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Liveblogging Momentum 2008 conference

jpozners Icon Posted by Jennifer L Pozner

July 21st, 2008

Hot off the heels of the extremely productive media commentary workshop that Catherine Orenstein and I co-facilitated at BlogHer (which ended yesterday morning), I went directly to the Tides Foundation’s Momentum 2008 conference, which is bringing together visionary progressive leaders in a broad swatch of sectors, to share their best thinking on what America’s deepest problems are, and share their big, bold strategies for creating substantive, lasting change. which opened with one of the most powerful, positive and important plenary sessions I’ve seen at any conference in a very long time.

There was no wifi in the plenary room, so I took the following notes in Word and am uploading them here this morning. Speakers at Momentum each have eighteen minutes to present, no more, no less, so most plenary participants spoke very quickly, and I tried to get the gist of what they offered during their time on the mic. Please excuse the incomplete nature of the notes below, which I transcribed to the best of my ability but which are definitely incomplete, and close to but not word-for-word. And since I’m in the middle of another conference session, I have no time to fix typos and sentence fragments. I may go back and do that later… but hopefully, you’ll get the gist.

All disclaimers aside, here are my notes from the NEIGHBORHOOD PLENARY:

Maria Teresa Petersen from Voto Latino

opens with a Cnn clip – larry king live — on Latino vote. Then shows a video they produced using humor and a spoof telenovela format as a get out the vote media campaign, esp. to capture Latino youth vote

1 of every 4 children born today are of latino descent
79% of the latino vote consumes primarily in english - yet majority of election targeting is in spanish
how to create relevant media, technology, etc. holistic approach to bringing them on board?
how do we change the national conversation?
Latinos are the fastest early adopters of technology
They consume more media online
They’re online 88.1 minutes v. 81.8 minutes in the general population
Consume 150 web pages v. 130 in general pop
Increasingly we like to go online is because we want to find culturally relevant media that speak to us. A telenovela is

Myspace impact under the declare yourself file

Myspace and text messaging
Led to the immigration rallies that led to 2 million people marching, largest in our nation’s history.

Provided VJs and celebrity guests with talking points

Voto Latino partnered with mobile voter – voter registration via text messaging
Online youth organizing and viral campaign w/local celebs & local DJs
Gave technology to students to find out what worked best
Celebrity was fantastic about getting media to change the media conversation – the latino voter isn’t a monolithic, and is generational
But it was the local dj influencer that was good at getting the message to the youth over long term

Social networking community – crash the parties – ctv, la tv and mtv dres

A lot of young people weren’t registering to vote because they don’t know the process, and because people weren’t

Become an embedded reporter at the DNC and RNC and report to your peers what you’re seeing on the ground
6 week program
over 125 submissions
over 40,000 people went online to vote on who their reps would be
got calls for local newspapers because young people wanted to have their newspapers support people to vote for them

senator Menendez, martinez and rick sanchez anchor for cnn
young people will shadow cnn’s sanches on the ground at the campaign
how we took a community bulding online initiative

folks take for granted that there are very few latinos seen as experts in the media.

all the online initiatives that we’ve done

network of 135 online publishers
bloggers
liveblogging with them
on super Tuesday hosted 13 hours of liveblogging
community building
work with lawyers committee

voto latino benefit album with itunes

in less than 3.5 hours, the album went to #1 and stayed there for three weeks

everyone tells us we’re latino and we’re proud to be latino, but no one tells us that we’re American, too.

During the latin alternative music conference

Sho-boy get out and vote out

Rosario Dawson is the cofounder

Partnered with LA TV and CTV

Targeted media cover in battleground states where the electoral// latino vote is 10% or more & the

Gihan Perera, Cofounder and exec director of Miami Workers Center

What is a strategy for power? How do you take democracy and human rights at a core and turn it into a strategy… moving out of our issue silos, our organizational & city silos into regional and national conversations…

TO BUILD A MOMVENEBT IN 6 EASY STEPS

1. Scale – present scale was wholly inadequate to lead and make fundamental change. In order to get bigger/broader/elections, etc. had to be done but we will never have enough staff tp build a movmement. If we do not buikd into the consciousness of our – we have to get to scale in a way that is sustainable, and that needs to be done via our leaders

2. The new majority alliance – with present alienation of just about everyone in cities, build a majoritarian movement in our cities

3. Political voice – we usually speak to ourselves, but if our ideas are meant to be majoritaria, we ned to ramp u[ our voice, get it to people who can be won over, use tools, new media and technologies to have our ideas be ones that are in debate

4. Democratically controlled econpmic institutions – even when we win the policym we give it away when gov’t gives it away to corporations. Move from policies to implementation via sources of wealth

5. Governance: remarking the public good – we’ve lost our power and will to feel that e are capable to govern. Not only electing folks into offie, but also outside fo the govt sphere. Look at governance in all the places and ways, institutions, etc. – banks, communications infrastrcture, th way we think and live

6. Earth to sky – the need for a national movement – what’s seen as national movements have often come at expense of our local organizing. So that we, then, ourelves have become parochial. Control has been reducd to a city or a neighborhood, even. The entire apparatus has gone beyond us. We need a national movement in scope that is rooted in localities. It’s a conversation in process.

IT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO TALK ABOUT RACE AND MOVE ON TO THE NEXT THING – RACE AND CLASS AND GENDER NEED TO BE CENTRAL AXIS AROUND WHICH WILL RESOLVE THE CRISIS OF THE PLANET AND HUMANITY.

TANYA HARRIS, ACORN HEAD ORGANIZER FROM NEW ORLEANS

I was watching water inundate my neighborhood. The feeling of helplessness was incredible. Feeling like I wouldn’t be returning home for quite some time. So, what do you do?

Katrina brought about things that were unexpected in a quite a few ways. There were the images that we all understand. Images that we see of the superdome, devestation, the wrath of levees opening up on our city… but it brought about some changes in terms of people’s waking up, the sleeping giants in each of these communities.

Across has been organizing in new olreans since 1976. 9,000 member families in new Orleans before Katrina.

There was a feeling of an attempt that there was a plan toward ethnic cleansing

Right of return

No bulldozer campaign – about rights, about respect

If a tornado rips through the heartland and reduces everyone’s houses to sticks, the next day everyone’s out there looking at their sticks

Fighting against eminent domain and issues of property rights were starting to be challenged for our people

Poor people, people of color, being able to tranfer wealth via real estate

Coference in baton rouge in nov. 05

Should you go back to a dangerous area, it’s prine to flooding.
No it’s not, it’s prone to ambush.

The People’s Plan for overcoming the hurricane Katrina blue
Sat down with hundreds and hundreds of people in our neighborhoods to put truth and people into planning, and have people own a piece of the plan to redevelop their communities

We won the right to return to the lower ninth ward, utilities being turned back on (9 months after everywhere else), the first 2 new homes build in lower 9th ward were built by acorn. These two houses signaled the return to the community.

March 27th 2007 – “recovery czar” for new Orleans

A young woman of color involved with the arts group that created the graphics in the program said just a few words, and I’ll be adding in her name when I find out who she was (she wasn’t in the brochure):

art and culture play a really key role in our movement
art, posters, music, we can offer a new vision
develop graphics that talk about the most serious issues in the 21st century, globalization to war to how immigrants are being treated to the lection to food to the economy, we develop graphics around those concepts in a collabprative process
art to empower our community, a group that was for 7 years looking for space in Oakland, now we have a cultural center and affordabl housing. Transformation and what we can do for our communities… through nonprofits, culture, businesses to create the communities e want

want to stress the role that women of color play as artists and culture makers
we live in a time of media monopoly and our voices are shut out completely on the corporate stage… so women of color have a strong responsibility as artists, as creative makers of media and graphics, it is through these that we’re going to be able to expose what’s happening in the country.

Visit our website – think about the role that women of color, young people and arts & creative communities play in our movements.

Angelica Salas, director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrants Rights of Los Angeles:

Begins with video – ice raids.van nuys – women, young women & girls, discussing the impact of ICE raids and immigration policy on their lives, rights, families

We fight for immigration reform because we believe the 12 million people who fight for legalization without lega status deserve the chance toward legal status

People say they should wait in line. I say they’ve been waiting in line for decades. It’s time for them to get out of that line.

There’s talent. There’s skill. There’s a great conviction to succeed. We’re wasting a lot of lives…

We learned in this last round we can’t ignore communications
Lou dobbs
O’reilly
Glenn beck
75% of airtime to anti-immigrant messages (lou dobbs programming)

e need to invest in a communications strategy that helps… people to understand tht they’re creating the information that everyday people are learning

we need to invest in field capacity

SHE HAD BIRLLIANT THINGS TO SAY ABOUT THE INTERCONNECTION OF IMMIGRANTS AND THE WIDER PROGRESSIVE AGENDA, AND WHY AND HOW IMMIGRATNS WILL FIGHT FOR HEALTH CARE, AGAINST CRIMINALIZATION, FOR LABOR RIGHTS, ETC.

Peter Leyden
–presented an extremely quickly-spoken PowerPoint about what he called “The Obama Moment,” and new verses old political strategies for progressives winning elections.

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