Posted by carldavidson on July 3, 2008
Obama in a
Hard-hit Steel Town
By Carl Davidson
Progressives for Obama
You knew something special was happening when the youngest, freshest face in the room got up, took charge and called the meeting to order-”Hello, I’m Scout Sanders, and welcome to the first meeting of Aliquippa for Obama!’
Sanders was a full-time Obama volunteer, a student from the University of Connecticut, and her bright smile and enthusiasm brightened up a room of about 30 residents of Aliquippa and a few other nearby towns. Those who came were all ages, from young teenagers to retired workers in their seventies, a little more than half were African American, about two-thirds were women.
Aliquippa is a severely stressed milltown in Beaver County, Western Pennsylvania. At one time nearly 30,000 people lived here, mostly steelworkers and their families. Now it’s down to 12,000, with 6000 low-income African-Americans hanging on in the central area, with the white workers living in the border neighborhoods. The home of Mike Ditka, Tony Dorsett, and other great athletes, it’s a tough, no-nonsense place in dire need of a hopeful future. The meeting was in a bright and well-cared-for church-run coffee house, Uncommon Grounds, on the mostly boarded up main street. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in elections | Tagged: Aliquippa, Obama | 1 Comment »
Posted by randyshannon on June 29, 2008
One of four thousand Obama houseparties across the nation was held at the home of Ms. Dawn Monteiro in Beaver Falls, PA. Ms. Leanne Spearman, another local Obama organizer, made a brief welcoming speech. She said Senator Obama’s book “Dreams from My Father” and his famous speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention helped her decide to become part of the solution to our nation’s problems. She described Obama’s campaign as one that has empowered people by inspiring hope for a better future. Quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s famous admonition she closed saying “I am a volunteer because of the ‘urgency of now.’”
The house party welcomed three Obama campaign staff workers who have moved to Beaver County. There was a lively discussion of the economic problems facing the working people of the district many of whom are “a paycheck away from poverty.” Many retirees find it difficult to make ends meet. All participants shared experiences talking to voters who are confused about their choice in November due to their feelings about race. The group made plans for voter registration at festivals, fairs, and other events through the summer.
Posted in elections | Tagged: Add new tag, elections, Obama | 1 Comment »