• Land Bank - Restoring Properties
  • Urban CNY-Survey 2.0 LinkedIn-530 x 75 px
  • Syracuse Stage Murder on the Orient Express
  • Alzheimer’s Association
  • 5 for CNY - Learn How
  • CSEA_Help Wanted_Labor Relations
  • Malmgren Concert Black History Month

Celebrating Urban Life Since 1989

Menu Hamburger White
  • Malmgren Concert Black History Month
  • Alzheimer’s Association
  • Land Bank - Restoring Properties
  • 5 for CNY - Learn How
  • Syracuse Stage Murder on the Orient Express
  • CSEA_Help Wanted_Labor Relations
  • Urban CNY-Survey 2.0 LinkedIn-530 x 75 px

Barack Obama’s Walk for Change hits Syracuse

The Democratic primary is months away, but across the nation a massive grass-roots effort to get people to support Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign has begun. “Walk for Change” was billed as a nation-wide mobilization day in support of Barack Obama.

In Syracuse at the Beauchamp Branch of the Onondaga County Public Library, tucked away off the auditorium, were a half-dozen Syracuse-area Obama supporters organizing lists, flyers and talking about the man who’s emerged as challenger to front runner Senator Hillary Clinton’s seemingly invincible campaign juggernaut.

The local group calls itself “Syracuse for Obama.” Led by Syracuse resident Lisa Daly, Syracuse for Obama began by having discussions via e-mail with participants and organizers wanting to do something beyond the Internet.
Volunteers mapped out an organized campaign complete with lists of registered democrats, area maps of each election district and stacks of Barack Obama campaign literature.

Syracuse for Obama is attracting volunteers like Marti Murphy “I have never been active in politics,” Murphy said. “His vision for America is the same as mine and nobody else seems to have the same one that’s running for office.” It’s evident that she’s excited talking about candidate Obama: “In my 60 years I’ve never been involved in politics but he’s inspired me to get involved,” she said.

Another volunteer, Bill Reddy, when asked about Obama, replied, “I’ve been rather disappointed in the candidates for the last dozen years or so. This is the first time I’ve seen a candidate that I think expresses the views that I hold, respecting every person for his dignity and having a vision that we can make this country better. Barack Obama’s book ‘The Audacity of Hope,’ the first 15 minutes blew me away.”

You can sense Peggy Thompson’s excitement by listening to her talk about Obama’s candidacy. “I know people in Illinois who told me early on that Barack Obama was the real deal,” she said. “They knew from the time he was elected to the U.S. Senate, I read a commencement speech he gave two years ago it was amazing.”

When asked about Hillary Clinton, volunteers paused and choose each word carefully. “There are people who say that they’ll never vote for Hillary Clinton,” Thompson said. “I don’t hear that about Barack Obama.”

“I voted for Clinton for Senator and I’d vote for her again for senator,” Daly said. “Every senator isn’t meant to be president.” Volunteer Margaret McCann sounded an ominous note. “I worry that when push comes to shove on Election Day people aren’t going to admit that they won’t vote for a black candidate,” she said. “I’m worried at the end that no matter what they polled they won’t vote for him. But I still think his message is important and great. His message is very appealing that’s why I’m going to put time into it.”

According to Peggy Thompson, “It’s sad that he’s seen as a black candidate – he’s as much black as he is white. For me personally his multi-cultural background is a plus. We’re in a society that believed in the one-drop rule, one drop of ‘colored blood.’ I just find that really offensive, but understandable.”

After assembling the campaign material and giving volunteers their marching orders Syracuse for Obama left the library. Two-by-two they hit the streets – West Pleasant Avenue, Newell Street, Cannon Street, Beard Avenue – block by block door-to-door. Each registered Democratic Party member got a flier that simply said, “America’s movement for change visited your door. Join us! If you want to End the War and deliver healthcare to every American, we must act together.”

In his Walk for Change literature, Barack Obama proclaims, “If you will join me in this improbable quest, if you feel destiny calling, and see as I see, a future of endless possibility stretching before us; if you sense as I sense, that the time is now to shake off our slumber, and slough off our fear, and make good on the debt we owe past and future generations, than I’m ready to take up the cause, and march with you, and work with you.”
But some potential voters have not been swayed.

Two African-American men on Pleasant Street were asked if they wanted the Obama material the volunteers were distributing. One responded, “No thanks, I’m voting for Hillary Clinton.”
———————————————–

Photo By: Lauren Marsh

Syracuse for Obama 08′ volunteer Marti Murphy, of Westvale, knocks on one of many doors on the southside of Syracuse to campaign for Barack Obama on Saturday, June 9th 2007. Murphy, along with seven others, volunteered their Saturday afternoon to be part of the “Walk for Change” event, which occurred all over the US on the same day.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE

Local, State & National


Resources

Neighborhoods

Features

Contact Us