Barack Obama accepted his Democratic Presidential Nomination in front of more than 80 thousand cheering and inspired supporters in Denver. Obama made history as the first African-American to be the presidential nominee in this the 45th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther Kings’ famous “I have a dream” speech.
Obama delivered a speech that moved supporters not only in Denver, but miles away in New York City. Three thousand miles away in New York City’s Inwood section. In the mainly Dominican neighborhood, a small group of 10 enthusiastic Obama supporters gathered to listen to his speech in New York City District #7.
Retiree and Obama supporter, Linda Drigant hosted the Obama Watch Party in her living room at 610 Academy Street in Inwood. The living room had “Change” campaigns signs posted on the wall and windows. Throughout the speech some waved the “change” signs, others clapped and cheer along the way. “Like Keith Olbermann would say…He knocked it out of the park.” Drigant said she was happy with Obama’s promise to take care of the issues every American is facing today. “I like that he is talking about renewable energy, the economy, 401-k, social security and tax cuts.” She says that she has been following Obama since he gave his 2004 keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention in Iowa.
Another Obama supporter crowded in the apartment was Sara French. She has been working away from the country for over 16 years. This will be her first presidential election. She said she felt that the speech demonstrated Obama’s presidential potential. “The speech was incredibly impressive. I feel optimistic and it is a pleasure to be an Obama supporter.”
French said that she also likes the tax cuts that Obama says will benefit 95 percent of working families and the proposal to create renewable energy.
Belvey Ross, 27, of Harlem, said she was pleased that Obama outlined his recommendations for change in the current government. Ross, a teacher at The Academy for Language and Technology in the Bronx said she was pleased by Obama’s expressed interest in improving the education system. She also said that by recruiting a new force of teachers can also bring in new technology to her school. “We have a chemistry lab in our school and there is no equipment. The city gave the Yankees money to build a second stadium, but it couldn’t give us money for our lab. That’s the change we need.” Ross also said that hopefully these new changes by Obama can improve things at 65 Court Street which is the New York City Department of Education Headquarters.
Education is not the only issue that Ms. Ross is hoping Obama can change. She did not have health insurance for over 5 years and luckily did not suffer any major illness, but was not able to see a doctor as a result. She hopes that Obama’s universal health care plan would keep others from having to go through the same thing. “Other countries like Taiwan and Japan are doing better and unless the United States government gets it together people will continue without health insurance.” She also said that “it is cheaper to fly to South Korea or Thailand then it would be to go to a hospital and get surgery in the states.”
Mrs. Drigant was eagerly waiting for this speech because every time the standards are set higher. She said that Obama speeches were very “inspiring” that many of her friends were afraid that he would not be able to out do the previous ones. “He did above and beyond. We were setting the bar too high each time, but somehow his eloquence and strength in his words go above it every time.”
For the democrat Drigant, she said that she has never though in her lifetime to be able to see an African-American run for the presidency or become the president. “I have never been so proud of my country. I know what this country is like and I know it irritates millions the fact that he is black.” The last one dream that Mrs. Drigant would like to see is to witness the nomination of Barack Obama as the first Black President of the United States.