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Ask The Speaker!
Welcome to the Netroots Nation question submission page for the Saturday morning (July 19, 9:00am) keynote session "Ask The Speaker." The event empowers citizens to engage America's current House Speaker in substantive discussion about current issues, the legislative process, and how citizens can participate in their government. Instead of simply giving a speech at a podium, Speaker Pelosi will be taking your questions and interacting with convention attendees. The 9 a.m. keynote will be moderated by Gina Cooper, Netroots Nation's Executive Director, and Jeffrey Feldman, author and blogger. But it all begins right now, right here, when you submit your questions and vote on questions submitted by others.

Want to ask the Speaker a question? Our time with the Speaker will be brief, so to make the most of it we have created a system for gathering as many questions as possible from across the netroots. Want to submit a question? Here's what you do:

  1. Take A Quick Look Around First: Before you submit your own question, read around to see that the site has been divided into categories to help organize the submissions and elicit as wide a range of ideas as possible. Also, take a quick peek at what's already been submitted.
  2. Click on "New Idea" To submit a question start by clicking the big orange button that says "New Idea." You will be asked for a valid email, and then taken to a basic comment submission form.
  3. Formulate a Concise Question: Keep in mind that a question is a single sentence with a question mark at the end of it--preferably a sentence that can be spoken in one breath. If your question has chapter headings ; ) consider (1) revising it to make it shorter and more concise and/or (2) dividing it into multiple submissions. What makes for a great question? Try for a question that invites the Speaker onto new terrain having to do with policy, campaigns, or democratic engagement. Questions that invite the Speaker to admit failure on a past issue are not off-limits, but they will likely be folded into other submissions to create more vibrant starting points for a back-and-forth.
  4. Hit "Submit" : Once your questions is written, submit it and your job is complete! Feel free to submit as many questions as you have in as many categories as you like.
  5. Vote Up! Vote Down!: The final step is one that every blogger knows well: recommending. Our system has a built in voting system not unlike Digg or Reddit. All you need to do is vote a comment up or down and everyone (including the moderators) will get to see which questions sit best with the most blog readers and conference attendees.

What Happens After I Submit My Question?
Prior to the conference, the moderators will print out all the questions and the vote tally, and then pull together a list of questions to pose to Speaker Pelosi during her keynote. Some questions will be posed exactly as they were submitted, some will be edited down, some will be combined with others. The final result will be a set of questions based entirely on open-source contributions from blog readers across the netroots--progressive democracy in action and delivered to the third most powerful member of our government.

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