Sara Steffens is a staff representative for CWA District 9. She was formerly an award-winning reporter at the Contra Costa Times, before she and 28 of her fellow pro-union colleagues were fired for being union activists. Read Sara's story and watch her video.

Next Up: Young Workers Unite for a Brighter Tomorrow

didn't feel like your average union conference. Green Day and Muse blared between presentations. A smart phone app supplemented the paper agenda. And participants were encouraged to live-tweet their reactions to speakers and presentations. But despite these high-tech trappings, the 2nd annual AFL-CIO gathering was distinguished primarily by its substance.

Held in Minneapolis Sept. 29-Oct. 2, the summit drew more than 800 young (and youngish) union activists from around the nation, double the turnout of last year's inaugural event, all united in their desire to reignite the labor movement among workers 35 and younger.