Thousands of Progressive Bloggers, Activists to Gather in Steeltown for 'Netroots Nation' Convention

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Toby Chaudhuri at 978-884-8626 or Jennifer Ettinger at 850-766-1267

Thousands of Progressive Bloggers, Activists to Gather in Steeltown for 'Netroots Nation' Convention

New Report Says Pittsburgh’s Revival is a Result of Collaboration Between Industry, Labor and Government, Not Market Forces

WASHINGTON - With more than 1,500 progressive bloggers and activists streaming into Pittsburgh this week, Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., joined United Steelworkers president Leo Gerard, Campaign for America's Future co-director Robert Borosage and Netroots Nation spokesperson Mary Rickles on a conference call today to set the scene and preview this year's "Netroots Nation" convention.

In addition to major addresses from President Bill Clinton, Gov. Howard Dean, White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett and a match-up between Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., and Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., the gathering will feature several activities sponsored by the Campaign for America's Future, including a straw poll, a tour of a modern steel plant and a party with batting practice at Pirates Stadium.

National
and international attention is turning to Pittsburgh with the arrival
of the Netroots Nation convention, followed next month by the AFL-CIO
annual conference and the G-20 Summit. Attention is also turning
towards the city's struggle to forge new jobs in an economy where
millions have disappeared.

Pittsburgh's economic revival is due to a high degree of collaboration between industry, labor and government, according to a new report
by the Campaign for America's Future. The report explains how
Pittsburgh is an example of a city that has made the transition from
the old to the new economy, citing lessons for the nation.

Sen.
Casey, who welcomed delegates to the city for the major gatherings on
today's conference call, said that a specifically designed industrial
policy brought Pittsburgh back, not market forces, citing the Campaign
for America's Future's report.

"Pittsburgh
faced challenges as early as the 1950s, but by the 1970s it was losing
tens of thousands of jobs," said Sen. Casey "Pittsburgh had to
transition out of that to the economy we have today, which includes a
new manufacturing base that is unheralded in the nation. This recovery was the result of deliberate planning. You
have to have government leadership but you also have to have corporate
leadership and industrial leadership that's willing to work together to
give meaning to words like ‘collaboration' and ‘strategic planning.'"

Gerard,
who along with Borosage is setting up this week's steel mill tour for
bloggers and reporters, said that the manufacturing sector in
Pittsburgh, which pays much higher than its service counterparts, is
defining a national model.

"I
take issue with the term Rust Belt. There is no rust," said Gerard.
"The modern steel mill is a very high-tech and space-aged facility.
They release a small fraction, less than one-third, of the carbon that
a steel mill in China lets loose. Some say we can forget about
manufacturing and move to a services economy, but a service economy
won't produce good-paying jobs."

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**NOTE: An electronic copy of the Campaign for America's Future's report on Pittsburgh is available online at http://makingitinamerica.org .**

"NETROOTS NATION"

CONVENTION HIGHLIGHTS

THURSDAY, AUG. 13

10:30 a.m. Bloggers and labor leaders discuss how to hold Wall Street accountable together.

12 p.m. Bloggers and media representatives tour a modern steel plant.

8 p.m.  President Bill Clinton delivers remarks to thousands of bloggers and activists.

FRIDAY, AUG. 14

9 a.m.  Gov. Howard Dean holds a health care town hall meeting with bloggers.

11 a.m. Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., and Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., debate key issues.

7 p.m. Bloggers and activists hold a party and batting practice at Pirates stadium.

SATURDAY, AUG. 15

Straw poll results will be released on Saturday morning.

9 a.m.  White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett has a conversation with bloggers.

**NOTE: An updated and detailed agenda is available online at http://www.netrootsnation.org/agenda.
Media representatives interested in covering the "Netroots Nation"
blogger convention, should pre-credential by emailing their name,
outlet and phone number to Mary Rickles at mary@netrootsnation.org. Reporters and bloggers interested in participating in the steel plant tour should contact Mike Elk at melk@ourfuture.org and 412-613-8423.**

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The Campaign for America’s Future is the strategy center for the progressive movement. Our goal is to forge the enduring progressive majority needed to realize the America of shared prosperity and equal opportunity that our country was meant to be.

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