Keystone Progress held its sixth annual Progressive Summit Friday and Saturday and this year they sold it out. 800 people gathered at the Harrisburg Hilton for two days of speakers, workshops and parties. The highlight on Friday was a speech by Cecile Richards of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. She brought down the house by reminding the audience that although the Koch Brothers want to spend close to a billion dollars in the 2016 elections progressives can counter that with millions of people.
The Koch Brothers were also the object of a speech Saturday morning by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. The Independent socialist empowered the full house in a talk about the dangers of income inequality, how we got into the mess and how the Koch Brothers want to make things far worse. Jim Dean of Democracy For America, based in Vermont, introduced the Senator.
Cecile Richards with Kate Michelman:
Michael Morrill, Executive Director of Keystone Progress, reminded the progressives that we have to be the conscience of the Commonwealth and hold our elected officials accountable for their corruption even when they are on our side (or so we thought). That comment only got sparse applause but I salute Mike’s courage in saying it. It was something, in light of the Rob McCord case, which needed to be said.
44 workshops filled much of Saturday and topics ranged the entire spectrum of progressive issues. Sen. Daylin Leach hosted a party Friday evening and Manan Trivedi hosted a karaoke party into the wee hours.
Jim Dean’s introduction of Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Sen. Bernie Sanders: