On Saturday, over 120 Washington CAN! and Main Street Alliance members came together for our annual Summer Leadership Conference.
Members made the trip from Spokane, Olympia, Lynnwood, Bellevue, Bellingham, Tacoma and Seattle to enhance their skills, meet new people and take action for racial, social and economic justice.
It was a powerful day, filled with great workshops, wonderful speakers and enthusiastic members! This year’s keynote was led by Richard Kirsch, former National Campaign Director of Health Care for America Now and author of Fighting for Our Health: The Epic Battle to Make Health Care a Right in the United States.
Richard spoke about the campaign that led to the passage of health care reform and the vital role Washington CAN! played in that campaign. His plenary focused on the importance of organizing, collecting stories, and engaging lawmakers and how that behind-the-scenes work ultimately created the climate that allowed the Affordable Care Act to be signed into law.
We had 10 workshop options for members to choose from (5 in the morning block and 5 in the afternoon block). The workshops covered a variety of different topics and focused on building skills as well as educating our members on the different issues & campaigns we’re working on.
In our closing plenary, we were joined by:
- Rich Stolz, Executive Director for OneAmerica
- Leann Hall, Executive Director of Alliance for a Just Society and member of the national expansion committee of the Working Families Party
- Anthony Whittaker from Washington United, the Marriage Equality Campaign
Each panelist spoke to the strategies and tactics the progressive movement should be utilizing to build and increase our political power – specifically among the constituents that they work with. We left the plenary with concrete ways we can work with our members to expand our organization’s political power to stand up for our values of racial, social and economic justice.
A huge thank you to all of our members who attended (and especially those who traveled to attend)! We had a great day with you all and hope that you found the conference to be both educational and fun! We left feeling inspired and excited about our upcoming work and we’ll see you all again soon.
We’ll be putting photos up on our Facebook page soon, so make sure to take a look!