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Hey there Kos family...long time no talk! I know i haven't posted much the last few years...been awfully busy with the career that was born right here on Daily Kos but with all the controversy a brewin about next year's Netroots Nation I figured as a born and bred Arizona Wildcat it's time for me to come home.

But first: obligatory pootie pic

Meet Cactus Pootie :)

So pull up a white russian...gather round ye pooties (and woozles and humans) and let me tell you a little about me (for those who don't know me) and why I am 1000% in the let's go to Phoenix camp while respecting those who won't go .

I was born in Ft. Huachuca, the army base in southwest Arizona orginally built to "protect" Tucson from Geronimo.  Then we moved to Tucson where I lived all through the first 24 years of my life.  (Important note: I am a Wildcat..I HATE the Sun Devils so I'd rather we go to Tucson but Phoenix will suffice :)

I got my start in my current career after blogging here at GOS...mostly about pooties and soups.  My first posts were in the kiddie pool known as Cheers and Jeers.  And through that I found family...I found a place where people just like me and totally different than me all gathered round to talk about how we make this world a better place to live.

Then I went to Netroots Nation 2009 in Pittsburgh.  It's no exaggeration that those 2 days changed my life.  Slowly, I found myself transitioning from "pootie blogger" to "professional left".  I soon found myself moving from PA to IL and now live in Silver Spring, MD.  In fact I can see DC from my balcony!

And every year I have not so subtley, in private conversations, begged my friends who work for Netroots Nation to come to Arizona.

Then SB 1070 passed and I again asked. Then I packed my shoes and went wherever Netroots Nation was...Vegas, Minneapolis, Providence, San Jose, Detroit.

Now I'm going home.  HOME. To a place so beautiful that I totally get why 1000s of snowbirds clog the roads in the winter.  To a place under attack from within by the grotesqueness that is the AZ GOP.

Let me be clear. I understand why people don't want to go.  I respect them for taking a stand and not going.  I bear them no ill will and cringe at the potential for inner circle firing squad bs when there's work to be done.

I also strongly believe that we need to go there.  Here are my reasons and here is what I am prepared to do to make sure this isn't just an exercise in meaningless conventioneering.

(here have a Scooby Pootie as a reward for reading this far)

Scooby Doo
Arizona Progressives need to know that they are not alone.  I've done trainings all over the world and never have I walked into a room that dripped in desperation and isolation than the training done in AZ.  These are activists who have dedicated themselves to the same fight we all fight...many of them at great personal risk.  In general, the AZ Dem Party itself ignores them.  The national organizations give them lip service.  
But they fight on
So we need to go to Arizona to meet them, to show them we have their backs and to learn first hand how we can help.  Groups like LUCHA who does amazing work organizing people to get Arpaio out of office, pass a higher minimum wage and more.  These people need to know they aren't alone.

Also, Arpaio and Brewer and friends aren't all there is in Arizona.  Arizona is home to some true progressive champions like Rep. Raul Grijalva and future Rep. Ruben Gallego.  And their ranks are growing...daily.  Someone told me the other day that a group in the Phoenix area registered over 40,000 new voters in recent months.  But they need more training....they need to connect with others who can help.  We, Netroots Nation attendees can help.

Many have said something about not wanting to put money into the economy there.  I get that.  So I am already compiling a list of what I call "friendly" and "not friendly" businesses that will be distributed to attendees to help make sure that whatever economic contribution we make will go to people who need it and deserve it.  (If you live in the area and want to help, message me here on Kos!)

Did I mention there will be

That's right...the day before NN I will be leading the first ever Netroots Nation Shoe Crawl to my favorite Shoe Mecca ever...Last Chance where the shoes are bountiful and the prices beyond reasonable.

And of course there will be margaritas...we may even have to invent a white russian margarita....who knows?  But to find out you need to be there!

To my family who won't be there: I understand and still love you. But I beg you to think carefully and make the decision that is right for you.

To Phoenix and beyond... that's how we win.

Originally posted to Spedwybabs on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 12:53 PM PDT.

Also republished by Baja Arizona Kossacks and PWB Peeps.


My favorite Arizona sports team is

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