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"Group to register young Latinos to vote through text messages"

I guess this entry could also have been in the Hispanic / Latino category as well... In prepping for the upcoming NPI event I found this news story from the Gannet News Service... Here are excerpts:

Group to register young Latinos to vote through text messages

WASHINGTON - Text messaging worked so well in rallying young Hispanics
to immigration protests this spring that political activists want to
apply the technology elsewhere: registering those young people to

The message is a simple one, said Maria Teresa Petersen, executive
director of Voto Latino, which plans to register at least 35,000 young
Hispanics nationwide through the text message initiative.

"You've marched," she said. "Now you've got to register and now you've
got to vote."

Voto Latino, founded by actress Rosario Dawson, is among a number of
political organizations targeting young Hispanics for voter outreach
efforts. The group plans to launch their initiative early next month...

"It's not just a question of who you can register now, it's who are
you influencing for the 2008 elections as well," said Antonio
Tijerino, president of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation...

Through text messaging, musicians at a concert, for example, can ask
their fans to text Voto Latino to register to vote. Those fans would
receive an immediate response from Voto Latino with instructions on
how to get a voter registration form.

They also could forward that message to their friends.

The use of the technology is even more prevalent among youth and
Hispanic cell phone users. About 65 percent of Americans between the
ages of 18-29 use text messaging; 54 percent of Hispanics use the
technology. By comparison, only about 35 percent of the general
population does, according to a recent study by the Pew Internet &
American Life project.

But despite the popularity of text messaging, political campaigns and
voter outreach groups have yet to tap the potential of the technology,
said Julie Germany of the Institute for Politics, Democracy and the
Internet at George Washington University...

Viral and Social Video Online: "A Campaign Game-changer..."

From today's Post, an article on viral and social video and the role they will play in upcoming political campaigns. Excerpts below:

While bloggers played a role in the last presidential election, most advertising and message delivery still comes from campaigns, political parties and interest groups with enough money to bankroll a television blitz. But the YouTube revolution -- which includes dozens of sites such as Google Video, Revver.com and Metacafe.com -- could turn that on its head.

If any teenager can put up a video for or against a candidate, and persuade other people to watch that video, the center of gravity could shift to masses of people with camcorders and passable computer skills. And if people increasingly distrust the mainstream media, they might be more receptive to messages created by ordinary folks.

"YouTube is a campaign game-changer, shifting the dynamics of how to reach voters and build intimate relationships," says Julie Supan, senior marketing director for the small, California-based firm, which by one measure now runs the 39th most popular Web site. "YouTube levels the playing field, allowing well-backed and less-known candidates to reach the same audience and share the same stage."

Even the seemingly simple act of posting footage of a politician's interview on "Meet the Press" or "The Daily Show" has a viral quality, because it can be seen by far more people than watched during a single broadcast...

While the site's amateur contributions range from nasty to uplifting to downright silly, they also restore a measure of fun to politics -- precisely what might appeal to younger people turned off by traditional speeches, ads and rhetoric. Supan says the modest viewing levels for politicians' pages reflect the pedestrian content of standard speeches and ads -- and will likely remain that way until they come up with behind-the-scenes footage or other eye-catching fare.

"At the end of the day," she says, "it's all about entertaining."

"Today we March..."

"...tomorrow we vote" was the phrase chanted by many protesters for sane immigration reform this year. A good story on the beginnings of this promise being realized from this Reuters News story:

"Two Latino radio hosts credited for mobilizing hundreds of thousands this year in pro-immigrant protests said on Friday they would join the drive to increase the Hispanic and immigrant vote in the 2008 U.S. presidential election."

Los Angeles disc jockeys Piolin (Tweetybird) and El Cucuy (the Bogeyman) said they will work with the National Council of La Raza and other organizations to push Latino immigrants living in the United States to become U.S. citizens and register to vote in time to cast ballots in 2008....

An estimated 8 million Latinos are legal residents in the United States who qualify for naturalization as U.S. citizens, including 3 million in California alone, activists said.

National Council of La Raza president Janet Murguia said Spanish-language radio DJs could help add at least another 3 million Latino voters to the 7.5 million who cast ballots in 2004, helping to elect more pro-immigration politicians.


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