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Netroots Nation is a political convention for American progressive political activists, originally organized by readers and writers of Daily Kos, a liberal political blog. It was previously called YearlyKos.[1] The 2009 Netroots Nation conference was held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from August 13-16 and featured former President Bill Clinton and former DNC Chairman and Vermont governor Howard Dean among others.

Netroots Nation amplifies progressive voices by providing an online and in-person campus for exchanging ideas and learning how to be more effective in using technology to influence the public debate. Through its annual convention and a series of regional salons held throughout the year, they strengthen their community, inspire action and serve as an incubator for ideas that challenge the status quo and ultimately affect change in the public sphere.

The origin of Netroots Nation is traced to a time when a tremendous and growing number of citizens gathered every day in the virtual world to raise their collective voice and proactively influence their government. That group is broadly called the Netroots and has since grown to include progressive organizations and politicians who use new media technologies to communicate with their constituents. The convention rebranded to Netroots Nation in 2007 in an effort to more accurately reflect the makeup of its audience and mission of implementing programs that teach and empower Netroots communities to affect change in the public sphere.

Although it is closely associated with Daily Kos, it is not produced by Markos Moulitsas or Kos Media. Netroots Nation is a project of Bloggerpower.org, a non-profit non-partisan organization, with the generous support of the Netroots Arts and Education Initiative (NAEI).

Contents

2006

The first YearlyKos was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, from June 8 to June 11, 2006. It attracted approximately 1,000 attendees, and featured prominent Democrats such as Harry Reid, Howard Dean, and Barbara Boxer, as well as four possible contenders in the 2008 Democratic primary: retired General Wesley Clark, New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, Iowa governor Tom Vilsack, and former Virginia governor Mark Warner.

Laughing Liberally provided comedy entertainment at the convention, with stand-up comics Lee Camp and Baratunde Thurston, and George W. Bush impressionist James Adomian.

The convention also consisted of panels, roundtable discussion groups, and other gatherings of activists, members of the media and elected officials. Many of the panels were broadcast on C-SPAN. The convention was held at the Riviera hotel and casino.

2007

The 2007 YearlyKos was held at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, Illinois from August 2 to August 5.[2]

Eight of the nine major Democratic Presidential candidates attended the Convention in a debate moderated by bloggers. The most memorable moment was when Hillary Clinton refused to join John Edwards and Barack Obama's pledge to stop taking money from Washington lobbyists.[3]

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid were expected to appear, but were held up in Washington due to various votes. On Saturday night of the Convention, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the controversial FISA legislation to expand George W. Bush's powers.

2008

Now called Netroots Nation to better reflect the growing influence and membership of the netroots as a whole rather than just Daily Kos, the 2008 convention was held in Austin, Texas from July 17-20.[1] Prominent speakers in 2008 included Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi who was joined on stage by a surprise guest, former Vice President Al Gore.

On Saturday night, Gina Cooper announced the end of her tenure as Director of Netroots Nation.

2009

In 2009, Netroots Nation was held at Pittsburgh's David L. Lawrence Convention Center, on August 13-16. Pittsburgh was chosen in part because it is a leader in LEED Certified green building technology; it has more square footage of green buildings than any other city in the country.[4] Another reason was Pittsburgh's rich labor union history.[5] Prominent speakers included Dean Baker, Anna Burger, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, former Vermont governor and DNC Chairman Howard Dean, Rep. Joe Sestak and Sen. Arlen Specter. The keynote speaker was former US President Bill Clinton[6]. The event captured international headlines when the Democratic Congressional leadership seemingly abandoned the "public option" during the Health Care debate and Howard Dean spoke forcefully that the party would reconsider this issue and not compromise on it. Former President Bill Clinton also made headlines in Pittsburgh when responding to a question shouted at him during his speech, concerning gay rights and the military:[1] President Clinton: ". . . we need a honest principaled debate on all these complex issues . . . Audience Member: "Mr. President will you repeal Don't Ask Don't tell right now?" President Clinton: "You know you should go to one of those Congressional health care meetings . . . if you sit down and let me talk I'll be glad to discuss it if you want to talk about don't ask don't tell I'll tell you exactly what happen." [

Clinton went on to say that the implementation of the policy was not what he envisioned or how it was originally defined and that it was riduculous that $150,000 was spent "to get rid of an Arabic translator" and that 130 service men and women known to be gay were allowed to serve in the first Gulf War "they kicked them out." [2]

Netroots Nation in Second Life

Beginning in 2007, bloggers who also utilize 3-D immersive social networking platform Second Life linked the conference to a virtual world through media streaming and added additional programs. Through this development, the conference is accessible to people who cannot travel.

References

External links

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