2020 Candidates Head to Philadelphia To Win Over The Progressive Vote

Netroots Nation, the largest annual gathering for progressives, kicks off on Thursday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

| July 11 2019,

4:22 pm

This week, thousands of activists from around the country will gather in Philadelphia for Netroots Nation, the largest annual convention for progressives. 

The event includes panel discussions on topics ranging from immigration to mobilizing young voters of color, grassroots organizing and campaign trainings, a film series and keynote speeches from the biggest names in Democratic politics. 

Here are three of the most notable keynotes taking place this year: 

2020 Presidential Candidate Forum: Several Democratic candidates for the 2020 presidential race will participate in a moderated forum about important issues, such as abortion access, criminal justice and economic opportunity. Those expected to attend include Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro and Governor Jay Inslee, among others. 

Making Herstory: The Women Who Are Shifting the Balance of Power in Washington: She the People founder Aimee Allison will moderate this panel addressing how the new women of color in Congress are changing national politics and championing progressive change. Rep. Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American woman in Congress, and Rep. Deb Haaland, one of the first Native American women in Congress, will both speak at this event. 

A Progressive Vision for 2020 And Beyond: As 2020 nears, Democrats must prove to voters that they are best equipped to address the nation’s most pressing issues. In this session, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Planned Parenthood President Dr. Leana Wen, Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Sen. Jeff Merkley will lay out their vision for the future. 

These keynotes, along with several of the panel sessions, will be live streamed on the organization’s Facebook page

This is the 13th year of the Netroots Nation conference, which has struggled in past years to be an inclusive space for people of color, people with disabilities and trans and gender non-conforming people. After years of feedback and concerns, conference organizers hired local organizers to assist with outreach, included more than ten panels on issues local to Philadelphia and offered the majority of its scholarships to local activists. The speaker lineup is the most diverse in the conference’s history, featuring 76% people of color and 28% LGBTQ, with the majority of panelists being Black women.