Establishing Our Progressive Iowa Network (PIN) – Mark the Date!

Establishing our Progressive Iowa Network (PIN) – Mark the Date!


By Caroline Vernon

On Saturday, June 9th, progressive leaders, activists and legislators from across the state will converge on Iowa City for our first 2007 Democracy for Iowa Organizing Summit.  We are still working out the details on the venue (forthcoming) but we will be meeting from 9am to 3pm (the last hour will be reserved for DFA-IA members to discuss administrative business so it will not be necessary for everyone to stay for that segment).

The purpose of this gathering is to establish the Progressive Iowa Network (PIN). This network will serve to better unite progressive organizations, legislators, and leaders across the state so we can support each other’s efforts around progressive issues in Iowa.

Currently,
we have an unprecedented opportunity to get progressive legislation
passed in our state
. However, in order to achieve legislative victories
on the issues that we care about, we must establish an effective
framework that allows us to better organize our efforts, clarify our
message, mobilize our base, educate the public and influence our state
officials.

We have identified the following 5 issues as requiring urgent action:

1. VOICE (Voter-Owned Iowa Clean Elections)
2. CAFO regulations / Farm Bill
3. Fair Share
4. Healthcare
5. Media

Please note: we want ALL progressive organizations to attend this meeting and become part of this network even if we may not be focusing on your specific issues at this time.

The Summit Agenda will cover the following:

I. Why is PIN important?

The first part of this summit will discuss why PIN is important. Groups/Individuals will be asked to introduce themselves and identify their main areas and issues of focus:

• Policy/Research
• Lobbying
• Media/Public Relations (including bloggers)
• Grassroots Organizing

This will NOT be an informational meeting about the issues, but rather a strategy session on how we can support each other moving forward.

II. Update & Evaluation of the recent Iowa Legislative Session

• What went well?
• What would we do differently?

III. Break-Out Sessions by Issue

• Strategize with other progressives around the state that are working on the same issue.
• What kind of help do you need from other organizations/leaders who may not be directly involved in your issue.

Lunch

IV. Report back to larger group identifying specific needs

• What do you need from PIN?

We will not have time to hear specific plans but rather will want to hear your list of needs on how other organizations/leaders can help you make progress around your issue.

V. Where does PIN go from here?

We will discuss logistics, network structure and set a date and time for our next meeting(s).

VI. DFA-Iowa Administrative Planning Session (for DFA-IA members)

This last segment will be for DFA-IA members to discuss by-laws, how we can better support Blog for Iowa, and other administrative details.

Outreach around this summit has been underway for awhile — many progressive organizations/individuals in Iowa have already been notified. However, if you have not yet heard from us directly, please email Caroline Vernon ASAP: carolina1961@gmail.comWe need every progressive organization, leader and legislator in Iowa to participate in order to achieve maximum effectiveness as a network.

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