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Presidential Candidate Succeeds in Crossing Racial Barriers to Win Key Endorsements
Continuing to build on momentum captured by a huge win in Iowa, last week presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama picked up key endorsements during a rally at Los Angeles City Hall. Just as loud as the supporters at the rally was the message sent by the diversity of the elected officials who pledged their support to the Illinois Senator.
At the podium stood L.A. County Second District Supervisorial Candidate Council-man Bernard C. Parks, the woman he hopes to succeed County Supervisor Yvonne Braithwaite Burke, L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti, Representative Adam Schiff, D- Pasadena; former Representative Mel Levine; Assemblyman Ted Lieu, D-El Segundo; Senator Gloria Romero and West Hollywood Mayor John Duran. Their presence ensured the Obama campaign message of unity among race, age, sex and political party lines was not only seen but heard as well.
“This week, we have seen change in America,” Supervisor Burke said. “We have seen a total reestablishment of the belief of the American people in the electoral and political processes,” Burke said. “We have seen the young people who believed there was no place for them in elections or government or politics. They (now) believe there is a place for them.”
“We have seen him(Obama) unite people from all backgrounds from here to Iowa and hopefully to all the way to the White House,” Councilmember Parks said. “I have honestly not seen people this excited about a race in this country since the time of the Kennedys. I supported Senator Obama early on and will continue to do so.”
The California primary election will be held Feb. 5. In preparation for that vote, Obama supporters have called 350,000 permanent absentee voters to rally support, said Buffy Wicks, Obama’s California field director.
The campaign expects to place 15,000 phone calls a day until the primary.
“Senator Obama has one of the most inclusive campaigns in history,” Lieu said. “Whether you have oval eyes or slanted eyes, whether you’re a Black, White, brown or a shade of yellow, whether you are a gay or straight, whether your family came here 100 years ago or you just became a citizen, whether you’re a Democrat or an independent, you will have a seat at his table in his administration,” he said.
Schiff told supporters an Obama presidency would ease the country’s partisan debates.
“Over the last several years I’ve grown increasingly concerned about the divisions we have here at home — over the bitter partisanship, over the polarization, over the red states, the blue states,” Schiff said.
“We face great challenges, great challenges here at home and great challenges abroad. I am confident we can meet those challenges if we are united at home.”