Open Thread Progressives

Pennsylvania Progressive Summit

Yes, there are Progessives in Pennsylvania and we will be having our own summit.  Don’t expect to see Sarah “the quitter” Palin or Michelle “slit your wrists” Bachman at this event.  Please join us.

The Pennsylvania Progressive Summit will be the largest non-partisan  gathering of progressive activists ever assembled in Pennsylvania.  We’re coming together to galvanize the progressive movement in our state, make new alliances, discuss the important issues of our time and prepare for the legislative and electoral battles of 2010 and beyond.

The Summit offers 48 extraordinary workshops, panels and documentary films, with 120 great progressive speakers! It’s a day and a half of  high-energy training and inspiration.

Witness the first Gubernatorial Debate of 2010, with candidates  Chris Doherty, Joe Hoeffel, Tom Knox, Dan Onorato and Jack Wagner, moderated by Dr. Chuck Williams, Drexel University.

Listen to two strong contenders for the U.S. Senate seat—Senator  Arlen Specter and Representative Joe Sestak—as they discuss the  important issues facing Pennsylvania and the nation.

Keynote speaker William McNary is one of the most electrifying and inspirational speakers of our time. Since 2000, McNary has served as President of USAction, the nation’s largest coalition of progressive grassroots organizations working together to win social, racial, economic and environmental justice.

Powerhouse union activists! SEIU’s International Secretary-Treasurer  Anna Burger has been hailed by Fortune Magazine as “the most powerful woman in the labor movement.” Leo Gerard is International President of the United Steel Workers, the largest industrial union in North America.

Health insurance industry whistle-blower Wendell Potter will talk about taking on corporate Goliaths. Potter left his job last year as head of communications for CIGNA, one of the nation’s largest health insurers, to try his hand at helping advocates for meaningful health care reform achieve their goals.

The PA Progressive Summit is a full-immersion training program in progressive issues and strategies. Are you a community organizer who could benefit from others’ best practices? Are you passionate about an issue and need guidance on taking on the power structure? Are you a blogger, activist, legislative staffer, volunteer, concerned
citizen in need of instruction and inspiration? The Summit has what you need.

Communication and media workshops include Mobilizing through social media, Getting free media coverage, Blogging 101, Reframing progressive messaging, YouTube 101, and Lobbying from the Legislator’s point of view.

Learn organizing strategies from the best, including Worry-free Advocacy: Understanding the rules of non-profit advocacy and election related activity. Other workshops include Coalition- building, Mobilizing spiritual communities to social action, Integrating offline activism with online mobilization, and How to win with member-led organizations.

Concerned about the environment? Learn how Pennsylvania can be the leader in building a green future. Other workshops include Perspectives on Marcellus Shale drilling, Effective advocacy for clean energy jobs legislation, and Growing a manufacturing economy for the 21st century.

Is healthcare your issue? At the Summit, leaders of state and national organizations such as HCAN and Healthcare4AllPA will give you the inside scoop on healthcare reform legislation, including the prospects for single-payer. Healthcare insurance industry whistle-blower Wendell Potter explains how to fight the corporate ruling class—and win.

Fairness, equality and civil rights are issues that affect us all.  Learn all about equality legislation at the local, state and Federal levels—as well as the debate over marriage equality for same-sex  couples. Watch Out In the Silence, Joe Wilson’s moving film documentary, and then join Joe and others for a workshop on Organizing for fairness in rural communities. We are making  progress, but what more must be done to ensure that all stakeholders, no matter their race or sexual orientation, have equity in the progressive movement?

Are you thinking about running for office—or concerned about who is?  The Summit offers a wide range of instructive workshops and panels, including Petitioning, Campaign finance reform, Redistricting, Canvassing, and GOTV strategies. We’ll answer the big questions  about what happened in November and what’s at stake in 2010. And we’ll give you the tools to make a difference.

Your registration fee covers all speeches, workshops, panels, snacks, meals and wifi. It’s a fantastic bargain for such an extraordinary experience! Plus the Sheraton is offering a discounted room rate through January 15. Sign up today!

For more details, visit Pennsylvania Progressive Summit.