Citizen Wealth, the Movie

ACORN Citizen Wealth

Little Rock   We’ve talked about “crowd sourcing” as a method of using the power of many to come together collectively to make something happen.  Most recently I’ve written about trying a “citizen journalism” project at KABF to put audio-files on-the-air of what people in the listening area believe is community news.  Earlier, I’ve written about Ushahidi in Nariobi which developed a tool using SMS text messages to track post-election violence in Kenya.   The same system has also been used to spread information after disasters like the recent earthquake in Japan.

The notion of “crowd sourcing” is also behind Kickstarter.  Someone proposes a project and people who believe the project is a good idea independently come together to support it with a pledge of donations from as low as $5 to as high as whatever it might be, in the case of Citizen Wealth, the Movie, $10,000.  The trick behind Kickstarter is that unless the stated goal of the project is reached, no one has to pony up their pledge, but if the goal is met, then everyone pitches in, which brings me to the point today.

Over recent years four or five different sets of folks have approached me about their interest in doing a documentary film on ACORN from one angle or another.  It’s hard to make a documentary.  It takes time, skill, money, and great good luck, so I say “yes” to one and all and help in whatever way I am asked in hope that one of them (or more!) will actually succeed.  Two of these efforts led by Nick Taylor from Toronto and Joey Carey from Brooklyn have combined forces over the last year to try, after four years of working independently, to get a film done.  They optioned my book, Citizen Wealth:  Winning the Campaign for Working Families, they managed to get access to all of the video archives on ACORN at the Wisconsin Historical Society and get everything digitized, they’ve raised some money, done a trailer, and it looks like they have a good chance of getting it done.

They are trying to raise $30,000 through Kickstarter.  So far, so good, more than 140 folks have contributed almost $19,000 with 10 days to go to make up the last $11,000 which might be the hardest part of the climb.  Look at the trailer below.  Frankly, I was excited about some of the archival footage and how they have woven the pieces together.  I would love to see them make it, but I’m not sure they can do so without some of you becoming part of their crowd and clicking through the links to pledge whatever you can, $5, $50, of $500.  Give ‘em a shot, so the story can be told. Link to Citizen Wealth, the Movie donation page.