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Dem Prez Hopefuls Head to Philly for Netroots Nation

A series of Democratic presidential hopefuls, progressive Pennsylvanians and more are taking on Philadelphia for the next couple of days for the annual Netroots Nation conference. 

This is the group’s first return to Pennsylvania since their 2009 conference in Pittsburgh. 

Starting tonight with the “Sheroes Reception: A Celebration of Women of Color” until Sunday morning’s “Interfaith Service”, the next few days include 70+ panels on a variety of topics, 60+ hands-on training sessions, caucuses, networking opportunities and more for progressives in attendance from across the nation. 

Saturday’s Daily Kos/Netroots Nation Presidential Candidate Forum kicking off at 3:30 includes Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA), and former HUD Secretary Julián Castro. In addition to those four 2020 hopefuls taking the stage in Philly for that forum will be Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Philadelphia City Councilwoman Helen Gym. 

Additional bigger names may still be announced. 

The panels from Thursday to Saturday range from a variety of national issues and local centric topics. Thursday’s panels with a local focus include “Philly In Charge: How Community Coalitions are Transforming Power Here and Nationwide”, “What Philly Taught Us: How Philadelphia Activists Beat School Privatization to Restore Local Control”, and the gathering of the “Pennsylvania Caucus”. Prior to the Presidential forum on Saturday, “Welcome to Philadelphia: Today’s Example of the Progressive Democratic Future” will take place at 1 pm. 

Gym, who will be on stage for the Presidential forum and announced that the 2019 conference would take place in Philadelphia at the group’s 2018 meeting in New Orleans, is set to participate in 7 different panels throughout the gathering. Other Pennsylvania elected officials that will participate in at least one panel include PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro, state Reps. Elizabeth Fiedler (D-Philadelphia), Movita Johnson-Harrell (D-Philadelphia), Summer Lee (D-Allegheny), Chris Rabb (D-Philadelphia), and Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner.  

Some of the topics being discussed over the next few days include primaries, “making the Green New Deal real”, D.C. Statehood, legalizing marijuana, student debt, cash bail, and more. 

Outside of the few presidential hopefuls taking center stage, a number of progressives in Washington D.C. will be participating in forums that include Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, and more.

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