Hey friends. I want to share what I’ll be doing for the next eleven months.
I work at a communications firm, Spectrum Science Communications, in Washington, D.C. Part of my job is to follow health care policy and report it to our clients. We work across the field (but always in health care) for advocacy groups, non-profits, pharma and biotech companies. It has been a great first job and, fortunately, brought me to the District where I feel at home.
In my heart, I’m a student of journalism and passionate about civic engagement, especially with my peers. It took two years for my best friend in college to tell me she didn’t vote in the ’04 election — because she knew how distraught I would be. She was right, but how could I hold it against her? I knew she was like so many of our friends, and instead of being frustrated, I asked, “what can I do to convince her and others, that it is worth the time?”
So here I am, staring the ’08 election in the face, asking myself what I can do to get my generation of multi-taskers to ask questions and get to the polls. Here is where MTV comes in.
A fellow TriDelta sent me a link last August and said “Erica, you have to apply for this.” So I read about how MTV and the Knight Foundation were pairing up to create a team of 51 citizen journalists, hand-picked to cover the ’08 election from a local level. I knew in order to be considered I needed a web site, so I applied some of the techniques I learned at Spectrum and started Erica-America. I also submitted three essays, called up a few references and hit submit.
One reason I am so enthusiastic about MTV and their THINK campaign, is because I believe in it. I think we share common goals in the desire to harness the power of social networking and multimedia and direct it towards civic action. Can it be done? I’m optimistic and my answer is yes. But the road to get there will be long and not without challenge.
In the next month, I will update everyone on how to receive the Street Team reports. Until then, take care and keep asking questions.