PA Progressive Summit: Wrap-Up

Now that I’ve had a week to reflect on my experiences at the PA Progressive Summit, I wanted to share my reflections on it. The Summit was incredible. There were some 100 different sessions, hundreds of progressives in attendance, many different topics covered. I had opportunities to discuss both topics that I have a lot of experience with and topics that I have very little interaction with, and to meet others who are as passionate as I am about whatever their respective causes are.

I think that the sessions I attended outside of my comfort zone — sessions on education, jobs and the economy, faith/labor/issue organizing, poverty, the war on dissent, data-driven organizing — really rounded out my experience at the conference. These discussions gave me the opportunity to learn about what other progressive movements are doing, what some of the state’s legislative priorities seem to be, and to get a better sense of what other pieces of the progressive agenda are related to the gender and sexuality work that I typically focus on.

I think the biggest surprise at the Summit was the presence of labor unions. It’s pretty well known that labor unions are on the liberal/progressive side of the aisle and influential in the Democratic party, but I don’t really think about unions very often. There were a lot of union members and/or labor organizers at the Summit. Their presence has me starting to re-evaluate how I feel about unions. It seems like these days most people feel that unions are no longer really necessary, because a lot of labor protections are provided by law, but maybe that is an inaccurate view of labor unions. I will try to keep a more open mind about them going forward and see what more I can learn about what they are advocating for these days.

Overall, the conference was a great experience and I’m absolutely planning to attend again in future years.

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This entry was posted in General Post, PA Progressive Summit 2011.

One Response to PA Progressive Summit: Wrap-Up

  1. “Within 25 years our goal is to give 80% of Americans access to high speed rail” State of the Union address, January 25, 2011

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