Friday, August 21, 2009

(VIDEO) The Myth of Post Racial America

To an ignorant few, the election of a black president signals a transition into a period of post-racialism, where all of the racial tensions and struggles of the past have been overcome and racism no longer exists. Even though there are signs of improvement, such as the election of Barack Obama, America is far from overcoming it's embarrassing racial past and becoming a 'post-racial' society. (Some of us hope that we never do become a post racial society. Even though race is a social construct, I believe that especially in America, it is important to understand and embrace our own and each other's racial identities and histories). It is inevitable, however, that we are increasingly becoming (or recognizing that we actually are) a multi-racial society, which can be very uncomfortable to those used to the status quo.

The speakers on this panel at Netroots Nation 2009 in Pittsburgh titled, 'The Myth of Post Racial America", all have front line experience dealing with the issues that arise with this shift of racial influence. Annabel Park is a documentary filmmaker whose new film '9500 Liberty' ( presents Prince William County Virginia, an affluent suburb to Washginton DC, as a microcosm for how this struggle has and will continue to play out as America progresses. Rich Benjamin ( traveled to the fastest growing predominantly white communities in America for his book, 'Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America'. Rinku Sen is the executive director of The Applied Research Center (ARC), a public policy institute advancing racial justice through research, advocacy and journalism, and publisher of 'ColorLines', ARC's magazine focused on race and politics (

This was a very interesting panel and informative panel and we will be posting a more complete version of the entire session shortly. Keep checking for that and many more videos of Netroots Nation 2009 from Pittsburgh.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

From Prop 8 to Full Equality in all 50 States

From Prop 8 to Full Equality in All 50 States - Netroots Nation Day 1 from Will Urquhart on Vimeo.

We at Sum of Change have been releasing lots of videos from Netroots Nation. We have released some 40 highlights videos, but today we release a panel in entirety for the first time. This was the first panel I attended, bright and early at 9:00am on Thursday, August 13th.
From Prop 8 to Full Equality in All 50 States: Fighting for Marriage Equality and LGBT Rights Across America
Thursday, August 13th 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM
Panel, 311
Time: Thursday, August 13th, 9:00am - 10:15am
Room: 311

From the passage of Prop 8 to the election of Barack Obama to the White House, the 2008 election had a profound impact on the fight for full LGBT equality in all 50 states.

This panel will tackle how we win and defend marriage equality state-by-state and how we build momentum for full LGBT equality across America. What are the lessons learned from the Prop 8 loss in California that Maine and other states can learn in their battle for marriage equality? How will we restore marriage equality to California? And how can the netroots help win these battles?

PANELISTS: Pam Spaulding, Monique Hoeflinger, Michael Wilson, Julia Rosen
I hope you enjoy this video. We will be releasing more coverage over the coming weeks. Visit the Sum of Change Netroots Nation page to see all our NN09 videos and a list of every event we covered. We do not have footage up from every event that we filmed yet, but we are making updates every day, and we will have at least one video from every event that we filmed. Once again, you can find a full list of everything we filmed in Pittsburgh at our NN09 page.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

(VIDEO) The Online Immigration Debate - Netroots Nation '09

Three of today's video's come from 'Four Perspectives from the Social Change Blogosphere: Case Studies from Civil Rights/ Pro-Migrant Bloggers' a panel at Netroots Nation 2009 in Pittsburgh hosted by Kety Equivel, the New Media Manager for the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), with David Bennion, a non-profit immigration attorney, Prerna Lal, a blogger, youth organizer, and new media consultant, Edmundo Rocha, the Publisher and Content Producer of Para Justica Y Libertad, a latino centered political blog, and Dee Perez-Scott, who runs the blog 'Immigration Talk with a Mexican American'.  They all shared stories about their efforts to fight a struggling battle.  They were not very optimistic, they all shared depressing stories and sentiments about numerous immigration inequities, but were hopeful and dedicated to getting comprehensive immigration reform passed.  While the immigration reform bill in congress has taken a back seat to other issues, such as healthcare, there are millions of people whose lives and well being are being held hostage by the unjust execution of antiquated laws.  While positive news on the national scene is hard to come by, these panelists are working to facilitate as many small scale successes as possible. Check back for more stories and thoughts from the panel over the next couple weeks.

The last video is the opening statement from Chris Hayes, Washington Editor of 'The Nation' Magazine, for the panel '@FDR Is There A New Deal?'  It is a really astute analogy of how we can more efficiently be pushing to enact the reform that America desperately needs.

We will be releasing lots, and lots, of videos from Netroots Nation over the coming weeks, including some panels in entirety. For more videos, and a list of every event we filmed, please visit the Sum of Change NN'09 page.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

(VIDEO) Netroots Nation - This Video Will Save Your Campaign Lots of Money

This is not spam. This is not a commercial. This will seriously save your campaign money, and make it more effective at the same time.

There is a lot more to show from the "Cutting-Edge Evidence-Based Best Practices" panel. We are going to release a long version (almost the entire 1.5 hour panel), sometime over the next week or two at our Netroots Nation page.

This test, done by the Analyst Institute, reminds me of one specific mail piece. I had just come home, from door to door canvassing. I was working on a City Council race at the time, but there was a heated Mayoral race as well. There were three typical lit pieces in my mail box. Big, glossy, nice color work. All typical. Then there was one letter from one of the candidates office. It was in a normal envelope, just a black and white, typed out letter. A dear neighbor letter. At the bottom were signatures, seven of them to be exact. Each signature was from one of my neighbors, someone that lived no more than a mile from me. The letter read off a few of the reasons that these neighbors were supporting this candidate for Mayor. I cannot name a single specific detail about any of the other lit pieces. Clearly, one piece drove itself into my memory, and the others simply did not.

For more video of Netroots Nation, visit the Sum of Change NN'09 page.

Monday, August 17, 2009

(VIDEO) Netroots Nation '09: How Technology can be Utilized to Enhance Democracy in Pittsburgh and beyond

One of the last events of the weekend, was a panel on the fun and interesting things going on with technology, and what effect that will have on our democracy. Technology inevitably comes into conflict and cooperation with our democracy. Technology has made it easier than ever for our government to drop spying nets, to monitor us. Yet technology has also brought us the dashboard cop camera, causing many bad officers to be caught red handed. The speakers in these videos are going to talk about the latter kind of relationship between government and the citizenry, how we can use new technologies to further empower, educate, and change the world...

I hope you enjoyed these. We will be releasing plenty more videos over the coming weeks, including almost entire coverage of certain panels. You can find the list of events that we filmed and see all our current videos at our Netroots Nation page.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

(VIDEO) Netroots Nation Day 3: It Comes to an End

Netroots Nation '09 is over. Of course, we are still up until 5:30am (again) working on footage. Today we filmed Valerie Jarrett's conversation with Netroots Nation attendees, a keynote panel with Governor Jon Corzine, Anna Burger, Kevin Drumm, and Dean Baker, the closing keynote with Senator Jim Ferlo, Richard Tumka of the AFL-CIO, and Darcy Burner of the American Proggressive Caucus PolicyFoundation, and four more panels.

In total, two of us filmed 16 panels, and had two cameras running for every major event throughout the weekend. We filmed all day, every day, and edited all night, every night. I'm still running on about 7 hours of sleep since Wednesday. Throughout the weekend we have been posting some highlights. Over the coming weeks we will release more extensive coverage, including the entirety of several panels.

Here is a list of the panels and events that we filmed so you can get a sense of what to expect:

Thursday, August 13th
-The Myth of Post Racial America
-From Prop 8 to Full Equality in all 50 States
-Bloggers and Blue Collar Workers Unite
-How to Get the Most Out of Polling Data
-@FDR is there a New Deal?
-How to Work with Unions in Your District
-The Secret Plan to Defeat the Conserva-tives Forever
-Getting Noticed: Grassroots Media & Film Distribution Caucus
-President Bill Clinton, Welcome Keynote

Friday, August 14th
-Governor Howard Dean Healthcare Townhall
-Pennsylvannia Leadership Forum with Senator Arlen Specter and Congressman Joe Sestak
-Congressman Joe Sestak, media availability
-Stepping it up: Creating Multiracial Alliances with Bloggers
-Science Denial and Science Policy
-Four Perspectives from the Soc. Change Blogosphere
-Organizing in Second Life and other Virtual Environment

Saturday, August 15th
-Valerie Jarret in Conversation with Baratunde Thurston
-Building a 21st Century Economy Keynote Panel with Governor Jon Corzine, Anna Burger, Kevin Drum, and Dean Baker
-Academic Studies of the Netroots
-Advocating for Reproductive Rights in the Age of Obama
-Cutting-Edge Evidence-Based Best Practices
-How Technology can Enhance Democracy in PBH and Beyond
-Closing Keynote with Darcy Burner, Richard Trumka, and Senator Jim Ferlo