2014 Progressive Summit Preview

harrisburg-hiltonBuckle your seatbelts, progressives. It’s an action-packed weekend planned at the Harrisburg Hilton. The schedule comes from Keystone Progressive’s website.

Friday, February 28

9:00am: Progressive Change Campaign Committee- Campaign School

Last year, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee launched its P100 Training Program to teach activists how to run smart, competent campaigns from Day One. On Friday, February 28th, we’re bringing our one-day field training to Pennsylvania to kick off Keystone Progress’s 5th annual Progressive Summit.

The training will begin at 10am and conclude at 5pm in the Capitol Room on 400 North Third Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101. Lunch is provided.

12:00-4:00pm: Integrating Foreign Policy into the Labor Movement (a planning discussion)

This is an invitation-only discussion with labor leaders and people working on foreign policy issues, especially war/peace. This is a private, invitation-only session.

3:00-5:00pm: Screening of Gasland II

Screening of Gasland II, Josh Fox’s follow-up to his award-winning Gasland. See the trailer here: http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/

4:00-6:00pm: Progressive Summit Pregame with Rep. Erin Molchany
Host: $1000 Co-Host: $500 Supporter: $250
Friend: $100 Young Progressive: $36
R.S.V.P. to Kate Abel at (412) 760-8778 or by email at kate.f.abel@gmail.com

Speakers
Jim Dean
Chair, Democracy for America

Presenters
Rep. Erin Molchany
Rep. Brian Sims
State Representative, House of Representatives
Civil Rights, Equality, Justice

6:00pm: Gubernatorial Debate

Come to hear the candidates for governor answer questions from progressive leaders–and you! Debate-only tickets for people not attending the Summit can be obtained here for $20.

Candidates who have confirmed attendance:
John Hanger
Jo Ellen Litz
Katie McGinty
Rob McCord
Allyson Schwartz
Tom Wolf

8:00pm: Keystone Progress Fundraiser

Drinks and appetizers with Jim Hightower and Gubernatorial Candidates (invited). $100 donation toward the work of Keystone Progress to build a Progressive Pennsylvania. Admission to the fundraiser is not included in the Summit registration.

9:30pm – 11:00pm: Have a Drink with Daylin Leach

Open House

Jim Dean from DFA will be the guest speaker.

Molly Brannigans
2nd and Walnut

Presenters
Sen. Daylin Leach

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Selection of workshops, beginning at 11am

Proactive Messaging in 2014: Issue-based Communications Strategies to Advance the Progressive Agenda

There’s a reason why politicians love to use anecdotes and personal stories in their speeches – they work. More than overwhelming with statistics or inundating with policy wonk talk, progressives need to win with a clear narrative about how our ideas work for working class Americans. 2014 will be a tough off-year election for progressive activists and candidates – come talk through what issues are resonating with the electorate and learn how to seize the opportunities, flip the narrative and win. The enthusiasm gap will exist only insomuch as we allow it to exist, but the work begins now.

Shaping a Progressive Global Vision for the 21st Century

In a fully globalized world, foreign and domestic policy cross over frequently. Problems as varied as global labor and women’s’ rights, a sustainable environment, Middle East peace, and 21st Century civil liberties all demand US leadership by diplomacy and cooperation, not led by military intervention. A progressive worldview will give our movement new tools for the foreign and domestic challenges we increasingly face – critical needs as we go into the 2016 Presidential election and the future. This session will be part of a national project to begin rebuilding this constituency in our movement.

The Road to a Progressive Pennsylvania is Through the Budget

This workshop suggests a values-driven approach to the annual state budget — one that replaces the old paradigm of constraining government spending by revenues (minimizing cost) with one that lets needs dictate revenue requirements (maximizing well-being). The progressive budget analysis includes short-term and long-term budget reduction proposals that will result in real economic growth and the empowerment of workers and families.

Kiss of Death: Why the “Financial Recovery Act” is a Disaster for Struggling School Districts

In 2012, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed a law to address the conditions in school districts facing severe financial distress. Several districts in the Commonwealth are currently operating under a “financial recovery plan” that does little to help and much to hurt students who need help the most. Learn about the Financial Recovery Act, fund balances and “CROs,” as well as actionable alternatives to this disastrous policy.

Climate Change: Causes, Effects, and Counteractions

Climate change is a fact – we see it on the ground with increasingly extreme weather – and we can’t wait a moment longer to cut the pollution that causes it. President Obama has proposed the first ever limits on global warming pollution from new and existing power plants — the largest source of this pollution in Pennsylvania – and at the state level, efforts are moving to keep Pennsylvania the national energy leader by shifting towards renewable energy and energy efficiency. Speakers will discuss what the new limits will mean for Pennsylvania, how Pennsylvania can have a “just transition” to keep people in good-paying jobs, and how you can get involved.

Obamacare: The Most Critical Health Reform Fight is Still To Come: Securing Coverage for Vulnerable Pennsylvanians

Progressives organized and won historic health reform four years ago, and since then, millions of Pennsylvanians have benefited from Obamacare. A ruling by the Supreme Court, however, made a critical component – Medicaid expansion – optional. Pennsylvania remains the only state in our region that has not yet taken this option, leaving hundreds of thousands without coverage. To make matters worse, the Corbett Administration has proposed the so-called Healthy PA plan that will gut the safety net for our seniors, children, and people with disabilities. It’s up to Pennsylvania’s progressives to lead the fight to protect our current Medicaid program and expand coverage for the uninsured. This workshop will talk participants through the current landscape and invite them to contribute to a winning campaign strategy.

Commonsense Gun Violence Prevention

Organizing for Equality: Advancing Rights for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pennsylvanians in 2014

Support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality in Pennsylvania has never been higher. Nearly 70% of Pennsylvanians believe that no one should be fired, evicted, or denied services because they are a member of the LGBT community — and over 50% support marriage equality. We know 2014 can be a big year for advancing LGBT equality in the Commonwealth, but only if we organize in every part of the state like never before. Learn how we got to this level of unprecedented support, what’s happening in the state legislature and the courts on nondiscrimination and marriage equality — and what you can do to increase support and advance LGBT rights in our state this year.

The Progressive Economic Narrative: Using Story to Organize Around Shared Goals

The Progressive Economic Narrative is a unique opportunity to bring a wide variety of progressive efforts together around a meaningful, shared goal. It’s a powerful story that, when told consistently through words and actions, helps progressives empower the disappearing middle class and revitalize the American Dream. Presenters will review the five planks of the narrative and demonstrate how to use it in organizing and communications.

12:15pm: Lt. Governor Debate

Come to hear the candidates for Lieutenant Governor answer questions from progressive leaders–and you! All candidates for Lt. Governor have been invited, regardless of party; we’ve listed those who are confirmed.

1:45pmSelection of workshops

The Privatization Strategy: It’s Not in the Public Interest

State liquor stores, education, the lottery, prisons — will it ever end? Learn who is driving privatization, and why it often threatens the quality and raises the cost of public services. And find out how advocates for quality public services are going on the offensive, pushing for standards to block privatization that turns good jobs into bad or undermines the public good.

What the Trans-Pacific Partnership Means to Pennsylvania and the U.S.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, which includes the U.S. and twelve countries in teh Pacific Rim, has been in secret negotiations since 2009. Health advocates, environmentalists, Internet activists and trade unions worldwide have deep concerns about what the deal might contain. The few chapters that have been leaded, including those regarding investment and the environment, indicate there is a lot to be concerned about. Learn what this massive trade deal might mean to Pennsylvania and the U.S.

Why Billionaires Won’t Let You Retire: Social Security, Medicare, and Aging with Dignity

From attempts to privatize Social Security, to attacks on public employee pensions, to a constant shift in the private sector to “individual responsibility” via 401Ks, some of us are starting to feel like billionaires want us to work till we die. Join us to talk about how you can defend your ability to retire, no matter what industry you work in.

Taxes, Toxins, and the Death of Democracy: How Act 13 and Act 38 Allow the State to Use Your Tax Dollars to Sue Pennsylvania Communities

Pennsylvania’s Act 38 (the ACRE Law) interferes with local control over the impacts of toxic industrial activity, and authorizes the PA Attorney General to use your tax dollars to file legal action if your community says “no” to factory farming or land applied sewage sludge. Act 13 similarly attempted to preempt local zoning authority over gas and oil operations, but in an historic victory, the PA Supreme Court declared those zoning provisions unconstitutional — giving new life to the Environmental Rights Amendment of the Pennsylvania Constitution. Learn about the implications of this landmark victory on the ACRE law, our health, food and water supply, and our democracy.

Putting an End to Pennsylvania’s Death Penalty

Since 1973, 143 people have been exonerated after being sentenced to death, six of them in Pennsylvania. The capital punishment system is not the deterrent it purports to be and its application is arbitrary, skewed against racial minorities and the economically disadvantaged. It is also wasteful and expensive, with capital cases costing three times as those not tried capitally. The process continually reopens the wounds of murder victims’ family members, preventing closure. Over the past six years, six states have abolished it — but not Pennsylvania. With a government study underway, progressives must take the lead on abolition.

Why 39th? Electing Women to Public Office in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s General Assembly ranks 39th in the nation in the percentage of women holding office. This panel discussion will address how we got into this situation and what we can do to increase the number of women running for, and winning elected office in the Commonwealth.

Getting the Most from Democracy: linking issue work to elections

Are you tired of ‘starting from scratch’ every election cycle or when a new hot issue needs attention? In this session we will discuss the connection between winning issue work by using elections to inform voters which officials support your cause and turning specific constituencies out to vote. Having representation that believes in your core values is a tremendous leg up in continued issue campaigns. We will share best practices, model campaign plans, and lessons learned from past cycles.

The End of Dark Money: What Disclosure Would Mean in Pennsylvania

Right-wing obstructionism in Congress has blocked legislation to force groups that accept and spend “dark money” for political attacks to disclose their sources. But supporters of transparency have another avenue for meaningful disclosure: the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Panelists will discuss how corporate dark money has affected Pennsylvania elections and how the SEC can prohibit corporations from using working Americans’ nest eggs as a dark money war chest. Learn how collaboration among unlikely bedfellows is making this campaign winnable in the near term – and how you can help.

The State Policy Network

The State Policy Network (SPN) is part of a vast right wing infrastructure that includes ALEC bills, unaccountable Koch family money and other mystery funds. Learn about SPN’s profoundly negative impact on Pennsylvania over the last two decades – and what progressive activists can do to counter its conservative attacks on public education, labor, environmental regulation, progressive taxation, reproductive rights, voting rights, and other policy issues.

3:00pm Coffee Break- Sponsored by Val Arkoosh for Congress

3:30pm: Selection of workshops

Dismantling Democracy: How Gerrymandering has Stolen Your Voice and Undermined Our Political System

Our elections have become irrelevant. In Pennsylvania, 90,000 more citizens voted to elect Democrats to represent them in Washington than Republicans. Yet Pennsylvanians are represented in Congress by 13 Republicans and only 5 Democrats. Senator Daylin Leach explores the reasons why your vote no longer matters; why Congress can’t get anything done; why there is no incentive for legislators to be reasonable; and how a political minority has undermined the fundamental principles of our Democracy.

Meet the Press

What impact do factors such as bottom lines and corporate ownership have on the types of stories that get covered in the press? How do social media and slimmer budgets affect the quality of investigative journalism in Pennsylvania? Why do some stories have more staying power than others? How do reporters view their role in shaping political landscape of our state? How do they strike a balance between getting at the truth and maintaining access? Join moderator John Micek for a self-reflective conversation with his press corps colleagues.

This is a must attend session. Yours truly will be sitting on this panel along with Keystone Politics’ Jon Geeting.

The Crumbling Tower and the Growing Wall of Student Debt

This session offers a close look at our disintegrating system of higher education and the explosion of student loan debt caused by government disinvestment in public education, the flood of corporate money and values, and the deprofessionalization of faculty. The panel will address such questions as: What happened to our free and low-cost public universities? Why have our university professors been turned into migrant, low-wage workers and our student into debtors? Learn about the economic and social impacts of the crisis and what progressives can do to reverse these trends.

What’s All This About Shale Gas? Impacts, Regulation, and Activism I

This blockbuster two-part session will explore the full story of shale gas in Pennsylvania – a story so big and interconnected we couldn’t fit it into just one session! Learn what shale gas extraction and development is doing to Pennsylvania’s environment and natural assets. Experts will also discuss the health effects of fracking and the burdens being placed on impacted communities. Part 1 includes:
• The rapidly growing activism movement
• Detrimental impacts of shale gas development on air and water quality
• Emerging evidence of health impacts and the burdens placed on impacted communities

Reclaiming Women’s Health: A Strategic Plan for 2014

It’s time for a new conversation about reproductive health care – one that truly reflects how Americans feel and doesn’t box them into pre-existing categories such as “prochoice” or “prolife.” New research by Planned Parenthood points the way. This session will also explore the Pennsylvania Agenda for Women’s Health, recently introduced by the Women’s Health Caucus. Learn how advocates and elected officials can work together to ensure that the phrase “women’s health” doesn’t mean restrictions on abortion, but rather a set of policies that truly advances women’s economic, personal and family well-being.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform: What it Means for Pennsylvania

Comprehensive immigration reform is an issue that affects all Pennsylvanians — everyone from immigrants, migrants, refugees and other new Americans living in Pennsylvania to policy makers, public officials, and the general public. This workshop will address our efforts to advance immigrants’ rights and to promote their full integration into society by advocating for fair policies that welcome and sustain immigrants

Relational Organizing: Going Deeper for Lasting Power in Your Community

The skills required to mobilize people are different from those needed to get them to work together strategically and establish a powerful, sustainable base. This session will focus on organizing for long-term change in the suburbs. What challenges can we expect? How do we move from mobilizing, which is essential — to organizing, which is the goal? Hear from professional organizers and local volunteers on how to make this change in your community.

Getting Campaigns off the Ground: How to Move from Activist to Candidate to Office-holder

Learn how to run for office — or assist others who are — from leading experts in campaign finance and election law, fundraising, and political strategy. Topics include deciding to run for office (and deciding which office), forming a campaign committee, developing a fundraising plan, and obtaining the signatures to place the candidate’s name on the ballot. Participants will leave inspired, empowered, and with a realistic sense of what it takes to make the transition from activist to candidate and office-holder.

Lobbying from the Legislators’ Point of View

Back by popular demand! Lobbying is one of the best ways for engaged citizens to communicate with their elected officials. Learn directly from legislators about what works, what doesn’t (hint: asking them to do something that will cost them votes), and the most effective ways to make your voice heard.

4:00pm: Sen. Kaine Roundtable and Reception Fundraiser

Fundraiser for Sen. Tim Kaine, hosted by Scott Cooper and Ritchie Tabachnick.

4:00- 5:00 Roundtable Discussion Suggested Contribution
Host $5,200 ● Co-host $2,600 ● Sponsor $1,000 ● Guest: $500
5:00- 6:00 General Reception Suggested Contribution
$250 ● $100 ● $50

5:00pm: Selection of workshops

Progressive Economic Development: How York is Getting it Right

For the first time in a century, America’s largest cities are growing faster than their suburbs. Results range from the revitalization of declining neighborhoods to transit investment to disaffection among suburbanites with long commutes and rising gasoline prices. Sound economic development – controlling sprawl, preserving open space, improving agriculture, and pushing urban redevelopment – is the key to Pennsylvania’s competitive advantage and future financial success. Learn how smart economic development policies can lead to stronger and healthier cities, more attractive and stable communities, and improved educational systems and employment opportunities.

You Can’t “Lean In” Without a Place to Stand: Poverty and Women

This session explores the disproportionate impact of poverty on women, including the consequences of a lifetime of low-paying or no-paying jobs, problems specific to maternity (48% of all births in the US are Medicaid births), recent cuts to SNAP and TANF programs, and housing and credit discrimination, which is often tied to domestic violence. Presenters will explore programs to help women move out of poverty, including poverty-related bills within the Women’s Health Agenda, and what activists can do to create greater financial and political equity for poor and low- income women.

Solutions that Work in Public Education

Funding for effective education solutions has been challenged by organizations that promote privatization of education services and school vouchers. The upcoming state elections will put education back on the front burner, and the clash between these competing interests will be front and center over the next year. Panelists explore the debate between the pro-privatization agenda and solutions that actually work and report on the likelihood of real charter school reform in 2014.

What’s All This About Shale Gas? Impacts, Regulation, and Activism II

The second half of our doubleheader on shale gas in Pennsylvania will build on topics covered in Part 1. Panelists will explore the true costs and economic impacts of the shale boom, and the truth about how the Corbett administration is carrying out its regulatory responsibilities. Learn how people are fighting back — and what you can do. Part 2 includes:
• The direct and indirect economic impacts of shale gas industrial development
• Five years into the shale gas boom, a close look at how state regulation and oversight measure up to the task

The Ongoing Assault on Voting Rights

The right wing is intensifying its all-out assault on voting rights, an effort that destroys the very foundation of democracy. Purporting to solve the non-existent problem of voter fraud, voter ID legislation (mercifully set back in Pennsylvania, for the present) serves to suppress voting among poor and minority communities. But this is just part of a wide range of tactics, at the state and federal levels, designed to limit the rights of voters – students, military, poor people, minorities, and those who lean to the left. Get the big picture, and learn what is being done to protect and expand voting rights.

Building Power through Raising Money

The power we have to make social change is not big money, but like it or not we do need some money to organize big things. In this session we will discuss how to apply our organizing skills to raise money one supporter or business at a time. We will share real life examples and new strategies to apply to our communities

A Talk with the Auditor General: Who, What, Why, and What Happens Next

The Auditor General’s Office is one of the most important in the Commonwealth, yet few people know what they do and how they can impact our lives. Auditor General Eugene DePasquale will talk about what his office is doing to protect Pennsylvania working families and will answer questions from the audience.

Rage Against the Machine: Fighting Back Against ALEC

It’s like evil speed dating – ALEC is putting legislators in the same room with corporations, which then hand cookie-cutter legislation that benefits their bottom lines over to the electeds to take back to their states and pass them into law. This is not what the Founding Fathers meant by representative democracy. We’ve all heard the stories about ALEC and their terrible, no good bills like Stand Your Ground, or anti-environmental bills or anti-worker bills and the list goes on. But what can activists and consumers do about it? Plenty.

Using Social Media to Deepen Your Relationships with Audiences

Social media is incredibly versatile for getting closer to your audiences, and can be adapted to deepen relationships with voters, constituents, readers, and lawmakers. Hear from a state legislator, advocacy blogger, and digital political strategist about how they use social media to connect with their diverse audiences — and learn new ways to use social media to connect with yours.

6:15pm: Closing Session

February 27th, 2014 | Posted in Features, Front Page Stories, Top Stories | 1 Comment

One thought on “2014 Progressive Summit Preview”

  1. Jeremy Haloskie says:

    This article is already five down from the top so my point will get very little play but the Progressive Summit will SHOW how weak Schwartz is!!!

    Last year, Mike Morrill said that this year is the first year the Progressive Summit will endorse candidates. A sample straw poll was used and Schwartz won ( at the time the only people really rumored were Sestak, Schwartz and McCord).

    I doubt Schwartz will walk away with an endorsement this weekend. I think Hangar has a better chance maybe even Wolf at this point. Out of all the people I have talked to in the past 4 weeks, only one person says the are supporting Allison “Third Way” Schwartz.

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