Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The People Have the Power

What a year it has been!   Driving home from a meeting tonight, I was listening to David Dye on NPR's World Cafe (yes, on our great local station, KUCB FM 89.7), playing  Patti Smith's "The People Have the Power."  How fitting for a day like today!   I wanted to write something meaningful and profound about the inauguration of Barack Obama but I have the feeling that anything I say will sound silly and trite.   I was thinking about all of us who have worked for almost a year (some even longer, of course) and remembering the many highlights of that work. So, even though some of you have seen these photos before, I decided to do a little retrospective of the path to the White House, from an Unalaska vantage point.

Above, high school students Eric, Haleigh and Robyn were enthusiastic supporters and worked diligently to get people to our local Democratic Caucus in February, 2008.  Tammy  and Robyn registered participants as they entered the event.  Despite blizzard conditions, slippery roads, City offices closing down early, no phones and no internet to connect with the rest of our District to coordinate, we had 46 people come out for the Caucus in Unalaska.  Now, to many of you, this might not sound like much.   But compare that to the TWO people who showed up at the Caucus in the year 2000 and the fact that we didn't even HAVE one here in 2004.    We were ecstatic!

We fanned out to cast our votes for our candidate of choice.  In the end, Obama received 28 votes and Clinton 18.   Hurray, Unalaska!

I was honored and thrilled to be chosen a delegate from District 37 to attend the State Democratic Convention in Palmer in May.    Here are some folks from the "bush" districts of the state.

Below, just as we did at our local caucuses, we fanned out in Palmer and cast our votes for the candidate of our choice.  Obama took 77% of the vote.

Oh, my gosh!  We're elected to go to Denver to the National Convention!  What a huge honor and one that I will never forget, especially at such an historic time.

The "bush" delegation in Denver at the National Convention.  

Alaska and US flags being held high at Invesco Field for the final night of the Convention and Obama's acceptance speech.   What a memorable experience!

All of the Alaska delegation wore these matching kuspuks which generated lots of buzz.  

The Convention was over but the work was nowhere near finished!   Next, voter registration in Unalaska.

Then door-to-door canvassing to encourage people to vote early.   And debate watch parties, and postcard writing projects, and phone calls, and more door knocking....here, Sarah and I are passing out literature supporting all of our district and state Democratic candidates along with Obama.

Finally, Election Day was upon us!  Tammy and I braved the freezing weather to stand across from City Hall and remind the passing motorists to get in there and vote.   We had a record turnout.

Darcel makes her choice clear!

Jack, Rich, Willie and Jeff take a break from their cooking duties to cast their ballots.

Congratulations to President Obama!  And for the first time in a very long time, I believe that the people have the power again.


Sharon said...

My heart and my mind are so full of hope and joy that I don't think that anything I could say would be worthy of how we are all feeling. Thanks for all your hard work!

Suzassippi said...

I think you have captured the essence of "the people have the power" in this post: what has always been true, that the real and true power is within we ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things because it is the right thing to do. Thanks for the remembrance trip.

Our work is still ahead of us, but we can look back at where where we have been and be satisfied.

Bubbe said...


Frieda said...

The sun was actually shining brighter here in Delaware yesterday and today. I hope the same was true for Unalaska.

Gigi said...

We haven't had a lot of sunshine this week but it was certainly shining in our hearts! :) Thanks, all.