I’ve been wondering how I and other women can together turn our national narrative around to one of peaceful cooperation, economic creativity and healing our environment so we can thrive. … I think so many of us are tired of living in fear, tired of having our creative hopes marginalized, tired of war talk and war plans. We’re ready to brainstorm together and build.

I hope that the Media Consortium can continue Live From Main Street. It is really powerful. … I felt like I was part of a meaningful conversation with other citizens and great, down-to-earth journalists. You are helping us become involved. Please keep up this great work– this is journalism at its very best.

-Audience member’s response to Live From Main Street Seattle.

Iraq War Veteran Sarah Mott and Sarah Rich, mother of Suzanne Swift— the Army Specialist who spoke out on rape and sexual harassment by her commanders in Iraq, discuss the ongoing treatment of women in the military. Clip from Live From Main Street Seattle.

In a world of political sound-bites and talking heads, it’s nearly impossible for everyday people and grassroots leaders to get the attention of the media. In June, The Media Consortium launched Live From Main Street, a five-episode town hall series hosted by Laura Flanders that set out to overcome that challenge. We wanted to go beyond horse-race campaign coverage to uncover how issues like the housing crisis are impacting communities around the country–and to shine a light on the grassroots activists that are making a difference. Live From Main Street traveled to Minneapolis, Miami, Denver, Columbus and Seattle to seek out the voices ignored by the mainstream media.

Along the road we encountered a lawyer organizing in advance of massive citizen and journalist arrests at the Republican National Convention, a homeowner who had to choose between living in decrepit and dangerous public housing and taking a bad loan to give safe shelter to their children (guess which one they picked), individuals leading the way for a new green economy, organizers who were working to stop illegal voter purging, and last but not least, women military experts who put a new spin on national security.

This past weekend, Live From Main Street concluded with "Beyond Hockey Moms and Palin Politics: Women on Real National Security" in Seattle. And for this town hall, we tried something a little different: We convened a series of panels comprised solely of women experts in national security. Live From Main Street brought together mothers, soldiers, scholars and journalists with new perspectives to the national debate over our security strategy.

The town hall was a success. In the words of one audience member, the experience was unique because "You don’t usually hear security discussed from a woman’s point of view." Another said "Forums like LFMS and grassroots organizations play the essential role is in bringing to the fore the notion that the people must be the dog, and the party the tail, and the party should wag as WE decide. To this I believe there should be no compromise. LFMS is a great way to encourage we, the people, to have our voices heard, and it should continue regardless of who gets to spend his/her days in the oval office."

Live From Main Street’s goal was to develop new ways for independent media to work collaboratively to inform and support the democratic process–while bringing truth and the voices of everyday Americans to the current national election conversation. The series is a critical example of The Media Consortium’s mission: we seek to build the strength of independent media through collaboration. Each town hall was broadcast on television, radio and satellite channels, streamed live on the internet and written about in print and online outlets. We even produced articles for free syndication related to the town halls– all available open-source and free of charge. (For Seattle’s article, click here.)

Below are some additional clips from LFMS Seattle. For more information about Live From Main Street, visit www.livefrommainstreet.org.

What would real national security look like for women?
Host Laura Flanders asks Rep. Maralyn Chase, Washington’s 32nd District, and Martha Burke, Money Editor at Ms. Magazine, what real national security would look like for women–and why the presidential candidates aren’t talking about it.

Live From Main Street Seattle: Threats at Home and Abroad
Where are the front lines? Carol Kessler, Director of the Center for Global Security for Pacific Northwest National Lab, and Mako Fitts, assistant professor of Sociology at Seattle University, discuss how war abroad affects families at home.

Live From Main Street Seattle, Q&A

Host Laura Flanders and panelists Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Gael Tarleton, Martha Burke, Maralyn Chase and Mako Fitts respond to a question from the audience: What can we do to break the stranglehold that the arms industry and the war profiteers have on our national security policy?

Other episodes in this series include: