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Equal Voice 2012 Online Convention

Filed under: Gallery |
Story by Kathy Mulady | Equal Voice Newspaper
  • On May 20th families came together to vote on issues that matter most to families, and will form the 2012 Equal Voice National Family Platform (photographer Jazmin Francis from ARISE)

  • About 280 people gathered at the convention center in McAllen, Texas to take part in the 2012 Equal Voice Online National Convention. (photographer Jazmin Francis from ARISE)

  • For others, voting by ballot was a great alternative. In McAllen, Texas organizers provided participants with a variety of ways to cast their votes for issues that will make up the 2012 National Family Platform. (photographer Jazmin Francis from ARISE)

  • On May 20, families across the country came together in person and online to vote on the issues that matter most to families, and will form the 2012 Equal Voice National Family Platform.

  • Karen Babino in Atlanta, Georgia, reviews the 2008 Equal Voice National Family Platform at a gathering sponsored by Georgia STAND UP before watching the Equal Voice Online National Convention.

  • In Seattle, Luz Vega-Marquis, president and CEO of the Marguerite Casey Foundation, welcomes families nationwide on May 20 to vote on issues to be included in the 2012 Equal Voice National Platform.

  • About 280 people gathered at the convention center in McAllen, Texas to take part in the 2012 Equal Voice Online National Convention. McAllen was one of three sites featured in the live broadcast. Michael Seifert and Lourdes Flores hosted.

  • About 380 people gathered at the B&A Warehouse in Birmingham, Ala. for the 2012 Equal Voice Online National Convention to vote on issues affecting their families. Ala. State Rep. Marike Coleman was the host for the event.

  • Reporter John Harrod interviewed audience members in Birmingham, Alabama, while viewers in Seattle, and throughout the country watched by internet, held their own discussions, and then voted.

  • Audiences participated in the 2012 Equal Voice Online National Convention in a wide variety of ways, including texting and tweeting about issues, posting to Facebook, taking pictures and Instagramming, and voting.

  • In 30 states, groups of all ages like this one in Apopka, Florida, gathered around monitors to watch the online national Convention and vote on issues for the 2012 National Family Platform.

  • Georgia STAND UP and 9to5 Working Women gathered in Atlanta, Georgia on May 20 to vote on issues for the 2012 National Family Platform.

  • Families with Action, Communication and Education Reform (ACER) in Mississippi turned out in force to participate in the 2012 Equal Voice Online National Convention on May 20 with laptops and cell phones to participate – and to vote.

  • Some people gathered in smaller groups, like this one in Homestead, Florida to learn about the issues and vote on the 2012 Equal Voice National Family Platform. Families gathered in convention centers, libraries, offices, coffee shops and living rooms.

  • Reporter Josephine Cheng checks in with young people tweeting about the online national convention in Seattle. Dozens of young people around the country were trained in different social media in preparation for the online national convention and voting on the family platform.

  • The social media set in McAllen, Texas was buzzing during the 2012 Equal Voice Online National Convention. Youth organizers from La Union del Pueblo Entero said social media is a valuable tool for organizing.

  • Concerned Citizens for a Better Greenville crowded the room in Mississippi to take part in the 2012 Equal Voice Online National Convention. Some participants were so energized by the event they planned to spread the word and take ballots to families unable to participate.

  • The focus of the Equal Voice Online National Convention was joining with thousands of other families throughout the country to vote on issues that matter most to families – such as education, health care, child care, housing and transportation.

  • Young people at Latino Health Access in Santa Ana, Calif. were energized, engaged, focused – and they voted.

  • Families at Casa Familiar in San Ysidro worked together to cast their votes for issues that they want included in the 2012 National Family Platform.

  • Voting on issues for the Equal Voice 2012 National Family Platform could be done by texting, online, or by paper ballot. Ballots were offered in English, Spanish and Chinese, and voting continued through June 11.

  • For some, including this woman in Apopka, Florida, texting was the easiest way to cast votes for the 2012 National Family Platform.

  • For others, voting by ballot was a great alternative. In Apopka, Florida, organizers provided participants with a variety of ways to cast their votes for issues that will make up the 2012 National Family Platform.

  • Seattle host Greg Hodge, Luz Vega-Marquis, president and CEO of the Marguerite Casey Foundation, and Marcelas Owens, 13, a health care activist, sign off in Seattle after the online convention and voting on the 2012 National Family Platform.

  • Equal Voice for America’s Families e-postcard by DeBug. More information is available at www.equalvoice2012.org and Equal Voice News.

  • Affordable housing, education, jobs, safe communities, health care, child care … Every issue is a family issue. Silicon Valley DeBug, a media and community organizing collective from San Jose, Calif., created a series of electronic postcards shared on Twitter, Facebook and by email to draw attention to the May 20 online Convention and the issues.

As the 2012 national elections approach, rarely has America been so divided on essential human and civil rights, and rarely has so much been at stake for families.

On May 20, families throughout the country came together – online and in person – to vote on the issues for the 2012 Equal Voice National Family Platform – and to send a powerful message to the president, to decision-makers and to the country that families will be heard in 2012.

Thousands gathered in convention halls, conference centers, office buildings and libraries. Hundreds more came together at restaurants, community centers, libraries and coffee shops. Others met in living rooms.

“We are here to address nothing less than the future of our country,” said Luz Vega-Marquis, president and CEO of Marguerite Casey Foundation which sponsored the gathering webcast live around the world.

As families saw the faces of other families across the country, heard their stories and felt the shared passion and power, the national online convention was quickly nicknamed “The Equal Voice Nation.”

More than half who participated had annual household incomes under $25,000 annually, 21 percent have annual household incomes of less than $10,000. They gave their time, coming together, to create change for all families in America.

Young people, a critical part of the national platform, are passionate and natural organizers. They will assure that momentum and networks built today will still be strong years from now.

Silicon Valley DeBug, a media and community organizing cooperative helped train Equal Voice youth in using social media as a tool to connect and organize with others around the country on family issues.

For many, it was the first time they’d had the opportunity to use a computer or to send a text message. For many, it was an awakening to the possibilities of communities working together throughout the nation.

The Equal Voice Nation.

“The genie is out of the bottle,” said President and CEO Luz Vega-Marquis. “In 2012, families do have an equal voice.”


 

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