coverage of WI Capitol Protests Facebook group.
Xavier Lopez-Ayala: New Media Coordinator at The New Media Firm, which ran the online advertising for We Are Wisconsin in the recall elections. Xavier worked with on the ground activists in Wisconsin to build up their Facebook pages in the early days. The New Media Firm is a full service political media consulting and advertising agency specializing in the integration of traditional and new media for democratic candidates and progressive organizations.
I absolutely can not wait to get these Wisconsin activists in the same room as their New York compatriots, and couldn’t be more excited about the potential results from it!
The panel and the conference at large truly will not be events to miss. You can register here, and as we say in Wisconsin: forward.