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Re-election euphoria takes over New York

NAYABA ARINDE Amsterdam News Editor | 11/8/2012, 1:37 p.m.
Re-election euphoria takes over New York

"It's done. It's proven and voted ... the nation has spoken," said Sparkie Martin, news disseminator and music promoter.

"Clearly, we have to figure out where we go from here with this new reality," said state Sen. Bill Perkins. "Now we should meet as a community to develop Obama's urban agenda."

Euphoria plus relief filled the streets of New York City on election night when it was announced that President Barack Obama had been re-elected, trouncing Mitt Romney. It had been a brutal campaign--all that was left out was "yo mama" snaps.

Folks had walked around anxiously on Tuesday, saying things like "I can't call it," and then exasperating shenanigans at the polls--certainly citywide but across the nation, too--had people wondering if we were going to see another hanging-chad type of debacle. Voters in Florida were still in line at 2 a.m., for example.

Nate Silver had called the victory for Obama days earlier, but pundits argued the semantics of the semantics and the minutiae of statistics. It was like a trip to Bizarro World ... or something.

Before the results came in, there was a distinct lack of Obama election clamor--the streets were almost bare of Bam-related merchandise, which swamped every inner-city neighborhood in 2008--but there was, however, a quiet worry that seemed to grow.

Nonetheless, by 11:18 p.m. on Nov. 6, the waiting was over, and from the street corners to the social clubs to the living rooms, an overwhelming joy replaced the unspoken fear of an alternate result.

"Never once did I have a single doubt that the president would be re-elected," said Terrie Williams, PR expert and author. "He and the first lady were born for this moment in time. Our God is loving and merciful--no way would He have us live under the guidance of the likes of Romney."

"Four more years! Thank you, God," were the simple but poignant words of African activist P. Sylvie Yonke.

"We are ecstatic about the re-election of President Obama," said Marq Claxton, director of the Black Law Enforcement Alliance. "For us, the alternative was unacceptable. We remain hopeful that President Obama will utilize the leverage of a second term to push through his jobs plan that Congress has been sitting on and target the disproportionately unemployed Black population. We also hope that he charges the Justice Department to identify and prosecute civil rights violations, especially in employment, law enforcement and the criminal justice system. We never considered President Obama to be our messiah, but we have always believed that his policies and perspectives are in our best interest."

Assemblyman Eric A. Stevenson agreed, saying, "I thank God that prayers were answered in keeping our country's future in the hands of our president, who I feel has the best vision to create peace over war and bring us together and to work towards world peace and uplift the economy of America--not only relief for the middle class, but also for the poor and oppressed."

"I'm overjoyed to celebrate the re-election of President Barack Obama!" said Councilman Jumaane Williams. "His victory ensures that we will continue to move forward as a nation over the next four years. I hope now that this divisive and contentious marathon of an election is over. Washington can get back to business for New Yorkers and Americans everywhere. Republicans need to heed Mitt Romney's concession speech and work with President Obama this time around, shifting from the 'party of no' to the 'party of we have to find consensus and compromise.' I hope we will see tangible change in issues that affect this city, like immigration reform, public education and relief for middle-class families."