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Experience Speaking: A Video Record of Life-Long Voting

Older generation speaks about their own political history

Expanding a project that started during President Barack Obama's 2008 election campaign, a group of women and their friends taped themselves offering their personal histories with politics with the aim to share the stories with a younger generation. 

Experience Speaking, the official name of the project, interviewed more than 45 people over a 16-month period and uploaded the videos to YouTube. The project aims to expand on the original "Silver Hair for Obama" focus to gain broader appeal.

"I wanted to peel back the political layers of these older dedicated voters getting the who, what, why behind their choices," said Cherie Lejeune, who served as the director for the 2012 project. "Young voters watching the videos especially High School and College aged students can learn so much about the American voting culture of the last 75 years."

Though the project currently includes on Democrats, Lejeune hopes to local Republicans see the videos for their nonpartisan mission then volunteer to sit for an interview themselves.

All interviewees were asked "Who was the first president you voted for and why" and "Did your family discuss politics?"

For one last taping, a group of women gathered at Charlotte Wineland's house in Oakton for one last political discussion Oct. 17. The women discussed everything from the new voter ID laws that went into place for this election cycle to their experience with politics as children through their parents.

Experience Speaking has already been successful in reaching out to a younger generation. The Young Democrats at Madison High School has invited some of the participants to present their project to their club in December. 

The group will be celebrating the success of their project so far in another meeting Dec. 3 at Wineland's home. 

For more information about the project, including speaking engagements and workbooks, can be found on the Experience Speaking Facebook page and the group's YouTube channel. 

For further information, contact Cherie Lejeune at 203-400-3668 or latripp24@gmail.com.

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