Greetings from Redmond... it's been wonderful these last couple of days to see that many familiar screen names have made the jump to Daily Kos 4, and are already making use of new features, particularly groups.
Since we've all been invited to kick in the tires, I thought it would make sense to write a diary summarizing what the team at the Northwest Progressive Institute (NPI) has been up to lately.
If you're not familiar with NPI, think of us as like a Swiss Army knife for the progressive movement in the Pacific Northwest.
We do media, we do research, we do outreach, we do strategy. In fact, we call ourselves a netroots-powered strategy center. Our mission is to raise America's quality of life... and we carry out that mission through innovative research and imaginative advocacy.
NPI came into being on August 22nd, 2003, and is based in Redmond, Washington (the real Washington!). We incorporated in 2005, and formed our board of directors last year.
Our major projects are Permanent Defense (which fights right wing initiatives, particularly those filed by Tim Eyman), The NPI Advocate (our blog, where we chronicle our perspective on world, national, and local politics) In Brief (our microblog, where we post everything that doesn't fit on The Advocate or is too short for a long post) and Pacific NW Portal (our gateway to the rest of the local blogosphere).
We've recently begun a new project, which brings me to my first news item.
- If you're somebody who's interested in following legislation at the state level, but you're not familiar with the priority bills that are out there, then the Olympia Newsriver is for you. It's a bill tracker which makes bill following easy. Bills are sorted into categories, and updates (or action items) for them are posted in reverse chronological order automatically. The Newsriver also has a Morning Rundown on weekdays of bill-related blog posts from local blogs.
- If you live in western Washington and would like to learn more about our work, we cordially invite you to join us at our third Spring Fundraising Gala on Thursday, April 28th, 2011. We just finalized the date last week. The event will be happening at the Community Center at Mercer View... a modern, beautiful gathering place with free Wi-Fi, easy transit access, and ample parking. We'll be announcing our speaking lineup in the coming weeks. If you'd like to guarantee yourself a seat at the early-bird rate, you can buy an individual or household ticket from our site.
- On Sunday, Permanent Defense (NPI's oldest project, which I began on February 13th, 2002) turned nine. It's a big milestone since it means we're only a year away from a decade of existence. I chronicled my thoughts on the occasion for the NPI Advocate, and also penned a message to our supporters and followers recapping the last year, as I do annually. Those posts are good places to start if you're not familiar with NPI but want to learn about how we came to be.
- Also on Sunday, Permanent Defense launched a Rapid Response team to better counter the misinformation propagated by the likes of Tim Eyman. The Rapid Response team is for activists who only have so much time to spare due to family and work obligations, but want to contribute to fighting Eyman and protecting Washington's common wealth from his harmful schemes. Team members receive occasional alerts letting them know about editorials, columns, or Internet postings that need responding to. You can sign up for the team at Permanent Defense's website.
That about covers the most important things we've been working on.
One last item: We're social! If you're on Twitter, please follow us. If you're on Facebook, please become a fan (and RSVP to our Spring Fundraising Gala on April 28th!)
I'll try to stick around to answer any questions about our work that come up in the comments.