I grew up in a town where change was not on the agenda so it was not surprising that when 2008 came around, the presidential election caused quite a heated debate. I was two months too young to vote that November, but I was so empowered by Obama and his message that I made the decision to get involved. On Election Day, my friends and I stood outside our high school equipped with homemade signs encouraging people to vote. All day long, we were able to talk to teachers and students about our thoughts and hopes for the newly elected president. The rest of the night, I was electrified by the notion that my few hours of contribution had possibly helped elect our next president. This feeling of being so connected to the political process inspired me to work on various other campaigns and instilled in me the importance of people becoming involved.
Now, as a political intern at Democracy for America, my experiences are coming full circle. There is something about working with people across the country who come alive over a shared issue that inspires me in the same way that I was that November night in 2008. When I was asked to work on the Netroots Nation Scholarship Competition, I was so excited. The more I learned about the competition, the more excited I was to be working with people who are finding innovative new ways to combine the use of social media with the true and tested means of grassroots organizing.
This conference brings together creative minds from all backgrounds with progressive candidates and leaders. The Netroots Nation Scholarship gives financial support to dedicated bloggers and activists, and most of all provides them a chance to have their voices heard. There are so many dedicated people doing amazing work for all sorts of progressive issues that have received the scholarship in the past. Despite the fantastic applicants that have already applied, I also know that there are many, many other deserving applicants out there who working hard for the Progressive Movement. We want your voices. Apply today for an opportunity to attend Netroots Nation 2012.
Becoming involved in the political sphere has taken on a new meaning in this age of ever-changing technology. Advocating for a candidate no longer only means making phone calls to your fellow constituents or holding signs at a rally, it also means writing, reading, commenting, and seeking inspiration on political blogs and within social networks that connect you with people across the country that are doing the same. I can wager that most people know someone who will benefit greatly from attending Netroots Nation. Nominate them today. Use your voice to inspire the next Netroots Nation Scholar to compete in this year’s competition.