Saturday, April 07, 2012

No Wyoming panel at Netroots Nation 12 -- but we are sending at least one progressive blogger to Providence

I'm a bit disappointed that Democracy for America has turned down our panel proposal for Netroots Nation 12. More than 400 panels were proposed for the June 7-10 gathering of progressive bloggers in Providence, R.I. Ours was one of 150 proposals that made it to the final round, but it wasn't selected for one of the 70 panels to be presented at the conference. We still think it's a pretty cool idea, one that comes with an embedded literary reference. So, the Southeast Wyoming Progressive Blogosphere may only be sending one of our group to NN12, and that's Meg Lanker-Simons from Laramie. In case you haven't noticed, Meg is number two in the NN12 scholarship sweepstakes. Top three vote getters get scholarhips. Go vote for her now! Have your entire family vote for her. I did.

Here's the NN12 proposal. See what you think.

Panel proposal: “Where I’m Blogging From: On-line Progressives in Red State Wyoming”

It’s mighty red out here, people!

In 2008, Wyoming voters went for John McCain over Barack Obama by a 65-33 percent margin. This was the lowest percentage of “blue” voters in any state, outdoing even neighboring Utah and Idaho (34 percent). In 2010, Republican Matt Mead was elected governor by a 3-to-1 margin. All five elected offices were swept by Republicans and the GOP-dominated Legislature upped its “R” margin to 76 out of 90 seats.

Democrats are an endangered species in Wyoming. This is a state where sporting an Obama bumper sticker is a radical act. Many Democrats are afraid to speak up in public because they are so tragically outnumbered. In some cases, jobs are on the line.

The four bloggers in this proposal are not the state’s only outspoken progressives, but they represent voices unheard in Wyoming’s mainstream media. While they have been active in Democratic Party politics (one has served in the legislature), they often find themselves at odds with a party structure that is timid in the face of Republican onslaughts.

In this session, the presenters will speak about our prog-blogging journeys, and offer tips about making on-line connections in the wide-open conservative spaces. They also will discuss those ground-breaking bloggers in neighboring states who nurtured them.
Jeran Artery, Cheyenne, blogs at Out in Wyoming, LGBT activist and Director of Social Change for Wyoming Equality, actor and visual artist, a native of Wheatland in very conservative Platte County, Wyo. Blog:
Meg Lanker, Laramie, blogs at Cognitive Dissonance, hosts a radio show by the same on KOCA FM every Friday night. Meg brought a successful lawsuit against the University of Wyoming when it refused to let 1960s radical turned education reformer Bill Ayers speak on campus. She also organized a fund-raiser for LGBT groups when ultra-conservative commentator Ann Coulter spoke in Laramie earlier this year. She’s a member of the National Writers Union and a U.S. Navy veteran. Her web site is included in Tumblr's featured politics and government directory at and her site has over 3,000 followers. Blog:
Rodger McDaniel, Cheyenne, former Wyoming state legislator, one-time director of Habitat for Humanity in Nicaragua, retired director of Wyoming Mental Health and Substance Abuse Division, ordained minister, Blowing in the Wyoming Wind blogger. Sponsors a Monday night “Beer and Bibles” get-together each week at a Cheyenne bar where Bible stories are explored from a social justice angle. Rodger is a frequent guest columnist for the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle. Blog:
Michael Shay, Cheyenne, fiction writer, essayist and blogger on hummingbirdminds since 2005. One of Michael’s short stories is featured in the 2010 anthology “Working Words: Punching the Clock and Kicking Out the Jams” from Coffee House Press. Other poets, writers and musicians in the anthology include U.S. Poet Laureate Phil Levine, Wanda Coleman, Diane DiPrima, Bob Dylan, Eminem, Li-Young Lee, Dorothy Day and Daniel Berrigan. Michael’s blog was recently named by the Washington Post as one of the top state-based political blogs in the U.S. He was a scholarship attendee at NN11 in Minneapolis. Blog:

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