Las Vegas (CNN) - President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Saturday thanked progressive activists for their help in pushing through some of the Democrats' policy initiatives, but acknowledged more work needs to be done.
In a videotaped message played at the Netroots Nation conference, President Obama said some progress has been made to help the American economy, but "change has not come fast enough for too many Americans. I know that. It hasn't come fast enough for me either. I know it hasn't come fast enough for many of you who fought so hard during the election."
But he asked some of those who were his most loyal supporters during the 2008 election to take a moment and consider his administration's accomplishments. To help do that, the video included snippets of news broadcasts which reported on such developments as the passing of the stimulus bill and the health care overhaul, a new arms treaty with Russia, a new hate crimes prevention act and reforms in the student loan system.
"In ways large and small we have begun to deliver on the change you fought so hard for, and we are not done," the President said, citing commitments to close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, end the ‘don't ask, don't tell’ military policy and the commitment to stop combat mission in Iraq by the end of August.
Some of the thousands of the activists who gathered at this four-day convention are disappointed the administration has not made more progress on some of the activists’ key priorities, such as a public option provision in the health care bill or an attempt to break up the nation's biggest banks.
"The people at this conference, including myself, spent most of our days in 2008 waking up everyday and thinking, what can I do to elect Barack Obama as President. And we want him to succeed as President. But we want him to succeed passing the progressive agenda he campaigned on. He said he would stand up to big powerful interests for little guys. And unfortunately, he has shown a real refusal to fight on issue after issue. He chose to cut deals with insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies, as well as Wall Street, as opposed to really taking them on in a big profound way," Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, told CNN earlier in the week.
To try to quell some of that type of frustration, Obama told the gathering "we are not done" and said "What I am asking you is to keep making your voices heard, to keep holding me accountable, to keep up the fight."
For her part Pelosi, who received a standing ovation, credited those attending the convention with helping to build enough support to get the health care reform bill through Congress.
"We could not have opened the door without you," she said.
Asked about a bill to end discrimination against employees based on sexual orientation, Pelosi said it is a priority and hopes it and the ‘don't ask, don't tell’ reforms are passed this year.
"Let us get the drum beat going," she urged the activists. "Your impatience is justified. Let us make it productive."
Acknowledging the economy will be a key issue in this year's midterm elections, Pelosi singled out the obstructionist tactics of Senate Republicans as the reason the Democratically controlled Congress has not done more to pass jobs legislation. Just this week Congress voted to extend unemployment insurance, but provisions for creating summer jobs and others were dropped after Republicans opposed them because they would run up the deficit.
"We are making progress," she said "More needs to be done."
In light of the Senate deciding to take up a scaled-down energy bill that does not try to curb greenhouse gas emissions, Pelosi said action on the issue must be a priority.
Last year the House approved such a measure, and if the Senate fails to act, House Democrats will be left politically exposed and open to criticism with no legislative victory to show for their efforts.
"We must act upon this...time is running out," she said. "This is not an issue the Senate can walk away from."
For the coming midterm election, she asked the assembled activists for their help and to think about the risks if Republicans do re-take control on Congress. "One hundred days from tomorrow will be the election," she said. "On that day we want to have no regrets."