SC Progressives to hold Spring Gathering May 19

The SC Progressive Network is hosting it’s 16th spring conference May 19, at the Communication Worker’s Hall, 566 Chris Drive in West Columbia. “The conference will shape our policy work for the coming year,” Network Director Brett Bursey said, “and enhance the movement building necessary to get our state off the bottom of the life quality charts.”

“As Gov. Haley and the Tea Party crowd lead people off the edge of a flat earth, it’s getting easier to sell rational politics in South Carolina,” Bursey observed. “She will defiantly get honorable mention as progressive organizer of the year at our conference May 19.”

The SC Progressive Network is a coalition of community and labor organizations that has led the fight to increase funding for education and public services by ending tax exemptions. The Network also organized effective opposition to the photo-voter-id requirement and passed legislation to track racial profiling.

“The problem is that we have elected people who are opposed to government to run our government,” Bursey said. “They apparently believe that an anti-tax ideology, a poorly educated workforce, lax environmental and business regulations are the way to improve the quality of life in our state.”

Registration for the conference will begin at 10am, with workshops starting at 10:30am on finding Missing Voters and the Racial Profiling Project. Participants can have lunch with a computer savvy adviser on how to use email or social networking. The afternoon session will deal with upcoming policy fights and political endorsements. The day will conclude with a reception at 5pm to honor Network Co-Chair Donna Dewitt, who is retiring as President of the SC AFL-CIO.

“We’ve had a busy and productive year,” said Network Co-chair Virginia Sanders. “This gathering is a chance for us to review what we did, learn from it, and map strategy for the coming year. I promise that if you come, you will leave feeling empowered.”

The $10 registration fee includes conference materials and lunch by Tio’s. RSVP at 803-808-3384 or More about the Network at


10:00 am – Registration, coffee and doughnuts

10:30 – Welcome and introductions

11:00 – Missing Voter Project Workshop: Finding, registering and engaging the 50 percent of South Carolinians who don’t vote

11:30 – Racial Profiling Workshop: Are your local cops following the law the Network helped pass? What you can do about it.

Noon – lunch and Social Media Workshop (optional): Everything you wanted to know about social networking but were afraid to ask

1:00 pm – Sorry State of the State: A reality check and a call to organize!

• Update on the Network’s recent and future fight for a moral budget, and planning next steps

• Protecting voting rights in South Carolina – what we did last year, and a look at what’s ahead

• Defending the working class and collective bargaining in a fiercely right-to-work state

4:00 – Network business and political endorsement process

5:00 – Reception to honor the retiring Donna Dewitt for her years of service as President of the SC-AFL-CIO. Since the Governor has declared Dewitt a “union thug”, Dewitt will prove her point by whacking a Haley pinata. The fruits of labor shall spill forth.