OK

DK is filled with happy faces as kossacks gift others with lifetime subscriptions. You can feel and see the tears and smiles from diaries and comments on the boards here, and messages sent to me. Tears flow for many reasons - like some who felt we did not hear their voices, or appreciate their hard work or because they don't have high-speed access to DK so participating was an added struggle.

Imagine how happy you would be if you lived behind the digital divide and did not have access to DK or other blogs, new media like twitter and Facebook. Imagine further that  you are a political activist who wants to bring health care to people in rural communities and communities of color. Imagine if you received a free ticket to NN 2012 so that you could learn about new media, and then use those skills to bring health care to these communities. Imagine the happiness of those who ultimately receive that health care. We're talking way more happiness than a script to DK. We're talking happy that now you or a loved one can see a doctor.

You can be the anonymous donor who brings this happiness to so many others. And it won't cost one penny.  All it takes is a few seconds each day to vote for an excellent proposal by our very own TheFatLadySings to win a grant of $50,000 from Pepsi. This grant will pay to send leaders of community health coalitions to NN12 to learn about online organizing tools that can be used to end disparities in health care and will also send two members of Native American Netroots to NN12 who could not otherwise attend.

Right now TFLS's proposal is ranked at 114. Only 10 grants are awarded. Can you spare a few minutes each day for the rest of December to move up her proposal that can make such a difference in so many lives?

This is how to register so that you can vote each day:

We need your help. Specifically, we need you to promote and vote for our grant application.  Go to the registration page to sign up. (If link does not work, go to sitemap page, and click onto the Join Refresh Everything at bottom of page.)

Then go to the page of Lifting the Digital Curtain and vote for us. You can vote once a day. We certainly hope you will vote for us every day in December!

As an added convenience, you can sign up here for Netroots Nation to send you email reminder each day with links for voting:

The key to winning the Pepsi Refresh grant is accumulating daily voters. Netroots Nation has agreed to help us organize to win this grant. Sign up at this link to receive an email once a day providing you links to vote. Once the contest is over, win or lose, the email list will be deleted and your email won't be shared with anyone. So please help us recruit all the daily voters you can, and we can do this.

This digital divide is a discriminatory barrier that produces a very separate, unequal life.

Rural communities and communities of color live behind the digital divide. They don’t have access to the same online organizing tools as white, urban upper- and middle-class neighborhoods.

Access is not a matter of convenience. Private interests control the mainstream media with a paternalistic attitude determining what information should be provided to the public and with a view of sheltering themselves from harm while promoting their own self-interests.

New media tools give the voiceless access to public participation and a platform to publish content that provides a different perspective and sometimes the only coverage of important stories.  New media alters the power base by empowering the people. The OWS movement has shown how new media can be used to provide the evidence of abuse of power of militarized police, bring pressure on politicians and change how and what issues are discussed. Every person with access to twitter, youtube, cell phones and Facebook can be a citizen journalist working to end the mountain of injustices forced on everyone and those additional injustices forced on some communities.

New media tools - like Twitter, Facebook and blogs – are effective tools for advocacy campaigns, legislative action, educating the public, and strengthening community coalitions and activities. Now, Republicans aim to dominate social media during the 2012 election:

Broadly speaking, Republicans are embracing social media like never before: Although social media was formerly dominated by Democrats, a Pew study in January found that Republican-identified voters used social media more than Democrats in the run-up to the 2010 midterm election and Republican activists and strategists have made it a mission to paint the Web Red during the 2012 election.

It seems that so many times the right-wingers succeed because they are so well funded and organized.

Daily Kos is changing that equation.  Markos provided us with Daily Kos and the tools we need to organize online and offline. An incredible member of our community has proposed an excellent initiative that can bring about the change by us that DC has failed to do. Raven Brooks at Netroots Nation is helping to organize this campaign so we can win this grant.  

We need your help too. Please register so that you can vote each day:

If each person who reads this diary could ask 5 friends to vote for TFLS's proposal, we can rise up in the voting ranks:

We need your help. Specifically, we need you to promote and vote for our grant application.  Go to the registration page to sign up. (If link does not work, go to sitemap page, and click onto the Join Refresh Everything at bottom of page.)

Then go to the page of Lifting the Digital Curtain and vote for us. You can vote once a day. We certainly hope you will vote for us every day in December!

Netroots Nation will send you an email reminder each day with links for voting:

The key to winning the Pepsi Refresh grant is accumulating daily voters. Netroots Nation has agreed to help us organize to win this grant. Sign up at this link to receive an email once a day providing you links to vote. Once the contest is over, win or lose, the email list will be deleted and your email won't be shared with anyone. So please help us recruit all the daily voters you can, and we can do this.

We have the power to make this happen by voting for her proposal.  The only reason that change will not happen this time is if we fail to take a few minutes each day to vote for TFLS's proposal.

Originally posted to Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 12:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Black Kos community.

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