AFL-CIO Launches First-Ever Online Video Contest to ‘Turn Around America’

AFL-CIO Launches First-Ever Online Video Contest to ‘Turn Around America’

Kick-off effort to begin national conversation on how to get America back on track


WASHINGTON, April 10 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — The AFL-CIO today launched the “Turn Around America” video competition — its first-ever online video contest — and will feature the winners in television ads in part to engage voters and 2008 political candidates in a national dialogue about what is necessary to get America back on track.

The video contest, found at , is part of a larger AFL-CIO initiative to “Turn Around America” which will run through the summer. The “Turn Around America” initiative will feature major events in battleground states and build grassroots momentum to elect leaders who will fight for health care, good jobs and an economy that works for all. The idea was inspired by retired Steelworker Steve Skvara’s question last summer at the AFL-CIO presidential forum — “What’s wrong with America and what will you do to change it?”

“Every day we hear from working people like Steve who believe that in order to make America work, we need to do a complete 180 degree turn,” said AFL-CIO Exec. Vice President Arlene Holt Baker. “This video contest is meant to inspire people to envision how we can create a better nation.”

While the contest prohibits videos which mention specific candidates or political figures, it is meant to give average people a way to influence our wider national conversation — including the plans and visions of the 2008 candidates for office.

Participants will be invited to submit online videos in any creative form that will answer the question of how to turn around America. The contest will run Apr. 10 through May 20 and winners will be announced in early June. The winning videos will be featured on national and local television. The categories include a national winner, who will receive $2,000 and the chance for the video to appear in national TV ads. City winners will win $1,000 and may be featured at AFL-CIO rallies and on local television. A “young activist” category will also be awarded to the best video made by someone between the ages of 14 and 25. The contest is open to the public.

The judges include Gillian Grisman, director and producer of “Grateful Dawg” and “Keeping Time: New Music from America’s Roots”; Robert Greenwald, director and producer of “Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism” and “Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price”; Barbara Kopple, director of “Shut Up and Sing”; Dawn Laguens, president of the political media firm Laguens Kully Klose Partners; Craig Minassian, a producer and consultant for HBO, Comedy Central and MTV; Chris Moore, producer of “Project Greenlight” and “Good Will Hunting”; Mel Nieves, an actor, playwright, and screenwriter; Ed Redlich, executive producer of “Shark” and “Without a Trace”; Steve Skvara, retired steelworker; and Cherene Snow, a television and movie actress. For complete biography information, go to .

“I’m honored to be one of the judges for the AFL-CIO’s Turn Around America Online Video Competition,” said Director and Producer Gillian Grisman. “Like so many Americans, I have been asking myself the same questions that are posted in this contest. I’m looking forward to seeing the creative responses to the challenge because I believe art speaks truth to power and will spark a meaningful dialogue about how we can turn this country around.”

Winners will be announced in a dozen cities and states including Philadelphia, Pa.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Columbus, Ohio; Cleveland, Ohio; Cincinnati, Ohio; Denver, Colo.; Detroit, Mich.; Portland, Ore.; New Hampshire; Maine; St. Paul/Minneapolis/Rochester, Minn.; St. Louis, Mo. and Chicago, Ill. These cities and states are where Turn Around America rallies and events are being planned for the summer.

The contest can be accessed at .

The AFL-CIO is the umbrella organization for America’s unions and represents 10.5 million working people nationwide.

AFL-CIO Launches First-Ever Online Video Contest to ‘Turn Around America’