Viva Las Vegas…and viva workers’ rights

I’m heading to Vegas! But as much as I love the slot machines, I’m skipping the casinos this time in order to attend the fifth annual Netroots Nation convention.

Netroots Nation is an amazing program that helps progressive organizations amplify their voices by providing an online and in-person forum for idea-exchange and public debate. From better blogging tips to the importance of migrant laborers in the workers’ rights movement, there are lectures, conferences, caucuses and presentations on nearly every topic under the sun to help nonprofit organizations inspire their members. There will be a lot of events concerning workers’ rights this year, and some speakers on the subject include AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Senator Al Franken.

Other than visiting the union-made beer tasting, here’s a sample of some of the labor-related events I plan on attending:

The 2010 Elections: Channeling the Power of Jobs, Populism and the Angry Voter
This panel will address the rising tide of populist anger in the face of Wall Street bailouts and continued high unemployment, and will discuss ideas for steering opinion and action in a more progressive direction.

Immigration Reform’s Strange Bedfellows: the Surprising Consensus that Reform will Improve American Jobs and Bolster Our Economy
Sponsored by the Food and Commercial Workers Union, a group of panelists will discuss how meaningful immigration reform will be beneficial to our economy and society. Overwhelming evidence shows that the current policy of enforcement-only action does not work and instead creates a system of virtual slavery for many undocumented workers in the U.S.

Freelancers of the World, Unite! Unions for Permatemps and Freelancers
Did you know that freelancers can join unions, and in some industries they have been doing so for decades? This panel, sponsored by Writers’ Guild, East, promises a deeper understanding of the freelance economy.

Undoing Citizens United: A Comprehensive Plan to Prevent Corporations from Buying Elections
In January, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that giant corporations can pour money directly into elections, but progressives cannot let this stand. The panel will present the full spectrum of remedies—including federal, state and local legislation to restrict corporate spending in elections, public financing of campaigns and a constitutional amendment—as well as a plan for implementing them.

Young Workers: Taking Charge of Our Future
More than a third of workers age 35 and under cannot pay the bills; seven in 10 do not have enough saved to cover two months of living expenses; and a third are forced to live at home with their parents. I’ll get to listen to a group of panelists who are taking charge of their economic future by forming coalitions and networking with unions to reshape the traditional structure of workplace-based unions.

And that’s not all! Netroots Nation will also have a special screening of the documentary Coal Country, which is about the coal mining industry in Appalachia and includes interviews from managers and workers.

Check out the trailer!

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 21st, 2010 at 5:59 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Viva Las Vegas…and viva workers’ rights”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bonnie Sonder, AmericanRightsAtWork and Mikael Johansson, Doug Pennington. Doug Pennington said: RT @araw: American Rights at Work is in Vegas for #NN10! Looking forward to some great labor panels and events: […]

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