This year, I took a chance: I brought a whole bunch of new people to Netroots Nation. Two of my best buddies, Ron and Larry, are Democrats from Boulder, Colorado, with traditional organizing backgrounds. Ron, especially, has a fine mind of organizing and was once the Senate Minority Leader in Colorado. Larry has a fine mind for the law and has served as the Boulder County Attorney as well as a leader in the bar association’s gay rights section. How did it go?
I mostly wanted to share with them an event that has come to mean so much to me – wanted them to appreciate the hard work we put into rallying the troops every year, wanted them to be inspired as I have been.
Another friend, also named Ron (and also a former State Senator from Colorado) traveled to Netroots Nation at my suggestion and urging. He’s in a graduate program in new media and politics and I wanted him get a sense of all the great training on technology that is on offer at NN.
Finally, I added in my two teenaged children – maybe you saw them pitching in to haul this here and deliver that there.
I’m happy to report that all 5 of these people got what they came for. Ron and Larry found the panels exciting (especially the appearances by Dolores Huerta and Rep. Luis Gutierrez on the Immigration Keynote). They also were very impressed by the no-nonsense spirit of Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner of MomsRising at the Climate Change Panel. The other Ron took advantage of several trainings – I expect him to be an avid tweeter in the very near future.
And my kids showed their colors (orange and slate blue) as first class volunteers. Zoe helped with table set-up before the Sierra Club Lunch and before the Ignite! Keynote, made several runs for office supplies. Teddy was reliable and helpful to Chris and Dan, the audio guys from 5 Steps Forward.
I can safely say that all 5 of my “guests” were impressed (is that the right word?) with the Chairman’s Pub Quiz. Who could really say, “Oh sure, I expected bagpipes.”
And so as we close the books on another Netroots Nation, I’m satisfied too for having introduced this fantastic event to some new people. Maybe you’d do the same? Detroit will be fantastic. You’ll enjoy it (again) and I’m betting your friends will, too.