Tag Archives: Washington DC

Who is the "Tea Party?" – My Tax Day Video

Who is the “Tea Party?”

A college student. A coal miner.

Check this out video from Tax Day, where I shadowed supporters of the “Tea Party,” (which was initiated by Freedom Works), and were out engaging the government about what’s going on in their lives.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhaD1g9-Dp8[/youtube]

As a side note, finally! I am back. As a video journalist, that is. It was a long journey to transition and upgrade all my gear. I’m happy to report that I have officially gone from a Panasonic Mini DV cam (MTV vids), to a Flip Cam (CNN iReport vids) to a Canon Vixia and a Kodak Zi8 Pocket, which are both HD quality. In this video, you’ll notice some imperfections, in part due to experimenting with different file formats. That’s OK though. No one is expecting technical perfection – I think we all get at this point, it’s all about creating content that is raw, unfiltered and authentic…and in some way makes you feel like by watching it you are closer to a truth you had not considered.

As for my editing gear, I also transitioned to a MacBook Pro and Final Cut Express. I won’t bore you with the details, but it was a dramatic, drawn out process getting the Canon Vixia HD filed (AVCHD .MTS) ready to go into Final Cut. In fact there’s no easy way, it requires tons of conversion and compression. That’s what video editing is all about. Tedious, challenging problems that require solutions. Over and over. Thanks to @AnthonyFears, who suggested I use HandBrake, an excellent converter that made my life so much easier and got these old clips ready to produce.

THOUSANDS OF IMMIGRANTS LINE UP FOR CHANGE

Thousands of illegal immigrants fearlessly met  today on the National Mall. With an estimated 100,000 people in tow, the presence of illegal immigrants and activists from states like Illinois, Rhode Island, California and Florida, seemed to offer a physical reminder that they want to be next up for change.

In 2008, Hispanics, a large sub group of the Latino population in the U.S. voted for Obama 2-1. His promises to bring them out from the shadows, keep their families together and recognize them as legitimate contributors to the U.S. economy got them out to vote. Yet more than a year into his Presidency, immigration reform hasn’t taken priority – yet.

There is an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the nation’s shadows. Continue reading

The Snow Storm Is Over…

Here are two videos to document two very different parts of it the record breaking snow fall that hit Washington, D.C. starting on Friday, February 5th and coming to a standstill on Thursday, February 11th.

The first video is from Nathan Golon and Jordan Gantz and is an uplifting reminder that the snow brings out the kid in (almost) all of us. I found it at Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang blog.

Washington, DC Snow Storm from Es Video! on Vimeo.

The second video is from me – and I captured it tonight,  right after I uploaded a mobile photo to Facebook of a snow plow I came across in Northwest D.C.

My caption read: “Finally. Thanks, D.C.” I meant it with sincerity.

Naturally, I thought it would be interesting if I were to find out who was inside of the elusive snow plow we had all been waiting so long to see.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jByrimK4e4[/youtube]

The End…of an Erica?

Sarah Burris, a very active youth blogger based in Kansas, took my post ‘The Truth, I Need It,” to a new level last night. I received a Tweet that read, “Sarah Burris has responded to your post with…“The End of an Erica.” At first, my stomach dropped. The title seemed dire. Then, upon reading it, I realized this.  I, we, are not alone.

And with that, the support for “The Truth” started to pour in. From @EvanSummers, a young political activist wrote:  “That seriously is one of the most direct and scathing insight on the state of the industry that I’ve read in a long time. Well done.”

From a web producer and social media guru working inside mainstream media, I got a simple, “F*ck Yeah.”

From a DePaul University (and a Suma Cum Laude in the Journalism school), Molly Horan, I saw that she linked to me and urged her Facebook followers:  “YOU NEED TO READ IT.”

But perhaps the best conversation came late last night, from a talented freelancer in Washington, who G chatted me to say she valued the piece. We agreed the conversation was one we “need to have” but that, with the recent loss of Walter Cronkite, we are both reminded that for them, there was at least a path. For us, we are searching for a way forward without much support from those before us.

It reminded me of this. Something Helen told me right before I went to the RNC last August. “This is the most difficult time I have ever seen for a young person to enter the business.”

All I could do was let silence fill the room, and then I asked, “How can that be? Even compared to what you went through?”

“Yes. Even more.”

It is true. We have our challenges ahead of us, but as I told my friend over G Chat, the greater the challenge, the greater the opportunity and reward. So let’s do this and fix this problem together.

Multi-City Prop 8 March: Progress?

Last week a Web site called JointheImpact.org initiated a Multi-City March against Proposition 8. Prop 8, a ballot initiative that was passed in California on November 4th will change the Constitution to make same-sex marriage illegal.

While many of my friends were distressed by the passage, I think it is a good thing.

Why? Well, for one the passage of Prop 8 stunts the growth of our free nation. And with the new President-elect Barack Obama, we know the country’s voters, when communicated with effectively, won’t let that slide. So let’s not all lose our cool.

Already, Prop 8 has become a vehicle for the other anti-equal rights measures to be brought to light in the online and national media. Oppression of minority groups and demonizing them as second-class citizens (it is 2008, right?) goes beyond the ballot boxes of California. It is alive and well in dozens of states.

[For an example of how the passage of Prop 8 has brought other anti-gay measures to light, read this New York Times OpEd: Anit-Gay, Anti-Family.]

The march was well organized in that the police were there to stop traffic and get us through. But it was quite apparent that there was not one leader there. A few people had megaphones – trying to garner the attention of the masses but no one could hear. My friend casually made the point, “We need a Gay MLK to step forward and bring this group together.”

I could not agree more. Physically, yes, we were all together. But no one was on the same page. One organizer with a megaphone used words “angry” “heated” and “pissed.”

When it comes to the movement for equal rights, the GLBT community needs to take a look at Obama. He didn’t win this election with anger. He won it by sharing idealism and optimism. The angle he used did more to attract undecided voters than it did to alienate the uncertain. In the case of the GLBT mission for equal rights, we have to look at homophobes as the undecided and try not to be angry — but gracious and patient educators. Now is the time – and we have the digital vehicles and presence to get them to listen.

This country has more important issues to focus on than petty ballot initiatives aimed at degrading their brethren. So let’s do just that. Make it known that these social setbacks won’t stop us from focusing on the bigger issues at hand – two wars, an economic crisis, a planet in peril.

But to get there, the GLBT community needs a clear leader with a message – to first define for everyone that being gay is not a choice. Next is the task of lifting up new GLBT faces, the feminine lesbian and the masculine guy, to confront the stereotype and bring more people out. Finally, we need to work without animosity to educate. With this kind of angle, I think we will be better serving our cause – and will be better set to make positive progress for us all.