August 5, 2009
5:52 PM

Netroots Nation Convention Welcomes Valerie Jarrett for Saturday Keynote

White House Senior Adviser to answer questions from Netroots activists

WASHINGTON - August 5 - Netroots Nation organizers announced today that White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett will participate in a moderated keynote to be held August 15 in Pittsburgh, PA.

A Conversation With Valerie Jarrett, scheduled for Saturday morning at 9 a.m., will give progressives across the country a chance to engage in substantive conversation with one of the president's most trusted advisors.

In the latest New York Times Sunday Magazine, President Barack Obama said of Jarrett, "She's family-she combines the closeness of a family member with the savvy and objectivity of a professional businesswoman and public-policy expert."

Jarrett serves as Senior Adviser and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Relations and Public Engagement.

"We welcome an opportunity to hear from one of President Obama's closest advisors just as the administration has embraced this chance to hear from the Netroots," said Netroots Nation Executive Director Raven Brooks. "This session will allow us to build on an open line of communication started by this president and fostered by Jarrett."

The session will be moderated by blogger, commentator and comic Baratunde Thurston. Thurston, who has been featured on the main stage at every Netroots Nation convention, blogs as Jack Turner at Jack & Jill Politics and is host of the new Science Channel series, Popular Science's Future Of, debuting in August 2009.

As The New York Times reported, Netroots Nation is "becoming as much a part of the Democratic political circuit as the Iowa State Fair."

In addition to the keynote with Jarrett, the convention will feature an interactive session with Sen. Arlen Specter and Rep. Joe Sestak, as well as a town hall plenary on health care with Gov. Howard Dean.

Netroots Nation will take place August 13-16 at the David Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA. The fourth annual gathering of the Netroots will include panels led by national and international experts; prominent political, issue and policy-oriented speakers; 20 training sessions; and a progressive film screening series.

The keynote and convention are open to media coverage. For more information about the Netroots Nation or for credentials, visit

Netroots Nation amplifies progressive voices by providing an online and in-person campus for exchanging ideas and learning how to be more effective in using technology to influence the public debate. Within that campus, we strengthen community, inspire action and serve as an incubator for progressive ideas that challenge the status quo and ultimately affect change in the public sphere.


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