Monday, November 24, 2008

Election Night

The election was three weeks ago-hard to believe the long wait is over. Finally I have time to write about my reactions. Right after the election I still had to wind up things as campaign manager for Ken Brenner. He along with two other local Dems were not successful in their races. While our county Routt did favor Obama and Udall (Democrat for Senate) by 62% the local candidates were not able to overcome the overabundance of Red in the surrounding counties. And then there was so much catch up to do in the house to prepare for this trip that writing on our blog has had to wait til now.

Both of us were busy the entire election day, volunteering. I was in the Obama office all day phoning to get out the vote, Murray was a poll watcher for over four hours. The snow managed to hold off in Steamboat until 7 pm exactly when the polls closed. We, along with Obama volunteers and supporters, headed to a local bar. It was packed. A mighty cheer went up as Pennsylvania was called for Obama. And the snow was really coming down. We stayed for just a short while longer and then headed back home.

When we got home, Ohio was called for Obama and it was clear that he would win! Somehow we needed to do something special so we found a bottle of champagne in the frig and as soon as Obama was announced we uncorked the bottle and enjoyed toasting our President Elect. And then the tears started. And in fact even writing brings the tears again. I had not anticipated that I would find myself so emotional but indeed it was. And then as I saw Jesse Jackson with tears streaming down his cheek as Obama spoke at Grant Park I realized that we had indeed arrived at an amazing moment in our country's history.

The tears continued on and off for the next few days. It was comforting to read an article in the New York Times about how many people were emotionally impacted by the election. I found myself reflecting on my work as choreographer on multicultural projects particularly between the Black and Jewish communities. One performance particularly stood out. It took place in Chicago at the synagogue across the street from Obama's house. Avodah Dance Ensemble's performance of Let My People Go was shared with a gospel choir. The synagogue was packed. After the performance the entire audience stood and sang "We Shall Overcome". This happened back in 1990. At Grant Park on Election Night, someone had a sign that said "We Have Overcome." That said it all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am JoAnne's mother, age 87, and I am so happy that I have lived to see a biracial person elected to the Presidency of the United States. I now have great hopes for the future of our country. I am very pleased to see how JoAnne and Murray are spending their retirement in so many creative ways.