“I woke up this morning
Feeling brand new.
The dreams that I been dreamin
Finally came true.”
Hologramed-in Will.I.Am and his real counterpart have been a pretty great asset to President-elect Barack Obama. The viral video became a real force to be reckoned with this election.
On Friday, he released his latest video–a celebration of Obama’s victory. It has the usual visits from celebrities (Fergie, Kyra Sedgwick and husband Kevin Bacon, etc.), this time dancing in celebration. But more importantly it has that same energy of optimism and possibility.
I don’t know how long the fact that Obama won will give me chills. I hope forever. It’s a great feeling.
My article from my summer fellowship, News 21, finally made it into High Country News.
Native Americans are poised to swing some Western battleground states
by Rebecca Ford
The phones are down in Sonny Weahkee’s cluttered office on a quiet street near the University of New Mexico. But Weahkee, a Navajo, Cochiti and Zuni Pueblo Indian with a dark ponytail and a patient, gentle way of speaking, is still working on this late July day. As the executive director of the nonprofit Sacred Alliance for Grassroots Equality (SAGE) Council, he has his hands full mobilizing New Mexico’s sizeable Native American population to vote in the upcoming presidential election.
Other Native American activist groups, such as the Washington, D.C.-based National Congress of American Indians and the Oklahoma-based Indigenous Democratic Network, or INDN’s List, have mounted similar efforts across the country, working to raise awareness among candidates and voters of the need for better-funded Native healthcare and education. “If we stand together and vote together on whatever issue, we can start to gain some momentum and start turning people’s heads,” Weahkee says……
I’ve been out of the country more times than vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. And that was BEFORE the news discovered that she’s actually been exaggerating her ONE overseas trip.
According to news reports, she actually DID NOT go into Iraq. And her trip to Ireland? oh yea, that was just a refueling stop. If I counted all the places I’ve refueled or changed plans… well, I’d have been to a lot more places.
Knowing what the rest of the world is like is a VERY important point for the leaders of our country. We’re already filled with such American-centric people, we don’t need them running our country. I love the U.S. compeletly, but you must know how the rest of the world lives.
When I talk to my parents and grandparents,
They remind me
That I never lived in a world
Before the internet,
Before itunes, iphones and ipods,
Before people of all color could go to school together.
I missed Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech,
And the protests against the Vietnam War,
And watching a man land on the moon.
I missed it all.
But for my generation, this may be our moment.
This may be the moment that our children ask us about.
Because for them,
Every president WON’T be a white male.
Diversity and optimism
Will be as common and widespread as itunes and iphones.
Or so I hope.
The website for the News 21 Fellowship I’ve been involved with for the last ten weeks finally goes live tonight. The stories range from Evangelicals, to new citizens to Native Americans and how their votes will affect the upcoming election. Each story has multimedia elements, including slideshows, video and maps.
I spent some time talking to Native Americans in New Mexico, and discovered that a handful of activists have been working for nearly 20 years to get Native Americans registered to vote. Their efforts are finally paying off this year, with thousands of New Mexico Native Americans mobilized to have a real influence over the outcome of the state.
New Mexico is a beautiful state–with blue sky for days and stunning cliffs–but the poverty of the people was tough to see. Here are some photos, and please check out the site.
Please feel free to check out the general site here:
I took some video of Obama’s speech at the La Raza Convention in San Diego (see my story with nearly 10,000 hits here). It’s a tad shaky, but when all I’ve got to work with is a little hand-held camera, well, that’s all I got.
He speaks about the American Dream and the Latino vote, so take a look. And if you haven’t seen him speak in person yet, I suggest you find a way.
ALBUQUERQUE — Native American voters, often treated as an afterthought in presidential elections, are receiving an unprecedented amount of attention from both presidential candidates this year in the battleground state of New Mexico.
It’s a development nearly two decades in the making in which a handful of Albuquerque–based activists have been working to create a well-organized and powerful Native American voice.
Today, with 63,000 registered voters, according to the Secretary of State’s Office, Native Americans may well be the swing constituency in one of the most politically volatile states in the country.
The Sacred Alliance for Grassroots Equality (SAGE) Council, founded in 1996 by brother and sister Sonny and Laurie Weahkee, was formed to protest the construction of a road through the Petroglyph National Monument on Albuquerque’s fast-growing westside….