2016 Convention Speakers

These movement doers and thinkers are making their way to our 2016 statewide convention!




Larry Cohen—Keynote Speaker


Larry Cohen is the immediate past president of the 700,000-member Communications Workers of America (CWA) and has chaired the AFL-CIO organizing committee for the past ten years.  Larry is a fiery speaker and populist fighter—and a leading voice for workers’ rights, fair trade, voting rights and getting big money out of politics. Read more here!



Tobita Chow—The People’s Lobby

Creating the movement we need

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Tobita Chow is the chair of The People’s Lobby, a grassroots political organization that supports public policies and candidates that put the needs of people and the planet first and co-founder of the“Moral Mondays Illinois” campaign. He’ll share how together progressive grassroots activists can challenge the status quo to create the movement we need. Read more here!

Dawn Dannenbring and Rev. Tony Pierce of Illinois People’s Action

Pivoting past pipelines


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At Illinois People’s Action, Dawn and Reverend Tony connect the issues of clean energy and racial justice to empower everyday people and congregations to become full-partners in the decision making process on climate and justice issues.  Their fight against fossil fuels and to ensure clean energy jobs go to people of color is an inspiration on how we pivot from fossil-fuel pipelines to wind and solar based renewables. Read more here!


Amanda Weaver of Reclaim Chicago

Doing politics differently



They’ve weaved together racial and economic justice policy battles and tough-as-nails political organizing to take on the big monied, entrenched “Rahm Emanuel” machine in Chicago and win. Learn how they’ve mobilized new political activism to take on Chicago’s political establishment and score powerful wins. Read more here!


Michele Merkel and Tarah Heinzen of Food and Water Watch 

Seizing our clean water moment


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Hear what’s next in our Clean Water Fight and get the latest on the federal Clean Water Act and bad pollution trading schemes from our powerful legal allies from Food and Water Watch. Read more here!


Les Leopold of the Labor Institute

Building powerful mass movements


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Les Leopold, author of “Runaway Inequality”, will talk about the roots of our current economic crisis and how it relates to all of our issues from the workplace to our environment.  Together, we’ll explore how breaking down issue silos can help us build the powerful mass movement we need to fight back and win. Read more here!

Details to Know


Saturday, August 20 | 8:30 am – 4 pm

First Christian Church, 2500 University Ave., Des Moines, Ia. 50311

Register TODAY!


Click here for more information!