I’m way behind on getting out my thank you notices to all of the people who helped make the Democrat All-American Presidential Watch Party at the LBJ and Carver libraries successful. (A trip to Sausalito, CA to work on a statewide plan to bring high speed fiber access to every public library intervened. Ironically, I didn’t have access to ANY internet connection until I got to DFW and then I spent most of my time checking flight status for dozens of fellow passengers stranded in one of the persistent weather delays!)
We had 25 people at the Carver Library and 30 people at the LBJ Library. This photo of Robyn Emerson – the force behind this event – welcoming participants is a fitting example of the chaos at the LBJ Library! With film crews, bloggers, television projection, photographers, videographers, caterers, hosts, celebrities, maintenance, security, microphones, and audiotaping, it was pretty crazy! (Check out the photos of our bloggers and folks at the LBJ Library to see what you missed!)
Prior to the televised forum moderated by Tavis Smiley, participants at each site met in small groups to discuss questions based on the ten covenants presented in the book Smiley edited, “The Covenant with Black America”. John L. Hanson, Jr., (pictured here) host of the nationally-syndicated radio program, In Black America was on hand at the LBJ Library to lead a larger group discussion. I was in iChat in constant contact with Jon Lebkowsky at the Carver site and Mike Aaron was blogging from Carver so I was able to keep the LBJ folks somewhat connected with the idea that they were part of a larger conversation.
Then it was time to watch and blog.
They posted 50 comments to the Texas Forums Blog that were picked up and broadcast to the PBS blog of credentialed bloggers hosted by the Media Bloggers Association. In other words, ordinary citizens, some who had never read a blog, much less written for one were now featured alongside professional bloggers sitting in the audience at Howard University blogging the live event! Rod Amis, a noted blogger and journalist who has written for many of the major electronic publications lent his expertise to our endeavor. Experienced bloggers, Jon Lebkowsky (blogging from the Carver Library) and Paul Schumann (at LBJ) also blogged on the Extreme Democracy site.
The media was out in force.
KUT conducted an interview with Robyn Emerson which aired on June 29th and can be heard here. (Don’t let the empty chairs in the picture on the KUT site fool you. Most people stayed seated at the tables in the back out of photo range.)
Local filmmaker, Rudy Malveaux and his crew were on hand to tape for an upcoming documentary on how the public talks about issues vs. the way they are framed by politicians.
John Hanson collected audio footage for a future radio broadcast.
A big THANK YOU to our bloggers!
The full list of our bloggers and a link to their picture and bio:
- Brad Burnett
- Silona Bonewald
- Rod Reyna
- John Fleming
- Rod Amis
- Ann Stafford
- Paul Schumann
- Michael Aaron
- Allaina Wilson
- Jon Lebkowsky
A big THANK YOU to our partners who helped organize and promote the event…
- Austin Public Library Carver Branch
- George Washington Carver Museum & Cultural Center
- Austin Area Urban League
- World Preparatory
- University of Texas Center for African and African-American Studies
- ProArts Collective
- Austin Community College Center for Public Policy and Political Studies
A big THANK YOU to the outstanding LBJ Library staff working in the background…
Judy Allen, Marge Morton, Charles Bogle, Fletcher Burton, Anne Wheeler, and of course, Dr. Betty Sue Flowers!
We learned a lot from this first experiment and the next one promises to be even better!
In a post-event e-mail to me Robert Cox, the President of Media Bloggers Association, noted that PBS was pleased with how things came together with the bloggers and wants to expand the number of satellite groups so …
- we’ll be joining even more citizen voices together for the next broadcast,
- the PBS blog site could reflect new voices not normally heard if we plan this right, AND
- MBA / PBS interest in expanding on what we did is a pretty hearty endorsement!
Mark your calendars for September 27 at 7:00 p.m. Central Time when we’ll meet again to discuss, blog and watch the Republican Candidates!