Netroots Nation

When They Say "We Want Our America Back", What The F#@k Do They Mean?
Jill Sobule
When They Say "We Want Our America Back", What The F#@k Do They Mean?

Jill Sobule: When They Say “We Want Our America Back”, What The F#@k Do They Mean?

I wrote this song at the Netroots shindig for The Freedom From Fear Awards – “a new national award that honors 15 ordinary people who have committed extraordinary acts of courage on behalf of immigrants and refugees – individuals who have taken a risk, set an example, and inspired others to awareness or action. The award honors unsung heroes who are not professional advocates.”

In deciding what to write, I thought I would include an anti-immigrant history with the still befuddling question I have for the Tea Party folk.

You can listen to the song here, and the lyrics [here].


Andrew Breitbart, at Netroots Nation, confronted with tough questions (racism, prostitutes, cocaine, Oh My!) - @TheYoungTurks
Why Hillary Clinton and her rivals are struggling to grasp Black Lives Matter
Strained interactions and attempts to appease the burgeoning activist group demonstrate how a new force on the left has disrupted traditional politics and created challenges for Democrats.

The rise of Black Lives Matter has presented opportunities for Clinton and her opponents, who are seeking to energize black voters to build on the multiethnic coalitions that twice elected Barack Obama. But the candidates have struggled to tap into a movement that has proven itself to be unpredictable and fiercely independent. It is a largely organic web of young African American activists — many of them unbound by partisan allegiances and largely unaffiliated with establishment groups such as the NAACP that typically forge close ties with Democrats.

At Netroots Nation, the two candidates, who are attempting to challenge Clinton from the left, might have expected to receive a warm welcome. Instead, they seemed to wilt under the questions of protesters, who stormed the space around the stage and recited the names of blacks killed during confrontations with police.

The episode has been seen by many liberal activists as an embarrassment for the two candidates, who appeared surprisingly ill-prepared to respond to questions many thought they should have expected.

Sanders threatened to leave the stage as protesters demanded that he repeat the name of Sandra Bland, a black woman who died in a Texas jail cell earlier this month. Then he canceled a series of meetings he had scheduled with some of the activists following his appearance — something they found out only when campaign manager Jeff Weaver showed up in Sanders’s stead.

O’Malley responded by telling the protesters, “Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter” — a statement that struck the demonstrators as dismissive of their movement and the unique discrimination endured by African Americans at the hands of the police.

Remember how everyone was disappointed with Bernie for not taking a strong stance on Black Lives Matter at the Netroots Nation conference a few weeks ago? Well, he listened to what the activists had to say and has recently added some content to his usual spiel. I can not stress enough how important it is to have politicians that listen to the concerns of grassroots movements. It is the foundation of democracy that politicians represent the people. Bernie gives me hope that we the people do have a voice.

I am the black woman who interrupted the presidential town hall. This is why I did it.

I am Tia Oso, the black woman who took to the stage and demanded a microphone on July 18 at the Netroots Nation Presidential Town Hall in Phoenix, Arizona. I did this to focus the attention of the nation’s largest gathering of progressive leaders and presidential hopefuls on the death of Sandra Bland and other black women killed while in police custody. This is an emergency.
After Marriage Equality, Are Transgender People 'Going To Be Left In The Lurch'?

“I think the fear of a lot of transgender people is that we recognize that we’re very close to accomplishing the tent poles of our community’s work,” she commented. “I think a lot of trans people are beginning to feel like, when those issues are off the table, most of the rest of the issues are our issues. Are our allies — whether they be movement allies and organizations, political allies, people in elected office — are they going to move on to the next big thing? Are we going to be left in the lurch here? I think those are legitimate fears. I’m doing a lot of thinking these days about what the movement looks like after marriage equality. It would be really, really interesting to ask some people who may be considering a run for the big job, ‘What do you think? What are the big issues that impact LGBT people? What are you going to be doing for LGBT people once marriage equality is something in the history books?’"

An Open Letter to Elizabeth Warren Regarding the Marginalization of Reproductive Rights at Netroots Nation

Netroots Nation 2015
100 N 3rd Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004

July 18, 2015

Sen. Elizabeth Warren
2400 JFK Federal Building
15 New Sudbury Street
Boston, MA 02230

Dear Senator Warren,

We the undersigned attendees of Netroots Nation 2015 are writing to express our disappointment and frustration with your failure to include a single mention of reproductive health and rights in your keynote speech.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, states enacted 51 new abortion restrictions in the first half of this year, which brings the total number of restrictions to 282 since 2010. It is a mistake to exclude this crisis from the concerns of the broader progressive movement, especially when reproductive freedom is a basic economic issue for half of the population.

When you are addressing Netroots, you are in a room full of activists from states like Missouri, where women have to wait 72 hours to access abortion. You are being live-streamed from states like Mississippi, where women are fighting tooth and nail to keep their lone clinic open. Women all over the country are being disrespected, called immoral, and talked down to like they are children for having the audacity to say they stand with the majority of Americans who support the right to abortion. 

When you stand up in front of progressives and detail all of the ways that progressive values are mainstream American values and fail to include abortion, you are reinforcing the white male dominance that still holds power in conferences like these.

We activists and advocates are not here to get out your votes, throw the largest parties at Netroots, and then keep applauding as you lay out a broader agenda without us. 

We look forward to hearing you speak authentically on how progressive values include the right to abortion when you address Netroots Nation in St. Louis in 2016. 


Mary Alice Carter
Christina Crisostomo
Emily Crockett
Heather Cronk
Helene de Boissiere
Rebecca Farmer
Johanna Fernandez
Jaclyn Friedman
Gabriel Garcia-Vera
Melissa Green
Paris Hatcher
Katie Hegarty
Norma Jimenez
H Kapp-Klote
Katie Klabusich
Regina Mahone
Erin Matson
Anne Mattson
Pamela Merritt
Tara Murtha
Sean Nicholson
Benjamin O’Keefe
Hemly Ordonez
Rachel Perrone
Dana Rasso
Kelley Robinson
Roger Rosen
Robert Jay Ross
Hannah Elyse Simpson
Kaori Sueyoshi
Robyn Swirling
Jos Truitt

Bernie Sanders’ disgusting new campaign policy

I’ve talked a lot about Bernie Sanders this weekend and how I feel he hasn’t been taking the black liberation movement seriously enough. 

A lot of people have disagree with me. Some of them have mentioned that he just hired a black woman (Symone Sanders) to be his National Press Secretary. 

So after the disruption at Netroots Nation and Saturday’s disruption in Seattle and his new hire, what has Bernie learned?


At the start of his rally in Portland tonight, Symone Sanders spoke to the crowd and warned them that protesters might cause another disruption. She said that if this happened, the new policy of the Sanders campaign is that she wanted the crowd to drown out what the protesters were saying by chanting, “We stand together!” over and over until the protesters stopped talking. 


Not only has he chosen to not listen to these voices, he has chosen to patronize them. 

This is NOT what a partner in struggle does. This is insulting and offensive. How dare he?!

It’s like he’s patting a child on the head and saying, “What’re you crying for?” 

I am so glad that I did not give in to the criticism I was getting before for not accepting that Bernie was already a proven partner in liberation work. Fuck that! Actions speak louder than words and louder that policy platforms. This shows Bernie’s true feelings, and I am disappointed. 

The protests must continue! He is clearly not hearing the message!


Here’s just a few of the shots I got today during the Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley Town Hall at Netroots Nation.

The discussion was hijacked during O'Malley’s Q&A by BlackLivesMatter protesters demanding answers about the candidates’ plans to end systematic injustice.

I don’t know the names of the individuals in the candids so if you do let me know!


Elizabeth Warren just brought down the house at the Netroots Nation conference – and she challenged presidential candidates to reduce Wall Street influence in government.

I'm a Feminist Democrat Texan Activist, and I Need Your Help to Get to Netroots Nation!

Hey y’all! Genevieve here. I’m running for a scholarship to Netroots Nation, where I”ll learn more about best practices for organizing our netroots here in Texas to advance reproductive justice and get out the vote for candidates like Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte.

I’m an Annie’s List campaign school grad, I’ve worked for three pro-choice lady Democratic candidates, and two pro-choice women (also Democrats) in the House of Representatives. I also blog for Burnt Orange Report, where I’m a Reproductive Justice and Women’s Health Staff Writer.

YOU CAN HELP ME GET TO NETROOTS NATION! It takes one minute to vote, and less than a minute to share this with your friends. So #VoteCato here: and then tell EVERYONE YOU KNOW!


This Post is CampaignSick approved! Y’all help FOCS Genevieve get to Netroots!

Netroots Bound!

So I’m venturing out of California for the next two days to do a training session on community management at Netroots Nation.

Netroots Nation is a progressive, non-profitty, do-gooder conference and this is my first time attending. I’m not only stoked to present with two of my friends, but getting to see a good chunk of my DC friends too as this is a DC-heavy conference….in Minnesota!

Each day at work is getting better now that I’m on a team. I’m feeling less like new kid and getting more acclimated. I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop out here in terms of a “bad day” but I’m finding myself enjoying every minute of everything I’m doing out here.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about relationships and how I don’t want to be in one again for at least a year. I’m not putting a hard time table on things, but I really need to be in an exclusive relationship with Adam. I’m sure I’ll date and continue to do so to meet new people but even the concept of dating is new to me. My friend Karl Frisch once said to me that dating is awesome because you get to meet lots of people and figure out what you like. That’s really what it’s about for me. When I used to be in pain from a broken heart, I’d find someone else and that would help me move on. That works for some people but not for me. The most recent broken heart taught me a lot. As did driving across the country alone (a concept which still seems to impress people but that’s a different story).

As I drove I processed my whole life and found myself so much more comfortable with being “single and 30” than I ever was before. This year is about listening to Adam to get involved in the things I enjoy and like. I’m kinda digging the whole “find a random event in San Francisco and show up alone” thing, too. It’s scary going into a room alone without knowing anyone. My friend Lauren (who also just moved here) told me she would never do that sort of thing on the east coast. Here, we both do it, because it’s almost as if the fear and uncertainty drives us. I’m happy to report that while I’m meeting people out here, I’m still balancing old friendships both in SF and elsewhere. I wasn’t always good at that. I realize now how much time I used to spend worrying about how I appeared to others. So I’d never say “no” and I’d worry all the time if I upset someone. Now I let it roll.

My aunt told me something before I left. She said as much as it sucks to hear, no one in the world owes you anything and really will always have your back except for you.

It’ll be interesting to see my DC friends and observe how I am around them. I am working hard to have my own back and not need anyone else’s, but I still love being around people. I know it sounds mildly selfish but that’s really not the intention - at least not maliciously.

This conference will be a lot of fun and will no doubt get me thinking about what I miss about DC. But this is life. This is how it rolls.

I will also say though - I’ve been beyond impressed with how hard my east coast friends work to keep in touch with me. Whether they’re in Annapolis, Philly, NYC, or DC. They rule. I only hope I’m holding up my end as well.

Ok here goes 9 hours of airports!


Lawrence O'Donnell On Netroots Nation

To continue with the #YOLO theme I’ve designated for myself this summer, I agreed to emcee the Advocates for Youth #NN13 Welcome Reception! This will be interesting to witness, suffice to say. Come if you’ll be around!


LGBT Netroots Nation - It Gets Better

Watch on

He’s just not that into you.

This is an interesting report, in spite of the mainstream media’s never-missed opportunity for false equivalence at the very end. The liberal blogosphere’s reality-based, and the right-wing one flies off on looney conspiracist tangents that fuel political violence.