AFL-CIO Announces Video Contest!  

I found this on the AFL-CIO Now Blog

How Would You Turn Around America? Send Us a Video and You Could Win

by Mike Hall, Apr 10, 2008

Most people agree our nation is heading in the wrong direction—from health care to the economy to global warming to the war in Iraq. We want to know how you think we can “Turn Around America” and put us back on the right track.

Today, the AFL-CIO launches a “Turn Around America” Online Video Competition for you to answer the following questions: “How can we turn around what most of us agree is our country’s wrong-headed direction? What’s not working? What changes would you like to see? How do we get it done?” You can use any form of visual expression, including songs, poetry, comedy and/or animation, as long as your entry is in the form of a video, to send us your thoughts and ideas.

Some contest-winning videos will be featured in TV ads to get the “Turn Around America” message out to voters and candidates this election year, and some winners also will walk away with some cash.

The national grand prize winner will receive $2,000 and there is a $2,000 “Young Activist” award for a video submitted by someone between the ages of 14 and 25 as of April 1, 2008. Also, winners in up to a dozen cities where AFL-CIO “Turn Around America” rallies, marches and other events are scheduled through the summer, will win $1,000 each. There also is an “Our America” award for the video with the most online votes. (Click here for more information about the judging and the prizes.)

The video contest is part of the union movement’s “Turn Around America” mobilization in which we’re reaching out to working family voters around the country, building grassroots momentum to elect leaders who will fight for health care, workers’ freedom to form unions, fair trade and an economy that works for all.

AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker says the campaign was inspired by retired United Steelworkers (USW) member Steve Skvara. Last summer, Skvara told 20,000 union members and eight candidates at the AFL-CIO Presidential Candidates Forum the emotional and moving story of the difficulty in finding and affording health care for his wife. Then he asked:

What’s wrong with America and what will you do to change it?

Says Holt Baker:

Every day we hear from working people like Steve who believe that in order to make America work, we need to do a complete 180 degree turn. This video contest is meant to inspire people to envision how we can create a better nation.

The contest runs through May 20 and winners will be announced in early June.

The judges come from the worlds of labor, film, stage, documentaries, comedy and television. Some of the notables are longtime progressive documentary filmmaker, Barbara Kopple; Robert Greenwald, director and producer of “Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism” and “Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price”; comedian Damon Williams; and Gillian Grisman, director and producer of “Grateful Dawg” and “Keeping Time: New Music from America’s Roots.” (Click here for more information about the judges.)

Says Grisman:

Like so many Americans, I have been asking myself the same questions that are posted in this contest. I’m looking forward to seeing the creative responses to the challenge because I believe art speaks truth to power and will spark a meaningful dialogue about how we can turn this country around.

Local winners will be chosen from Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Cleveland; Cincinnati; Columbus, Ohio; Denver; Detroit; Portland, Ore.; New Hampshire; Maine; St. Louis; Chicago; and the St. Paul/Minneapolis/Rochester, Minn., area.

There are a number of guidelines you will need to follow. For example, the videos must be no longer than three-and-a-half minutes in length; you must be 14 years old or older as of April 1, 2008; do not include any reference to any political person, candidate, party, association or corporation in any way. Click here for the entire set of guidelines and here for contest rules.

Roll ‘em!

Now, I just have to get my 14 year old to take our video camera and run with this!!


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