Warren, Ocasio-Cortez added to Netroots Nation lineup
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have been added to the list of headliners for the upcoming Netroots Nation conference in New Orleans.
An announcement Friday from organizers of the annual gathering of progressive activists said the two Democrats will join a list of other liberal and progressive speakers, such as Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro.
Warren, Booker, Castro and Harris are all considered potential 2020 presidential contenders, while Ocasio-Cortez has risen in national prominence since her shocking double-digit victory last month over Rep. Joseph Crowley, the No. 4 House Democrat, in his New York district’s Democratic primary.
Netroots Nation interim director Eric Thut on Friday said the progressive vision articulated by Ocaso-Cortez and Warren was the way forward for Democrats in 2018’s midterm elections.
“2018 is shaping up to be an election to remember for progressives. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Warren’s leadership and bold progressive vision represent the future of our party. Both recognize that Netroots is the place to connect with the grassroots activists who will lead us to victory in November and beyond,” he said.
Netroots Nation communications director Mary Rickles added that there is a need for “progressives from all levels of government” to weigh in on issues.
“These newly confirmed speakers remind us that we need progressives from all levels of government and from all walks of life to weigh in on the most important progressive issues of our time,” Rickles said in a statement.
Netroots Nation has grown in recent years as a gathering of left-leaning presidential candidates. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) spoke at the conference in 2015, and former President Obama delivered a video address to the conference in 2012, during his reelection campaign.
Other newly announced speakers include Gov. Steve Bullock (D-Mont.), Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and San Juan, Puerto Rico, Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.
“We can’t afford to continue relying on the tired myth of the white swing voter if we want to move forward,” Rickles said. “Our nation’s electorate is comprised of a multi-racial, multi-cultural coalition of voters who should have a seat at the table now and beyond 2018.”
This year’s conference is scheduled for Aug. 2-4. More than 3,000 liberal activists and organizers are expected to attend, according to Netroots Nation.