PRESS RELEASE from Vote Hope via PRNewswire-USNewswire  November 13, 2007

Vote Hope Courts Latino Vote for Obama with Telenovela-Style Films

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Vote Hope launches Tu Voz, Tu Voto (Your Voice, Your Vote), an innovative Web-based, Spanish-language, serial melodrama that features the fictional Ortiz family and their burgeoning support for Presidential candidate Barack Obama.  The mini-novelas, produced to generate increased Latino support for Obama in advance of the February 5 primary in California, air on the Vote Hope website,, and on the Vote Hope YouTube channel,  Also airing is the first of a series of public service announcements featuring celebrities, including hip-hop artist and actor Common.

    The Hispanic community is a key battleground in California and nationally, and Vote Hope is aiming to increase political participation among this rapidly-growing group.  The mini-novelas address the fact that many Latinos are not registered to vote and many who are, do not vote regularly.  The short films, bilingual in Spanish and English, are inspired by the Latin American telenovelas, whose popularity recently hit mainstream U.S. culture with the hit show "Ugly Betty."

    "Oftentimes traditional political ads don't resonate with disenfranchised voters.  This is why we are using culture and entertainment to talk about politics and the role it plays in the everyday lives of Latinos in California," said Johanna Silva, campaign manager for Vote Hope.

    While the plot of most telenovelas always involve romance, Vote Hope believes the Latino audience will fall in love with Obama the candidate, especially once they understand his position on immigration, the DREAM Act, and his call for multi-racial unity.

    Vote Hope's goal is to get hundreds of thousands of early votes pledged and banked for Obama, leading into the California primary on Feb. 5, 2008.  "Increasing voter turnout among young people and communities of color in California will be critical to Obama's success," said Vote Hope founder Steve Phillips.

About Vote Hope

    Vote Hope is a new statewide political network championing democracy and justice in California.  We back candidates of hope and conscience at all levels of government, and deploy innovative and cutting-edge methods for increasing voter turnout among young people and people of color who are underrepresented in the current electorate.  For more information, visit

    View the films here:

Editor's Notes
Vote Hope released La Marcha, the first episode of its "Tu Voz, Tu Voto" mini-novelas, on Oct. 29, 2007.  Subsequent episodes include Amigos and About Us.

Vote Hope is headquartered in San Francisco, CA and has a California focus.  From the website:

Our strategy, “Bank it for Barack,” will get 500,000 early votes pledged and banked for Obama – starting Jan. 9 and leading up to the state’s Feb. 5, 2008 primary.  We will do this by registering and organizing people to vote by mail, and by organizing early voting in key geographic regions.  We are contracting with California VoterConnect so that pledges made on our website, through traditional organizing methods like canvasses and phone banks, and at our events, will be matched with the voter file so we can work to turn these pledges into votes.

Vote Hope will reach out to unlikely voters in California, young people and people of color who are underrepresented in our state’s electorate – people who are usually not included in the plans of traditional campaigns.

Here, greatly condensed from the website, is a look at the Vote Hope team. (11/16/07)
Chairman: Steve Phillips -   Attorney.  Founder and president of  Served on the San Francisco Board of Education for eight years in the 1990s.

Co-founder: Benjamin Jealous -   Journalist and civil rights advocate.  Launched Amnesty International’s US Domestic Human Rights Program.  Executive director of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), a federation of more than 200 black community newspapers.  Served as managing editor of the Jackson Advocate in the mid-1990s.

Campaign Managers: Stephanie Ong Stillman and Johanna Silva Waki -  Partners at Hope Road Consulting, LLC.

Communications Director: Jenifer Fernandez Ancona -   Experience includes two years in the California State Legislature as a top legislative aide, and seven years as a newspaper journalist.

Faith-Based Outreach Director: Iris Archuleta -   Co-founder and senior partner of Emerald Consulting.

Faith Based Coordinator: Pastor Johnny K. Jones - 25 years as a Bay Area pastor.

Campus Organizing Director: Jennifer Brown -   Served as an organizing director for the United States Student Association and national field manager for CPL.

Young Voter Outreach Director: Jennifer Longley -   Has been working in Youth-Oriented politics since 2004

Los Angeles Community Relations Director: Beth Broderick -   Actress.

Finance Director: Lisa Le -   CPA; runs the sole proprietorship PVL Accounting Services.