24,000 in NYC

This was the real deal–over 24,000 people showed up in Washington Square Park last Thursday. In order for something like this to go off, bunches of volunteers were needed to provide a favorable Barack Obama experience. I bravely/stupidly signed up for “crowd control” with my buddies at a meeting held two days before the rally. At the meeting we were told A) not to get drunk, B) not to run, amongst other things. I only succeeded in accomplishing “A,” but more about that later…

The day of the rally I had to ask my new principal to leave school early, which didn’t make him very happy, but I was granted my request. When I arrived at Washington Square the skies were threatening rain, but there were already over 100 people lined up when I arrived just after 3 o’clock. I soon learned that my assignment for the event was going to be collecting tickets from folks, just before they entered the metal detectors. Easy enough.

Gates were scheduled to open at 4:30, but the call was made to open ahead of time, so I had to RUN to beat the people entering the park. I was wearing an orange dress with navy socks and platform sandals (for better chances at actually seeing Barack), which looked great, but was bad for sprinting. Immediately, I began grabbing blue tickets and “Rapid Pass” email RSVPs from folks and throwing them in a big cardboard box. All in all, it was very grassroots–a lot of confusion and a lot of laughs. As people entered the park, they learned that umbrellas would not be allowed inside the event. This pissed off countless Obama supporters, but every single one of them sacrificed the umbrella to get inside. As the mountain of umbrellas grew, so did the pile of people waiting to enter the park. It literally looked like a sea of people, and I must say, I felt very thankful to not be standing in that crowd when they started chanting, “LET US IN! LET US IN!” I hate it when people bump into me.

Just before 7pm security pulled the metal detectors aside and signaled to let in the crowd as Barack was taking the stage. Instantly, the crowd stampeded toward the gates, and once again, I had to RUN to avoid getting trampled. I enjoyed the rally from a great distance. In fact, I never did even see the man. But, I guess he looked like this:

September 30, 2007. Barack Obama, Fashion, Live Music, New York City, Volunteering. 1 comment.

Broadway for Barack

Barack Obama on Broadway

All I can say is that I got to SIT and see Barack speak. I did not volunteer. I just picked up my tickets and SAT. Once again, the button is paying off.

September 29, 2007. Barack Obama, Live Music, New York City, Theatre. Leave a comment.

Milford–>Manchester–>Merrimack

Live Free And Die

I’ve been a little caught up with Obama stuff this past week (see previous post)…whatreyagonnado?

Anyway, you should go to New Hampshire for Obama.

For a mere $75 I caravaned from Midtown to New Hampshire in a rented vehicle with 7 other Obama supporters last weekend. We knocked on doors in Milford all day Saturday, and doors in maze-like Merrimack on Sunday. In less than 48 hours, I spoke with dozens and dozens of voters. We also went to the bar in between.

One point of advice, if you go to New Hampshire I urge you to leave your short skirts and red high-heels at home. I had to overcome my apparent city-slicker-ness every single time I knocked on a door.

September 29, 2007. Barack Obama, Democrats, Fashion, New Hampshire, Travel, Volunteering. Leave a comment.

Obama Rally NYC–TODAY!

Okay, I’m gonna keep it short. If you are in the New York City metropolitan area, then you better go see Barack TODAY.

Washington Square Park–5pm

September 27, 2007. Barack Obama, New York City. Leave a comment.

Brooklyn Book Festival

A Cool, Cool Robot!

So far the biggest thrill of fall has been meeting my favorite children’s book author, Mo Willems:

Mo!

If you don’t know who that is, then you’d probably let the pigeon drive the bus. Anyway, while I was getting my book signed, Mo spied my button.

“Tell Barack I say hi.”

Seems to me like I’m on a roll (albeit a one person roll) of meeting people that I really want to meet. Barack Obama is holding a rally at Washington Square Park in one week; my fingers are crossed.

Oh, and here’s Jacqueline Woodson with her cool, cool Obama shirt:

Obama 08

September 20, 2007. Barack Obama, Literature, New York City. Leave a comment.

1-800-HUNG-ASS

The Gowanus Pathmark was the location for Saturday afternoon’s voter registration drive. The Faux Slope Obama folks were in effect, prepared to coax prospective voters with donuts and Obamafied “LIVE STRONG” bracelets from the Audacity08 people. We basically had it going on. One cranky/generous grocery shopper even bought us more donuts and offered me a ride on his scooter.

There were plenty of us volunteering, perhaps too many for one location, so Robert cleverly walked over to Lowe’s and asked if we could register people in front of their store. The management of Lowe’s wasn’t interested in expanding the democratic process, so he pawned Robert off with what seemed to be some crappy corporate 1-800 number. But it wasn’t. The recording that answered was a sexy woman robot voice promising “hung-ass.” Now that was funny! I volunteer for laughs.

September 19, 2007. Barack Obama, New York City, Volunteering. 2 comments.

Fort Greene Fest

Talib Kweli + Barack Obama

Summer won’t leave NYC alone (thank goodness). Last Saturday was a perfect day to do just about anything, but I spent it registering people to vote with some fine volunteers from the Ft. Greene/Clinton Hill neighborhoods.  There was a big party getting set up in the park, but we were not permitted to bring our table inside since we were unwilling/unable to provide the absurd $2000 fee charged to vendors. We were, however, able to circumvent this obstacle by setting up another voter registration spot on a pink blanket. Positioning ourselves directly in front of stage, we aimed at good visibility and having the best view of Talib Kweli and Jean Grae when they performed “Say Something.”

September 13, 2007. Barack Obama, Live Music, New York City, Volunteering. 2 comments.

West Indian Day Parade

Down de road!

I love a parade! Especially the West Indian Day Parade! Double-especially after J’Ouvert! You know, for the delirium factor. Every year I make it a point to stick around town during Labor Day weekend so I can take part in the festivities. This year was extra-special, tho, cos the Brooklyn for Barack folks got together with some other Barack supporters and put together a float with a sound system, banners, and beauty queens from Trinidad. I couldn’t have gotten up on that float if I had tried, so I marched alongside in my sequin dress waving my Obama ’08 sign.  Tamara, who was my personal hero of the day, pushed a wheelchair full of supplies all the damn way down the parade route. The rest of us ran back and forth across the parkway passing out the newspaper announcing The Calypso King’s endorsement of Obama, posed for photographs, and danced with strangers.

Now, this parade moves at about .05 miles/hour, so there was plenty of time to talk to spectators/potential voters. Many were upset Barack wasn’t himself riding on the float. Others just wanted more Obama stickers. All in all, everybody had something to say, including a police officer.

“Don’t bother. They don’t even vote anyway.”

Boo! I mean, BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I ignored him. That type of negativity doesn’t even deserve acknowledgement–screw it! Can’t rain on my parade.

September 6, 2007. Barack Obama, New York City, Political Action, Racism, Volunteering. 2 comments.