BEAVER, Sept 2, 2008 – Sen. Barack Obama says the upcoming presidential election isn’t about him, but ‘what’s in your heart and in your minds in terms of where you want to take America.’
But for the estimated 8,000 or so folks crowded in and around Beaver’s Irvine Park Friday night, the focus was squarely on Obama, fresh off Thursday’s acceptance of the Democratic nomination for the presidential race. Continue reading Obama-Biden Team Meet Beaver Voters→
[The Tina Shannon quoted in this article is the Chair of the 4th CD Progressive Democrats of America and a stalwart of Beaver County Peace Links, our local UFPJ group. Carl Davidson, also quoted, as well as being a supporter of PDA here, is also working with ‘Progressives for Obama’. All of us gave the writer a little help finding people to talk to, but he was a great door-knocker all on his own. The article captures, quite well, why this is a close race, why we must, despite a bumpy ride, redouble our efforts, remain resolute and focused — Stop McCain, Stop the War, Vote Obama 2008!]
By MICHAEL POWELL New York Times
August 21, 2008
RACCOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Wander up a gravel road and ask George Timko about Barack Obama and John McCain and he wrinkles his nose. Neither of those guys strikes him as a prize.
Mr. Timko is a burly fellow, with close-cropped white hair and a Fu Manchu mustache, and a gold necklace that rests on his bare chest. “Barack Obama makes me nervous,” said Mr. Timko, a 65-year-old retiree with a garden hose in hand. “Who is he? Where’d he come from? ”
As for Senator McCain? He shook his head. “He keeps talking about being a prisoner of war back in Vietnam: Great. The economy stinks; tell me his plan?”
To roam the rural reaches of western Pennsylvania, through white working-class counties, is to understand the breadth of the challenge facing the two presidential candidates. But this economically ravaged region, once so solidly Democratic, poses a particular hurdle for Senator Obama. Continue reading New York Times Views Beaver County Voters→
In just two weeks, the 2008 Democratic National Convention will be history.
In the meantime, we have a lot of work to do.
This week, a front-page New York Times article referred to “progressive Democrats” as “crucial to Mr. Obama’s success.” At this momentous crossroads, Barack Obama and the progressive base certainly need each other–to defeat McCain and open up real possibilities for major shifts in policies at the federal level. Energizing that base could maximize voter turnout for Obama in November and then change national priorities in a way not seen since FDR’s first term in the White House. Continue reading ‘Healthcare Not Warfare’ at Denver DNC!→
If you think America ought to keep going in the same direction George Bush and Dick Cheney have been taking us in stand up.
(Well, I’m going to cut some of you guys in the aisle a break and assume you didn’t understand the question.)
Now, stand up if you think it’s time we had a president who’s going to fight for national health care, sign the Employee Free Choice Act, strengthen OSHA, defend Social Security, end the war, and protect American jobs?
Well, congratulations — you just answered the question that’s stumped all the commentators and columnists and consultants in Washington, D.C. who are asking how Barack Obama is going to win the votes of workers in states like Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Continue reading Trumka Talks to Steelworkers About Obama and Racism→
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. Continue reading ‘Aliquippa For Obama’ – Fired Up, Ready to Go→
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.
Tractor pulls, tilt-a-whirls and dirt track motorcycle races aren’t the usual setting for a literature table featuring the Obama campaign. But the several thousand local residents who attend the annual Raccoon Township Fair here in Western Pennsylvania every June made it seem like a natural to us, especially after all the local turmoil over “white workers” in the recent Democratic Primary.
We set up our wares alongside others that featured local crafts by township women. The site was the Volunteer Fire Department Hall, next to the bingo games in the garage and the food concession in the kitchen, usually the site of the regular “Fish Fry” community fundraisers.
To the extent the township has a “village square,” the VFD buildings and grounds are it. Wedding, graduations and family reunions take place here, too.
We put up a big “4th CD Progressive Democrats of America” sign, together with plenty of Obama posters and literature, and “Healthcare not Warfare” petitions for the “Single Payer” health care plan in Rep. John Conyer’s (D-MI) HR676 Bill. The petitions are aimed at our local Member of Congress, Jason Altmire, to get on board. Last but not least, we set out everything we need to register new voters. Continue reading Battleground Report: Politics at the Raccoon Township Fair→