The Netroots Nation Convention is over and I am headed to New Hampshire. I am so eager to see my babies!
While I had a fabulous time, it was different in that I did not have the kids and did not attend as many panel discussions since I have already been to the conference four times. I do, though, still get a thrill to listen to the keynote addresses and meet politicians like New Hampshire’s Rep. Carol Shea-Porter. (See photo above.) She participated in an on-stage discussion with Florida Rep. Alan Grayson and Pennsylvania Rep. Patrick Murphy. They discussed the legislative process, a few key issues like earmarks and the bank bailout, and how to “make change happen.” I especially liked this quote by Shea-Porter: “Democracy is not a spectator sport. Every single one of us has to be a part of it.”
Afterwards I phone-banked very briefly for healthcare reform. I encouraged people in Pittsburgh to attend a townhall meeting on Saturday and to call their member of Congress. By the way, if you want to get involved somehow whether it is phonebanking or attending a meeting, sign up at the Organizing for America website.
I hit the party scene on Friday and Saturday nights. On Friday night, I attended this outdoor MoveOn.org block party with live band and DJ. I caught up with MomsRising’s Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner and eventually Joanne Bamberger aka PunditMom:
Funny story: I was wearing these cute gold stilettos and literally was standing up in them for hours. Halfway through the night, Kristin took one for the team and swapped shoes with me. I wore her comfy — although still cute — black low-heeled shoes. She walked around with my gold stilettos for at least an hour. While my husband pokes fun at me about the “crazy shoes,” I like to point out that Kristin received many compliments for them. Hey, no pain, no gain.
On Saturday morning, I got up for Valerie Jarrett’s Q&A with moderator Baratunde Thurston. Jarrett is Obama’s advisor and as Thurston joked the “mayor-in-chief of Chicago.” She has I don’t know how many job titles and sits or used to sit on a zillion boards in Chicago.
She was warm and personable and did not back down even from questions by hecklers. But she did stay on message and did not say anything at odds with the president, or at least anything that could be construed as “controversial.” She conveyed the president’s support for a public option in the healthcare reform plan and said he, too, shared our frustration and urgency at the way the public debate was going. She enlisted the help of everyone in the room to help convey the president’s plan to the public. Overall, she received a lot of enthusiastic applause.
Personally, I felt assured that the president I voted for stands for the issues he compaigned on. He just needs more than 6 months to tackle them all.
Did any of you catch the Valerie Jarrett keynote? What did you think? What was your favorite part of NN this year?