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Netroots Nation: Update From Providence

As you might know if you have been following us on Twitter (@ProgressTX), Phillip Martin and I are currently in Providence, RI for the 7th annual Netroots Nation conference (#NN12). For those unfamiliar, Netroots Nation is a national conference of thousands of bloggers, newsmakers, social justice advocates, labor and organizational leaders from across the country and world. Netroots describes themselves as:

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. Through our annual convention and other events, we strengthen the community, inspire action and serve as an incubator for ideas that challenge the status quo and ultimately affect change in the public sphere.

Simply, it is a place to learn, get inspired, share, and network.

Yesterday was the first full day of the conference and Phillip and I hit the ground running, packing our day with informative panels on a variety of issues.

For my fellow nerds out there one of the most interesting panels we participated in was Online Activism, Social Media and the Law led by Adam Bonin and Abby Levin. The panel looked as post-Citizens United universe and the lovely complicated world of how 501(c)(3)s, 501(c)4s, and PACs can engage together online.

Nerd Fact: One of those most interesting pieces I learned was that a 501(c)(4) website CAN link directly to a 501(c)(3) but it MUST BE the home page. Also, 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(3) can share advocacy tools as long as you properly share costs.

The other highlight of the day was the Texas Battle Ground Caucus meeting. Phillip and I led a lively discussion with roughly 30 conference attendees from Texas (and a few just interested in Texas) . Now, some of you might be saying to yourself right now . . . . "Texas is a battle ground state?" Yes, it is - because Texas is too important for us to ignore. We talked about best practices for increasing turnout, getting younger voters engaged and active in grassroots leadership, and how we can use public policy issues to increase activism.

As members of Progress Texas, we are here at Netroots representing YOU. Take a moment and look over the schedule of panels and see if there is anything interesting you want us to attend over the next few days. Shoot us an email (mark@progresstexas.org) or tweet at us (@ProgressTX) and we will make sure to go and update you about what we learn.

Keep following us on Facebook, Twitter, and here on the blog as we update you from Netroots Nation!