Re-election euphoria takes over New York
NAYABA ARINDE Amsterdam News Editor | 11/8/2012, 1:37 p.m.
"I feel relieved," said Al Eady, a Manhattan building concierge. "I did not think he was going to win. But now the pressure is off. We can now get down to business."
"President Obama's re-election is a blessing for the working people of America," said David Jones, president and CEO of the Community Service Society. "The signature achievements of his first term, from health care reform to greater oversight of the financial sector, will remain intact and start to show real benefits as they are implemented. There is hope that discretionary spending--on food stamps, unemployment insurance benefits, tax credits--will be protected from draconian cuts. And hopefully, President Obama will be able to fashion a budget for the next year that will not be devastating to the most vulnerable members of our community--children, many of whom live in poverty, older people on fixed incomes, the unemployed and uninsured."
"Republicans are dead!" declared educator Nova M. Felder. "At least on the national front, they are out of touch with the demographic change the U.S. has experienced. 2012 is the first year that minority births have been in the majority over white births. This is not the America that voted President Reagan or President G.H.W. Bush into the White House. The Democratic Party is the rainbow that is America. Obama gives us four more years to get things straightened out. Now the work begins of rebuilding our economy, our integrity and, most of all, our spirit."
The Rev. Taharka Robinson, founder of the Brooklyn Anti-Violence Coalition, told the Amsterdam News, "This historic re-election sends a strong message! We will take the House in 2014. It is going to be a new day. Now he can do what he wants for us."
Just before he went onstage to deliver his rousing acceptance speech, the president re-elect said in a statement: "I wanted to thank you first. I want you to know that this wasn't fate, and it wasn't an accident. You made this happen.
"You organized yourselves block by block. You took ownership of this campaign five and ten dollars at a time. And when it wasn't easy, you pressed forward.
"I will spend the rest of my presidency honoring your support, and doing what I can to finish what we started. But I want you to take real pride, as I do, in how we got the chance in the first place.
"Today is the clearest proof yet that, against the odds, ordinary Americans can overcome powerful interests. There's a lot more work to do. But for right now: Thank you."
"It is wonderful," said Perkins, who organized a viewing party at the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building in Harlem. "People are excited all over the community, and the African community can really identify with his presidency. It was very exciting as the numbers started to come in--you can imagine the shouts of joy; people were tearing up. There was even recognition for Hurricane Sandy and how that affected the election. There was a lot of political analysis. The hurricane allowed for an opportunity where the president showed off his leadership ability in a space where the opposition--even Gov. Christie had to acknowledge that President Obama was being totally effective and was making a difference for the people in his state."
Perkins went on, "Christie had been the biggest ally of Romney, and this action converted him to Obamaism."
"Obviously, we want the president to focus on domestic issues too--housing, unemployment, and gun violence. This is a time when he can look into communities like Harlem across the country and address the national curse of guns. It is a life-or-death issue for us."
Perkins proclaimed, "There may be a possibility of creating an African agenda. We would love it. We are going to convene a meeting where we discuss an agenda for Obama that addresses these issues in our community."
Those willing to participate in Perkins' development of Obama's urban agenda should contact 212-222-7315.