After Election Day Wins, State Legislators to Advance Policies for the 99% in 2012

Friday, November 11, 2011
CONTACT: Charles Monaco, Communications Director, Progressive States Network, 212 680 3116 x115,

After Big Election Day Wins, State Legislators to Advance Policies That Work for the 99% in 2012

Progressive States Network Kicks Off Largest Ever Annual Retreat: "The States are Where the Action is Going to Be"

Baltimore, MD -- After major victories at the ballot box this week, leading progressive state legislators from every corner of the nation gathered at a national conference Thursday night to plan how to turn the tide in 2012 by advancing policies that support the 99%.

Over 60 state lawmakers came together this weekend in Baltimore, MD for the annual Legislative Leadership Retreat hosted by Progressive States Network, a leading national organization dedicated to supporting the work of progressive state legislators around the country. The numbers in attendance marked the largest ever for the annual national legislator conference held by the 6-year-old organization.

This week's broad public rejection of anti-worker, anti-middle class, anti-voter, and anti-immigration policies at the ballot box and the continuing momentum behind Occupy Wall Street and the emerging 99% movement were both foremost on the minds of speakers and attendees at the opening session Thursday night.

"If it's not working for the 99%, it ain't working," said State Sen. Joe Bolkcom (Iowa), Chair of the Board of Progressive States Network, as he kicked off the opening session discussing the potential for progressive policies in the states in 2012 sessions.

"There's something real going on," Anna Greenberg, Senior Vice President of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, told legislators in a presentation about the Election Day results this week. "It's not just one state, it's across different issues, different states, and different electorates. What's happened in these states defies the gloomy national picture."

Keynote speaker and noted progressive author and commentator John Nichols called this week's results in the states a sweeping progressive victory.

"Tuesday was no thin ray of hope, it was absolute bright sun shining day of incredibly grand results across the country," said Nichols. "Everything that happened Tuesday happened because it was petitioned on to the ballot by labor, by immigrants rights advocates, or by others who are not insiders."

Nichols also underscored the critical work of Progressive States Network and the central role that state policy will play in shaping the national debate in 2012 and beyond.

"The states are where the action is going to be," Nichols told lawmakers. "The states are going to lead, so what you are doing is fundamental."

Progressive States Network's Legislative Leadership Retreat is an annual gathering of invited leaders from state legislatures around the nation. At the conference, lawmakers share best practices with each other, engage in strategic discussions, and learn from policy and messaging experts. At this year's three-day conference, areas of focus include policies that will create and grow jobs, rebuild prosperity in state economies, protect families from cuts and attacks, and revitalize the middle class. Other areas of focus at this year's conference include state health care policies, moving from defending workers to fighting for the 99% on workers' rights, and advancing common-sense immigration policies in the states.



Amanda Terkel, Huffington Post: Progressive State Lawmakers Plan Next Moves After Big Ballot Wins

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(State legislators and leaders from Progressive States Network in attendance at the retreat are available for interviews. Contact Charles Monaco, or 212-680-3116 x115)


About Progressive States Network:

Progressive States Network is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the work of progressive state legislators around the country and to the advancement of state policies that deliver on issues the issues that matter to working families: strong wage standards and workplace freedom, balancing work and family responsibilities, health care for all, smart growth and clean energy, tax and budget reform, clean and fair elections, and technology investments to bridge the digital divide.