Crashing the Parties

L.A.'s Wendy Carrillo selected by S?° TV to cover the national political conventions

By Jamie Falkowitz
Published on LatinoLA: July 17, 2008

Crashing the Parties

S?° TV, the first media company combining community and content to inspire, empower, and entertain English-speaking Latinos, and Voto Latino, a leading, nonpartisan voter registration engagement organization, announced the results of ‘«£Crash the Parties,‘«ō a nationwide search for two young Latinos to cover the Democratic and Republican National Conventions as embedded reporters for S?° TV. ‘«£Crash the Parties‘«ō is the nation‘«÷s first multiplatform initiative encouraging American Latinos to take part in the election process through voting, voicing their opinions, and active convention participation.

The ‘«£Crash the Parties‘«ō reporters are:

Wendy Carrillo was born in El Salvador and moved to the U.S. at the age of six. Currently, she lives in East Los Angeles and works as a radio journalist at two Los Angeles radio stations. She will enter the University of Southern California‘«÷s prestigious graduate school of communication in the fall and is an active member of the Los Angeles County Young Democrats. Wendy has spoken at and moderated many panels regarding education, youth, Latinos and civic engagement and makes it a point to emphasize the importance of higher learning whenever possible.

Michael Monrroy, from Sterling, Virginia, is the son of Latino immigrants from Colombia and Bolivia. Michael is the first in his family to attend college and is a student at The American University. He is one of the founding members of his school‘«÷s coalition in support of the presumptive Republican nominee John McCain and is interested in a career in politics. His ultimate goal is to become a U.S. Senator.

‘«£The young Latino vote will carry significant influence in this Presidential election,‘«ō said Michael Schwimmer, S?° TV‘«÷s CEO. ‘«£It is crucial that the issues important to our audience are brought to the forefront and debated. S?° TV is committed to being a forum and a voice for the millions of eligible Latino voters beyond the Conventions and through Election Day.‘«ō

‘«£I applaud Wendy and Michael for taking a leadership role and embodying the inclusiveness that is central to Voto Latino‘«÷s philosophy and mission,‘«ō said Voto Latino Co-Founder Rosario Dawson.

CNN‘«÷s Rick Sanchez will also mentor the young reporters, providing media tips and expert advice on interviewing the party nominees and others. Carrillo and Monrroy will report from the Conventions, on air and online, offering their perspectives on the candidates, election, and issues. Reports from the convention will also be available for viewing in Verizon‘«÷s V-Cast Elections 08 folder, available to 2 million subscribers.

"Crash the Parties is not only important from a political perspective,‘«ō Sanchez said. ‘«£We could be witnessing the launch of two remarkable careers. I entered this field with the assistance of a journalism scholarship, and I take it as a personal responsibility to help Michael and Wendy succeed in the same way others have mentored me.‘«ō

To support the multi-platform nature of ‘«£Crash the Parties,‘«ō S?° TV will air a virtual debate, called ‘«£The Candidates Speak,‘«ō featuring interviews with the Presidential candidates addressing issues important to the community, moderated before a live audience who will have the opportunity to provide reactions and commentary.

Hopefuls uploaded their videos at, discussing why they should represent young Latinos at the Conventions. After a two-month entry and public voting process resulting in more than 200 submissions and 40,000 votes, a panel of judges, including actress and Voto Latino co-founder Rosario Dawson, former U.S. Representative from Texas Henry Bonilla, the DNC Hispanic Caucus‘«÷ Ramona Martinez, CNN‘«÷s Rick Sanchez, YouTube‘«÷s Steve Grove, Craigslist‘«÷s Craig Newmark, MySpace‘«÷s Lee Brennan, and RNHA‘«÷s Danny Vargas, evaluated the leading candidates from each of the party submissions and selected the top two.

‘«£The winners are fulfilling the promise of Voto Latino by engaging their peers in the a multi-media initiative process and helping us more fully enfranchise the young Latino community while changing the face of media by promoting more diverse voices,‘«ō said Voto Latino Executive Director Maria Teresa Petersen.

‘«£Crash the Parties‘«ō represents the first of S?° TV‘«÷s efforts aimed at fostering the next generation of Latino leaders. Moving forward, S?° TV will implement ‘«£Take the Lead,‘«ō a mentorship initiative providing resources and opportunities for young Latinos across both public and private sectors. The initiative will support the development of future public leaders, professionals, and innovators by offering mentorships with today‘«÷s Latino leaders and extending internships that provide professional development and leadership.

S?° TV is America‘«÷s first media company to reach the millions of 18‘«Ű34-year-old Latinos who prefer their content in English and seek it across all platforms‘«Ųincluding linear television, online, video-on-demand, and wireless devices. S?° TV offers authentic, relevant content and a 60% original programming slate that ranges from comedy to music, independent movies, lifestyle, and talk. The network is available nationwide on Dish Network, and in more than 200 cities and communities across America, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Detroit, Denver, San Antonio, and Las Vegas. S?° TV‘«÷s cable and telco affiliates include AT&T, Cox, Comcast, Insight, Qwest, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon, among others. For more information, please visit

Founded in 2004, Voto Latino is a non partisan, non profit voter engagement organization that works to promote an enfranchised America by leveraging celebrity voices, multi-media platforms and youth themselves to promote positive change. Voto Latino's mission is to engage a new generation of Americans in civic participation. For more information, please visit:

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