Bill Clinton and me

I don’t know Bill Clinton. I’ve never met him. I’ve only seen him speak live once — last night when he gave the opening keynote at Netroots Nation in Pittsburgh. Nonetheless, I do feel like I know good ol’ Bill. He was my president as a child growing up in little Winston-Salem, N.C. He’s a fellow Southerner, a good and respected leader around the world and someone who understands the needs of all Americans.

In 1992, I was six. For whatever reason, I knew I liked Bill Clinton. I saw him on the news when my parents watched at night and, immediately, I knew I should be on this guy’s side. I begged my mother to let me stay up late and watch the election returns. My first grade class in the morning be damned, I was going to watch Bill Clinton become president. I pleaded with my mom at dinner, after my bath and before I climbed into bed. She finally relented.

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From Prop 8 to full equality

Pam Spaulding at the NN Prop 8 panel

Pam Spaulding at the NN Prop 8 panel

The small workshop room is almost full for one of the first morning panels at Netroots Nation. The panel is “From Prop 8 to full equality,” and the panelists are Julia Rosen, online director for the Courage Campaign; blog mistress extraordinaire Pam Spaulding; Michael Wilson from Americans for Democratic Action; Monique Hoeflinger, from the LGBT Mentoring Project.

Marriage equality and other LGBT equality issues are showing themselves to be the definitive civil rights issue of our day. To win equality across America, in all 50 states, we’ll have a lot of work to do, including organizing and strategic action. But we’ll action from more than just LGBT folks. We need allies, Michael Wilson says.

“The LGBT movement can’t win this alone and shouldn’t have to,” Wilson says. “We will be an ally and will help to corral other allies and join effort to help advance the cause.”

Wilson added, “Prop 8 will be seen as the Dred Scott decision of our time.”

Click down below the fold for a run-down of the some of the conversation. Don’t want to have my face in my laptop the whole time, I’m folding it up. Look for updates on Twitter.

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Hello Pittsburgh

From my hotel in downtown Pittsburgh

Good morning America, live from Pittsburgh. Today is the day. Thousands of progressive bloggers, journalists, activists and politicians gather in the Steel City for four days of networking, conferencing, workshops, education and more at this year’s Netroots Nation.

I’m here, too. Completely excited and overwhelmed by the sheer volume of everything to be taken in. I have no idea where to go, what to see, who to talk to. My ADD is kicking in. But it is a good thing.

I spent yesterday evening mixing in with LGBT bloggers and friends I haven’t seen since last December’s LGBT blogger summit in D.C. It was a fun evening. I managed to grab a quick pic on my phone (before the battery went dead), of Bilerico’s Jerame chatting it up with National Equality March organizer Kip Williams. I gotta give it Kip… not many other folks would walk into the “lion’s den.” Despite our minor disagreements over strategy and the March, Kip’s goals of a nationwide grassroots movement sound great and I have every intention of learning more as the weekend goes by.

I’ll try to score some good interviews, photos and more through the weekend and bring them to you here. Be sure to pop back in this evening, tomorrow morning and through the weekend!