I’ve clearly developed a habit of attending every online group gathering without fail despite sometimes stressful timing in relation to work and financial ups and downs. I have been to every August mom gathering and, so far, to all five Netroots Nations. Of course, the difference with Netroots Nation is that it is not JUST a social gathering 🙂 There are actual speakers and panels filled with ridiculously smart people all with the common goal of furthering the Progressive political movement.
In other words – between all the parties & laughter we do actually try to accomplish something!
From my perspective this year the panels were the most consistently awesome. Every other year there was at least one panel that either the topic ended up not being what I thought, or the speakers not quite as dynamic and compelling as I needed to keep me awake. But this year they were all fabulous. The topics I attended included:
Why Primaries Matter
From Copenhagen to Cancun – Climate Change policies worldwide
Progressive women in politics
After Citizens United
Speakers at the keynote sessions included Van Jones (awesome), Majora Carter (also awesome), Lizz Winstead (hysterical), Gov. Brian Schweitzer (inspirational), Ed Schultz (ick – too shouty), and my favorite, Al Franken who mixes humor and policy together so well. He also got to announce that next year NN11 will be in his home state of Minnesota. There were also two fantastic Q & A sessions with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Leader Harry Reid. With Harry Reid, there was the emotional moment of the weekend when Lt Dan Choi (recently discharged due to DADT) gave his West Point ring as a reminder to Senator Reid of the promise made to repeal DADT. At one point Lt Choi stood up and silently saluted the senator and if there was a a dry eye in the house at the moment, then that person was made of stone!
The highlight of my weekend though was helping the Netroots for the Troops group pack and ship the care packages out this year. 300 boxes were packed on Saturday and promptly at 4:30 the USPS truck arrived to haul them off. In the boxes were: two pairs of gloves, razors, decks of cards, baby wipes, goggles & sand scarves, toiletries, assorted candies & trail mix snacks, dvds, coffee and other stuff I am probably forgetting! I missed a couple of great sessions to do this, but it was oh so worth it!