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Postcard from the edge of the Republican National Convention


Twenty-nine-year-old Mandy Santiago is at the edge of poverty, and on the fringes of this week’s convention in Tampa, Florida. She makes her living, for now, standing on street corners selling the Epoch Newspaper, with her husband and two small children in tow.

Santiago isn’t interested in politics, or the Republican National Convention that’s in town. In fact, she’s angry that convention preparations swept other homeless people selling the Epoch papers out of the downtown. That pushed them onto her “territory,” cutting into the take-home money that pays her daily rent at the motel where the family lives. She says politicians need to be showing they can create jobs that uplift lives in depressed parts of cities like Tampa.

In this audio postcard, our sister site Turnstyle News visits Santiago at the motel and on the street to hear about the challenges of living on a daily wage and making plans for her family’s future.

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This story was produced by Youth Radio as a part of its Conventions2012 coverage.