Simple questions revealing complex stories: voting and immigration

Sarah Alvarez
PIN Analyst
Changing Gears

Changing Gears launched a very simple query the day of Michigan’s Republican primary, asking people about their decision-making process when it came to choosing a candidate. We plan to use it for all elections, including super Tuesday.

The query was very successful! Voters were open about what issues, actions or ideology was motivating them. They also shared who they voted for and their party affiliation.

We were able to connect sources to reporters the day of the primary to provide them with additional insight, and we did a few round-ups. Here is one of them.

Changing Gears is also running its second Tumblr project. We are exploring the culture of the Midwest as a compliment to some stories we’ve been doing on immigration. Our query, which asks “what cultural traditions have you kept or lost?” is designed to set a very low barrier to entry on these issues.

We ask for submissions of recipes, songs, pictures and stories associated with people’s cultural traditions. We also ask some deeper questions about assimilation that have begun to provide some pretty meaty content for wrap-up posts. Check out the project at www.yourfamilystory.tumblr.com.  (Park family at right, photo submitted by Rosalyn Park.)