"In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope." -- Barack Obama, Nashua, New Hampshire, January 8, 2008
There are a great many things that can be said today, and people all over this nation and the world are saying them. IT'S BEAUTIFUL!
There's a woman I know who has spent most of her life in Jersey City in Ward F - you know, the part of town that Martin Luther King Drive runs through. Janice has raised kids and grandkids, often without much to go on. She is ecstatic. She, like me, has had a crazy smile on her face all day! She told me how, last night she didn't want to leave the TV even to go to the bathroom, and when she finally ran out and came back, Obama had gone from 100-something to 200-something and she knew she was about to witness something big.
She talked about the people crowded into Grant Park and Times Square, how they were black and white and every color. She stayed up until 3am, crying and laughing and shouting and dancing. On Election Day her daughter woke her up at 5am, saying she had to come with her to vote. They got to the school when the polls opened at 6am, and there was a line - A LINE! A line of people waiting to vote. "It was beautiful!"
Then she thanked me. She thanked me! For pushing her to register. For giving her the registration form and insisting she had to get it done. For helping her overcome a lifetime of "Well, let's see what they do this time..." This time, Janice voted, and Barack Obama will soon be our President.
It turns out that Janice also got her children and grandchildren registered, and they voted too. And you know that there are thousands upon thousands of Janices out there.
That's change I can believe in.
And there is one thing I most want to say, particularly to the unlikely collection of Obama-supporters and volunteers. Thank you. Thank YOU. THANK YOU!
Thank you to the beautiful volunteers who helped us take a step to reclaiming the promise of America. You encouraged me. Sometimes you flattered me, sometimes you frustrated me, you challenged me, and so many times you helped me. Sometimes it was enough just to know you were out there, working and hoping like me, picking up the pieces, keepin' on when I needed some down time. Again and again, you were and you ARE the hope that Barack has talked about.
Thank you for your hard work. Thank you for your good spirits. Thank you for your eagerness. Thank you for your commitment. Thank you for your poetry and your music and your art. Thank you for the miles you put on your car, the minutes you put on your phone, the money you invested in this campaign, the smiles, the tears, and finally - thank you for the shouts of joy!
You are what made this experience special. You are what makes this country special. You are what continues to give me hope that we can do even greater things.
God bless you. And again, always, THANK YOU!
P.S. Ward F voted 97%-plus for Barack Obama, helping Jersey City to 70% voter turnout and 83% for our next President. Way to go, Janice!