Yeah, I know it's called a scholarship program, but "Scholarship Recipients" didn't look good for the title. And scholar isn't a name that applies to all all of these wonderful activists, writers and researchers.
We made it to 30 scholarships! I can't imagine 21 of these good people having to stay home. Thanks so much to DFA and all the many generous donors who made this happen. It takes 30 seconds to get to the happy dance in this YouTube - Picked because I couldn't resist the costumes.
Here's the link to the DFA announcement of the awards. And my own listing and comments below the fold. And, isn't it grand that we weren't limited to just nine of them! Looking forward to seeing you all in Austin a month from now.
And if anyone has a late-breaking registration to donate, you can still contact me. There's some informal Plan B to give extra registrations to Austin-area activists who won't have to worry about plane or hotel reservations to attend. (So it's never too late to donate.)
And thanks to everyone who helped in the scholarship effort. Without your help, there would have only been nine scholarship recipients. A lot of these fine people would have been staying home. This is better, even while I regret that so many good people were passed over. (And boy am I glad I didn't have to make the decisions!) Next year, we'll try to organize earlier and empower a bigger class of awardees. So thanks everyone!
It's been a problem figuring out what order to put this list in. Number of votes is arbitrary. The 50-state strategy says we want to build in neglected areas, and it's no surprise that many of the biggest vote-getters in this contest came from the Northeast. Alphabetical sucks - I came of age in the baby boom, with a last name near the end of the alphabet. I always got sat in the back of the room, and when there weren't enough lockers (or mailboxes when I went to college) it was those of us at the end of the alphabet who ended up on the waiting list. So, that's why you're getting them in reverse alphabetical order.
And because geography was an important consideration in the selections, I lead each entry with state of residence. So, without further ado, meet the DFA Netroots Nation Fellows for 2008:
- Massachusetts: Bruce Wilson (Troutfishing UID# 13363), that extraordinary researcher on the scary dim recesses of the far-right dominionist fundamentalists, will be in Austin.
- Virginia: Mostly we benefit from the wiki-style work of Leutisha Stills without any much recognition for the people who do it. But she has a bold, strong voice, too, and I'm looking forward to hearing it in Austin.
- California: Watch out for Edwin Rutsch (WhatAre Progressive Values, UID# 123925)! Talk to him and you might find yourself on YouTube or some other venue. He is part of an ongoing Progressive Values video project, and is sure to find plenty of material for that in Austin.
- Connecticut: Ned Resnikoff has quite the resumé for an 18-year-old, including a research internship with TPM (Talking Points Memo) and as a communications intern with the Ned Lamont campaign. He was one of the top vote getters in this process, too. This is a young man we can look for great things from in years to come.
- New Mexico: Matthew Reichbach (fbihop, UID# 65476)
- Arizona: Cheryl R is from Tucson. I'll let her application speak for itself: With our Senator being the Republican nominee this year, my city at the center of the immigration debate, and our Pima County Democrats just having won a major, pivotal lawsuit for election integrity and citizen transparency rights, I think I could make a valuable contribution to other attendees too.
- Idaho: Diana Painter is a fairly new Kossack (dianamarie13, UID# 154651), and so not widely known here. She is also head of the College Democrats at Idaho State University in Pocatello, where she has been active on numerous issues. Welcome, Idaho!
- Florida: Kenneth Quinnell is an Democratic Party activist from Tallahassee, FL. He claims to be the best live-blogger in the South, so he might be one to watch for those who aren't attending Netroots Nation convention this year.
- Kansas: Kevin Myles writes for the NAACP. In Wichita. For all the talk of "What's the Matter with Kansas", this man's erudite, informative blog posts exemplify some of the many things right with Kansas.
- Louisiana: Ryan McLeod (DailyKingFish, UID# 120899) founded the Daily Kingfish blog. He's from Baton Rouge, Louisiana - a district which just sent Democrat Don Cayazoux to Congress. A seasoned campaign veteran, he has worked on the ground for the campaigns of Hillary Clinton (NY-Sen), Ned Lamont (CT-Sen) and Stephanie Herseth (SD-AL).
- Michigan: Leona McElevane is a Democratic Party and DFA activist from metropolitan Detroit. Her words, from Michigan Liberal: I strongly advocate that we keep the word "CLUSTERF#CK" and, perhaps, add it to the lexicon for the Michigan Democratic Party (MDP) Executive Committee. I simply love the word itself. I think it is a brilliant word that deserves a place in the Webster's New World College Dictionary. Ideally, it could be placed in the Dictionary somewhere between the word "cluster bomb" and "cluster headache".
- Georgia: Suga Matthews and her six children were displaced from New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina. When she's not out demonstrating to hold FEMA's feet to the fire, she works for US Human Rights Network.
- Massachusetts (& upstate New York): Sahar Massachi is yet another young activist. He's from New York State, where he was involved in Eric Massa'a (NY-29) campaign for Congress. He's a student at Brandeis University now, active in DFA there.
- Democrats Abroad - Japan: Terri MacMillan is a leader in Democrats Abroad in Japan, and a DFA activist who was involved in Howard Dean's 2004 campaign. She'll be wielding a video camera in Austin as a purveyor of podcasts.
- Michigan (& East Los Angeles): Xavier Lopez-Ayala worked together with his mother and grandmother for Hillary Clinton's Presidential campaign in Los Angeles, part of an admirable family tradition of activism. He went on to volunteer in several other states, too, and writes about voting rights for Latinos.
- Mississippi: John Leek, of Cottonmouth blog, was discussed on the FP lately, because of the controversies surrounding the credentialling of bloggers for state delegations for the Denver Convention in August.
- Indiana: Brian Kanowsky is a regional blogger and DFA activist from another emerging swing state - Indiana.
- New York: Robert Harding is a young favorite son of the Albany Project, who mustered lots of support for his application. One of the many young applicants who gives us good hope for the depth of the Democratic bench.
- Arizona: Manuel Guzman (Man Eegee, UID# 39909) is one of the best writers on immigration issues around.
- New Jersey: Jeff Gardner: DFA promised that the highest vote getter was automatic. And anyone who could muster over 200 supporters to vote for him (second place had "only" 125) has demonstrated excellent GOTV abilities.
- Hawaii: There are veteran party activists, and there are veteran party activists. Dorothy Cornell was a volunteer for FDR. Here's a voice that gives us some real live connection with history. From her application: I just checked the DFA Blogs, and they are very good. Blogs that outline an experience (such as what happened somewhere) can advance information that is unobtainable anywhere else. I am profoundly uninterested in blogs that give someone's opinion; I have my own opinions, which I choose to keep until facts are presented. (Hopefully those planning to interview attendees will keep an eye out for her!)
- West Virginia: I've got a happy story: Our very own Ben Carnacki will be with us! He requires no introduction, does he?! (UID# 15886)
- New York (& honorary South Dakota): Betsy Campisi (Betson08, UID# 36004) Betsy Campisi, who has done so much to rally support for the Pretty Bird Woman House, will grace us with her presence. I expect her to spend quite a lot of time time hugging and being surrounded by tears of joy.
- Kansas: Amongst other things, Sarah Burris has a great smile. She's a social networking enthusiast, and writes well about informative topics.
- Missouri: Tammy Booth in her own words: I was an Air Force wife with a front-row seat to the freak-show of god-boys who hijacked the USAF. I am no longer bound by protocol. ... When the time came to step up for the blogosphere, I did so. I filed the legal brief that got the pre-sentencing letters in support of Scooter Libby released to the public. I have a problem with treason. I'm funny that way.
- California: Linnie Frank Bailey calls herself a "blogger on training wheels". Her recent entry into political activism was profiled in the Washington Post. She's a member of the newest cohort of activists, inspired by Barack Obama's candidacy.
- Washington (state): Exme Arden (exmearden, UID# 58816) is one of the favorite writers of the Daily Kos Rescue Rangers, for the sheer poetry of her writing. And of discerning readers at both Daily Kos and Docudharma, where she's an important part of what makes that blogging community special.
- Nevada: Elliot Anderson (DemMarineVet UID# 101934) is another DFA-trained activist, focusing on veteran's issues. He is a Marine vet, enrolled in college: Blogs play an important role in bringing things to light for policy makers and for activists. The traditional media is frankly quite lazy in its reporting and it needs to have some outside help if Democracy is to survive. The traditional media is in a bubble being based in D.C. and part of the same social class as the people they are supposed to be holding accountable. This is a dangerous mix which needs to be helped by blogs.
- Vermont: Liane Allen (mataliandy, UID 16400) is from Vermont, and was in on the ground floor of DFA. She knew who Howard Dean was long before the rest of us.
- California: Jamiah Adams produces web videos for non-profits, as well as working register and mobilize young minority voters.
So, there you have it. Nothing against people who are getting there by other means. And I'm sorry that even more of the terrific applicants couldn't be funded. (I have high hopes for a bigger class next year, when political campaigns haven't been soliciting our money all year.) Nonetheless, this crew is gonna make everyone's time at Netroots Nation in Austin richer and fuller. They might gain a little out of the experience for themselves and their work, too!
And, there's an informal Plan B in place. If anyone must give up their registration at the last minute, there's plans in place to match those up with activists in Austin. There are already several "maybes" on deck, so additional locals from Austin are likely to get in the door before this is over. And please zip me an email (username landenchantment, gmail account) if you find yourself with a spare registration needing a home.
Thanks everyone. And congratulations to the scholarship recipients!