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7/15/05 PLAN Announces Co-Sponsors & Details of Seattle Kickoff Event

Conference to be supported by, among others, Moveon.org, SEIU, and the United Steelworkers of America
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 15, 2005 Helena, MT -- The Progressive Legislative Action Network (PLAN) today released the full details of its upcoming kickoff event in Seattle on August 16th entitled Planning Progress 2005: Defining a Positive Progressive Agenda for the States. The event is being co-sponsored by, among others, Moveon.org, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the United Steelworkers of America, and progressive philanthropists Andy and Deborah Rappaport. The event will feature, among others, Former Vice Presidential nominee and North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, former California House Speaker Willie Brown, Center for American Progress President John Podesta, and state legislators from across America. For more on the event, see the attached detailed agenda and go to www.progressivestates.org. "The response to PLAN's creation has been nothing short of tremendous," said PLAN co-chairperson Steve Doherty, the former Montana State Senate Minority Leader. "The strong support of grassroots organizations, philanthropists and the progressive community as a whole shows that our side is ready to take the fight to every state legislature in America." Moveon.org founder Wes Boyd, who has agreed to be a founding member of PLAN's governing board, said the time is now for progressives to focus not only on Washington, D.C., but also on what's happening outside the Beltway in America's heartland. "The opportunities to create real and lasting change at the state level are endless," Boyd said. "That's why Moveon.org is proud to be partnering with PLAN: because we understand how important it is to start supporting state legislators who want to aggressively push a progressive agenda that starts making government stand up for individual freedom and America's working families." In recent weeks, PLAN's co-chairpersons, Sen. Doherty and David Sirota, have been meeting with potential funders, board members and supporters from all over the country, and all different parts of the progressive community. "The goal is to bring as diverse a coalition together as possible so that our side has a cohesive agenda in the states," Sirota said. "For too long, conservatives have been able to use huge sums of money to push the most radical right-wing policies through state legislatures. PLAN is committed to putting together the necessary resources and necessary coalitions to help progressive legislators stop this unchecked extremism, and start passing legislation that makes state governments work for ordinary citizens, not just monied special interests." The Progressive Legislative Action Network will have a 501c(3) and 501c(4) component. PLAN's mission is to support progressives at the state level and pass progressive legislation in all 50 of America's state legislatures. By providing coordinated research and strategic advocacy tools to state lawmakers, PLAN will advance policies that protect individual freedom and strengthen America's working families. *** Planning Progress 2005: A conference to launch the Progressive Legislative Action Network (PLAN) and to define a positive progressive agenda for the states Tuesday, August 16 Bell Harbor Conference Center Pier 66 Seattle, Washington 12 Noon - Kickoff Luncheon Welcome by Master of Ceremonies Willie L. Brown, Jr. former Speaker of the California Assembly and Mayor of San Francisco What is the PLAN? David Sirota and Steve Doherty, Co-Chairmen - Introduction of the Progressive Legislative Action Network and its founding members Speaker: Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer Keynote Speaker: Senator John Edwards 1:30 - Strategy Session I Jobs, Wages & Growth: A Progressive Legislative Agenda - Moderator: John Podesta, Center for American Progress - Panelist: Andy Grossman, Exec. Dir., Walmart Watch - Panelist: Maryland Del. Adrienne Jones - Panelist: Joel Rogers, U. of Wisconsin/Apollo Project 3:00 - Break 3:15 - Strategy Session II Strategies to Increase Voter Participation - Moderator: Bernie Horn, Center for Policy Alternatives - Panelist: New York Rep. Adriano Espaillat - Panelist: Anthony Thigpenn, SCOPE - Panelist: TBD 4:45 - Wrap Up 5:00 - Cocktail Reception
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