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What Robert Redford and fellow lefties are up to at the Project New West summit

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Today and tomorrow, political heavy hitters of the progressive persuasion throughout the region are meeting at the Colorado History Museum as part of the 2009 Western Summit, sponsored by Project New West, an organization that describes itself as "the leading authority on the values, issues, and demographics that define America's 'New West.'" Of course, not all the attendees hold elective office or are part of government bureaucracies. For instance, folks such as Bill Ritter, John Hickenlooper and New Mexico Senator Tom Udall will get a chance to find out if Robert Redford's eye job has stretched his facial skin so tight that his feet kick back when he blinks -- and with luck, Jim Messina will finally reveal why your mama don't dance and your daddy don't rock and roll.

At this writing, a continental breakfast is underway -- but at 8:30 a.m., U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will make an address -- a frightening prospect, since his speech at last August's Democratic National Convention at the Pepsi Center re-established his reputation as the most boring man in politics. And after that? Click "Continue" to see the summit's complete agenda.


7:30am - 12:30pm Check-in

7:30am - 9:00am Continental Breakfast

8:30am - 9:45am Then and Now: The New West Leading the Way for America

Keynote Speaker U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

This will be an over-arching introduction to the Summit and Project New West, with an historical, demographic, and political look at the West.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV)

Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. (CO)

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper

U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman (NM)

U.S. Senator Tom Udall (NM)

U.S. Congressman John Salazar (CO)

Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish (NM)

State Auditor Hector Balderas (NM)

Jill Hanauer, President of Project New West (PNW)

10:00am - 10:30am All Roads Lead West

Special Guest Jim Messina will discuss the critical role the New West plays in American politics and public policy today and as we move into the next decade.

Moderated by John Stocks, Deputy Executive Director of the National Education Association (NEA), Chair of Project New West Advisory Council

10:30am - 10:45am Break

10:45am - 12:00pm The New Energy Economy & Jobs in the New West

This will be a discussion of the New Energy Economy and how it not only taps into Westerners' innovative and aspiring spirit, but also offers our region unparalleled economic opportunities for growth.

U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman (NM)

Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. (CO)

U.S. Congressman Raúl Grijalva (AZ)

Moderated by Rob Katz, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Vail Resorts, Inc.

12:00pm - 12:15pm Break

12:15pm - 1:30pm Keynote Luncheon:

A Conversation with Robert Redford and U.S. Senator Tom Udall (NM)

Join in a conversation about the West and the future of the West with two of the nation's leading conservationists.

Welcome and remarks by Jill Hanauer, President of Project New West (PNW)

1:30pm - 1:45pm Break

1:45pm - 2:15pm American Ingenuity in the 21st Century

Today's energy challenges require new thinking and innovative solutions. This discussion will delve into the many perspectives on this crucial topic.

Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish (NM)

Special Guest T. Boone Pickens

Moderated by Susan McCue, President & CEO, Message Global, Member of Project New West Advisory Council

2:15pm - 2:30pm Break

2:30pm - 3:45pm Hispanics and the New West

This will be a conversation about the critical role that Hispanics play in determining the future of the New West.

Attorney General Terry Goddard (AZ)

State Auditor Hector Balderas (NM)

Mark Hugo Lopez, Ph.D. of the Pew Hispanic Center

Moderated by Lorena Chambers, CEO of Chambers Lopez & Gaitán LLC, Project New West Advisor

3:45pm - 4:00pm Break

4:00pm - 5:30pm Western Challenges and Opportunities: A Conversation with Western Leaders

A view into the challenges and opportunities that Western elected officials face every day, such as education, the economy, immigration, conservation and recreation.

U.S. Congressman Walt Minnick (ID)

Speaker of the House of Representatives Terrance D. Carroll (CO)

Assembly Majority Leader John Oceguera (NV)

Senate Minority Leader Patricia Jones (UT)

Chief J. Allan, Chairman of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe (ID)

Assistant House Democratic Leader Kyrsten Sinema (AZ)

Senator Floyd Esquibel (WY)

Eric Stern, Senior Counsel, Governor Brian Schweitzer (MT)

Moderated by John Stocks, Deputy Executive Director of the National Education Association (NEA), Chair of the Project New West Advisory Council

5:45pm - 7:00pm Museum Reception

Colorado History Museum Exhibit Hall


August 14, 2009: Friday Sessions Open Only to Summit Participants. Breakfast on your own

8:30am - 10:30am Check-in (Required only for Friday One-day attendees)

9:00am - 10:30am The Research of Project New West

Project New West's Research Team will discuss its groundbreaking repository of Western attitudinal, issue, and demographic research and analysis. The team will also share Project New West's upcoming innovative projects.

Project New West's Research Team includes:

Enrique Castillo, Principal, Castillo & Associates, Project New West Advisor

Lorena Chambers, CEO of Chambers Lopez & Gaitán LLC, Project New West Advisor

Lisa Grove, Founder and Principal of Grove Insight, Project New West Advisor

Andrew Myers, President and CEO of Myers Research | Strategic Services, Project New West Advisor

Molly Norton, Vice President of IMS Research, Project New West Advisor

Moderated by David Winkler, Research Director, Project New West (PNW)

Welcome and remarks by Mike Podhorzer, Deputy Political Director, American Federation of Labor - Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)

10:30am - 10:45am Break

10:45am - 12:15pm Coalition Building and Voting the Western Way Western and national strategists will lead a discussion about the challenges and opportunities unique to the West. Political and demographic changes have created new coalitions and opened doors to better collaborations for finding practical solutions to issues facing the region.

Brian Weeks, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)

Greg Speed, America Votes

Kristina Wilfore, Ballot Initiative Strategy Center (BISC)

Bill Burke, Foundation for the Future

Tony Massaro, League of Conservation Voters (LCV)

Marcelo Gaete, Mi Familia Vota

General Paul D. Eaton, US Army (Retired), National Security Network

Andy Wong, Power PAC

Jon Youngdahl, Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

Moderated by Paul Harstad, CEO of Harstad Strategic Research

Welcome and remarks by Laura Quinn, CEO of Catalist

12:15pm - 12:30pm Western Roots for an American Agenda

Ken Lane, veteran Colorado political advisor and senior aide

12:30pm - 1:45pm Lunch

2:00pm - 3:30pm New West Roundtable: Electoral Priorities & Grassroots Organizing

Top political leaders and PNW Core Group members from each of the New West states will discuss key electoral and organizing priorities leading into 2010.

Arizona - David Waid, Founding Partner, Ziemba Waid Public Affairs

Colorado - Kelly Nordini, Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. (CO)

Idaho - John Foster, Former Executive Director, Idaho Democratic Party

Montana - Bill Lombardi, Former Political Director, Tester for Senate

Nevada - Sam Lieberman, Chair, Nevada State Democratic Party

New Mexico - Amanda Cooper, Principal AJC Strategies, Senior Advisor to U.S. Senator Tom Udall (NM) and Governor Bill Richardson (NM)

Utah - Wayne Holland, Chair, Utah Democratic Party

Wyoming - Leslie Petersen, Chair, Wyoming Democratic Party

Welcome, remarks, and closing by Jill Hanauer, President of Project New West (PNW)

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