Netroots Nation

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Netroots Nation, the largest national gathering of progressives and the Democratic activist base will take place in Phoenix. Joel Silberman, board member with Netroots Nation talks about the convention.

JOSE CARDENAS: Netroots Nation, the largest national gathering of the Democratic activist base and Progressives will take place this week in Phoenix. Joining me to talk about Netroots Nation is Joel Silberman, board member with Netroots Nation. Joel, give us just a quick thumbnail sketch of the history of Netroots Nation.

JOEL SILBERMAN: 10 years ago, Netroots Nation started by people that met online, that was the beginning of Internet organizing. People that were unhappy with the bush administration talked to each other as progressives and had nowhere else to talk but online. When they met together for the first time, they got to know who was behind that online screen name. So we got to see people's faces. It then became a battery center for energy in online activism, and then it grew into a conference of all the progressives. So now, we have organizations, we have activists, we have campaigners, we have people that are teaching skills and 3000 of us now gather.

JOSE CARDENAS: And you'll be gathered here, the 10th anniversary I think of the founding of the organization. Thursday through Sunday. Give us a sense for what people are going to hear and see.

JOEL SILBERMAN: Well, we came to Arizona, to Phoenix specifically, so that we could use our online activism and all of our organizations to call attention to the way the immigration story is really not being told completely in the media.

JOSE CARDENAS: A lot of attention, though, with Trump here.

JOEL SILBERMAN: There's a lot of attention with Trump here but there's a lot of repeating of a media narrative that is the media's, not necessarily the real story. Your last segment had more of the real story and that's not the Trump narrative. The narrative we want to tell because we came here a year ago to look when we knew we were going to come to Phoenix, we want to amplify what we saw. We were taken to the border. We were taken to see what the fence really looked like. I work with people in Washington, D.C. I told them what I saw in the court. I told them what the prison industrial complex in Phoenix and Tucson specifically really looked like. And how it was working. And we want to tell that story.

JOSE CARDENAS: And you also want to talk as I understand, concerns that organizations like yours have that conservatives are making inroads in Spanish-language media.

JOEL SILBERMAN: There's no doubt that people are going to put a lot of money behind Spanish-language media right now. This is the fastest-growing demographic. So we want to make sure that that's far more balanced, and it's time to push back against the narrative that the fox news base narrative of continual untruth or distortion.

JOSE CARDENAS: So what do you hope to accomplish with this set of panels and the discussions that are going to take place over the next few days, I understand Bernie Sanders is going to be in town to talk with the group.

JOEL SILBERMAN: Bernie Sanders is going to come on Saturday and do a town hall with us, as is Martin O'Malley. Elizabeth warren will talk to us on Friday. Thursday night we'll have a lot of activists from here in Arizona speaking on the platform. In conversation with huff post live, and it's going to be an interesting conversation to really tell the story of what we saw. We also have skills trainings. I do one of the skills training on Friday where I teach people how to be on television.

JOSE CARDENAS: And you do very well and it sounds like it's going to be a fascinating discussion. Thank you for joining us on "Horizonte" to talk about it.

JOEL SILBERMAN: My pleasure.

JOSE CARDENAS: And that is our show for tonight. From all of us here at "Horizonte" and Eight, thanks for watching. I'm Jose Cardenas. Have a good evening.

Funding for "Horizonte" is made possible by contributions by the Friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS station.

Joel Silberman:Netroots Nation Board Member

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