During this presidential election cycle, the campaigns have put online
tools front and center—raising money, organizing events, and getting
their messages out. But those tools aren’t reaching young people who
don’t identify with just one party, haven’t been involved in elections
before, and feel more strongly about issues than politics.
One Economy, with its history of helping low-income people use
technology to connect with information and resources to build better
lives, has launched a new website, 247 Townhall (www.247townhall.org),
to challenge young people at all economic levels to reclaim their voice,
gain leverage in the political process, and make changes in their own
Young people who are engaged in their communities are more likely
to vote and take action. Using innovative technologies, 247 Townhall
enables youth to work together to identify solutions. 247 Townhall users
share video clips, blog about issues, post comments, interact in small
discussion groups, and find the resources they need to get involved.
247 Townhall is...
a community forum
dedicated to change
247 Townhall is...
a community forum
dedicated to change
• What is 247 Townhall?
• The Public Internet Channel Network
• One Economy Corporation
Why did One Economy create 247 Townhall?
Young people who are engaged in their communities have more positive
views of government than those who are not. They are more likely to vote
and take action, according to the Center for Information and Research on
Civic Learning and Engagement. One Economy has a successful history
of using technology to connect low-income people to online tools for
building better lives. One Economy created 247 Townhall to help young
people in America at all economic levels to reclaim their voices, gain
leverage in the political process, and make changes in their own lives.
What kind of information and resources are available?
Using innovative technologies, 247 Townhall enables young people to share
their ideas, work together, and take action for progress. 247 Townhall users:
• Create a profile
• Share video and voice clips
• Blog and comment on issues in their communities
• Interact in small discussion groups
• Find the tools they need to get involved
Who is 247Townhall for?
247 Townhall was created for young Americans who are in their
teens and twenties. In 2006, this demographic included 32 million
people in the United States—14 percent of eligible voters with
a diverse range of concerns. Two-thirds of them believe that
government should do more to solve problems, yet only a minority
says they regularly participate in civic engagement activities.
If I Were President
247 Townhall’s If I Were President campaign is partnering with
musicians, personalities, and intellectual leaders from all political
stripes—including Mos Def, Martin Luther, and Kimiko Joy—to promote
greater civic engagement and leadership among underserved young
people. In the run-up to the election, the campaign is gathering
and distributing user-generated videos about national and local
If I Were President issues, all prompted by the phrase “If I were president….”
Partnering with the Marguerite Casey Foundation, One Economy
Corporation recently launched an online video contest as part of
the If I Were President campaign to capture the aspirations of young
people across the county. Winners will be announced October 15.
The George Watsky Show
In The George Watsky Show, environmental Activist and HBO Def
Jam Poetry spoken word artist George Watsky travels the country
working with young people, activists, green collar workers, and
policymakers to generate creative ways to curb climate change.
George Watsky epitomizes the young activist, providing 247 Townhall
users a model for engagement and action in their communities. As he
interviews and showcases other young spoken word artists and poets,
Watsky motivates young people to get involved and speak up.
Flip it Forward
The Flip It Forward campaign brings together Youth Speaks’ vast network
FLIP IT Forward
of young poets as correspondents using Flip video cameras as their
eyes and ears, capturing the opinions of low-income people around
the country as they present their own presidential platforms.
Spoken word poetry is a fusion of verbal expression and performance
art. In the Flip It Forward campaign, young poets address pressing
issues in the United States and the presidency. The campaign
features poets from across the country giving fellow 247Townhall
users a sense of the challenges other communities are facing.
Equity Across America
Equity Across America follows the 247 Townhall street team on their
cross-country journey to the 2008 PolicyLink National Conference on
Regional Equity. Along the way, they visit some of the most impoverished
communities in America, asking a simple question: What challenges are
facing your local community and what can be done about them?
ACROSS In the United States, underserved communities have fallen
AMERICA dramatically behind in terms of regional equity. New Orleans
was chosen as the epicenter of this movement because of
the unique challenges it faces post-Hurricane Katrina.
Hosted by spokesperson Danny Glover, the resulting documentary
tackles the big issues facing communities across the nation—from
gang violence to waste management—and brings awareness to
the issue of regional equity and the need to build and, in some
cases, rebuild healthy communities across the United States.
The Public Internet Channel Network
To supplement its programming, the Public Internet Channel
draws together One Economy’s network of public-purpose media.
More than 15 million people have used these online resources to
improve their lives.
The Public Internet Channel
The Public Internet Channel (www.pic.tv) is a next-generation, public-
purpose online network. Everything on the Public Internet Channel
is relevant, current, accessible, and, whenever possible, local—
always with a clearly-defined public purpose to inspire, inform, and
engage, while giving people the tools they need to take action.
The Beehive (www.thebeehive.org) is an award-winning, multilingual
Web portal that provides low-income individuals web-based tools and
information about financial services, education, jobs, health care, and
family. The site features topics that can help people raise their standard
of living by accessing information and learning how to take action
on issues that are important to them and can change their lives.
ZipRoad (www.ziproad.org) is One Economy Corporation’s one-of-a-kind
education tool that helps students, parents, teachers, and caregivers
find education-related resources in their communities. By simply
entering their zip codes, people are quickly on the path to finding
information about schools, as well as quality and affordable after school
tutoring and other learning programs in their neighborhoods.
About One Economy
One Economy Corporation is a global nonprofit that leverages the power
of technology and information to connect low-income people to the
economic mainstream. One Economy brings broadband into the homes
of low-income people, produces public-purpose media, and trains and
employs youth to enhance communities’ technology capacity.
For content and partnership inquiries, contact Mohammed Soriano Bilal
at (503) 820-3821 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For press inquiries, contact Austin Bonner
at (202) 393-0051 or email@example.com
For more information about One Economy,
visit us at www.one-economy.com