Sunday, October 12, 2008

"Kids For Obama" Day at Greenlake in Seattle

This is my first stab at "citizen journalism", and, well I left the experience with a lot to be desired... first of all my camera didn't work, and secondly, I didn't talk to anyone. What I'm left with are my low-res camera phone pics, and my impressions. For what it's worth.

I arrived at 2:10 PM and left around 2:30 PM, and I estimated the crowd at about 300 people. I noticed about 5 other folks just drifting around like me photographing the scene. I overheard one of the photographers asking another if he was with The Seattle Times, and he said "No". Folks were trickling in the whole time I was there.

I'd say the overall feeling was one of subdued celebration. No chanting or speeches or any marching when I was there. There were a bunch of red, white and blue balloons (with no slogans) and I'd say about half the kids had Obama T-shirts and/or signs. The signs were fairly innocuous and cliché, sayings things like "Obama for Change", "Obama for the Future" and one kid had a sign that said, "Obama Rocks". There were 2 crafts tables for kids, and the kids were creating
various things, mainly Obama posters.

There was no food available when I was there. The Obama campaign would have done well giving away hot dogs or something similar. It would have created some good will with me as I was hungry ; )

UPDATE 10:55 PM:
A fellow local blogger was there covering the story, too. There was more to the gathering than what I documented, I guess the crowd DID "march" (walk in a procession bearing a lot of Obama signs). He did a much better job than me, he had better pictures and even shot a video!

UPDATE 10/13/08:
Another blogger's coverage. Score for citizen journalism! I haven't found any MSM coverage yet.

There were a lot of "I Love Obama" signs

People mainly seemed to be milling about. The "march" part of the program probably started after I left (If there was one at all).

More love for Obama, as experessed by a young child.

At least this Obama supporter has the good sense to love Golden Retrievers.

I took this one from the north when I arrived.

Lots of balloons- there were no slogans on them as far as I could see.

Just seemed like a lazy day at the lake, with some balloons and Obama propaganda thrown in.


chotii said...

The march began around 3pm; I got there at 1:30, thinking it would start at 2 the way the webpage suggested. I should mention, there was not only no food (which I didn't expect anyway) but no porta-potties or any restroom available nearer than a quarter-mile away. Awkward.

There was a certain amount of chanting, but everyone was polite to me. Not that they knew what my sign meant anyway.

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify, the Web site did explain that the flag making would begin at 2 (so that kids would have time to make their flags before the parade started) and the parade would begin at 3.

Also, in regards to port-a-potties and food, this event was TRULY grassroots. It was not in any way sponsored by the Obama campaign, which meant that they did not give any funding for it. So food and port-a-potties would have been funded from the organizers' pockets. Plus, it was in the middle of the afternoon, so food didn't seem logical. It's not like it was a lunchtime parade.

Lastly, if you had stayed until 3, you would have seen some student musicians pepping up the crowd, and people signing, then there was a short speech from the main organizer (who explained that the idea for the parade came from a conversation she'd had with her 7-year-old daughter about Hillary Clinton's merits vs. Obama). So, there was a lot more excitement when the parade actually got underway.

It was actually a pretty great celebration of democracy and allowing kids to express themselves. Thanks for your report on it, Citizen Journalist!

Anonymous said...

In the third paragraph of my comment above, I meant to say "people singing," not "people signing." Got my fingers mixed up. :-)

chotii said...

Ah, no, I know it was grassroots. But it was (in my estimation) a disaster in the making to have hundreds of little kids gathered a quarter-mile from the nearest bathroom. Somebody told me that they thought the Bathhouse Theater would be open and bathrooms available.

Perhaps if there is a next time, a better gathering place would be by the wading pools. There is a restroom there, and more space for people to get off the walking-trail while milling around. I heard quite a bit of annoyance from people who were trying to jog through. Even grassroots events can evolve, on the cheap.

I did stay until 3, I did walk along with the crowd (and yes, I did hear chanting - and singing - and the teens playing music. I did not stay for the whole walk, as I had already tired myself out, walking back and forth to the bathroom, because I had coffee on the way. ;)

joshuadf said...

Hey, if you want food you could volunteer for Mass Transit Now's Everett phonebank. No presidential preference required. :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Greg, you might be interested in checking out my brother's blog. He's middle of the road in politics but is an Obama supporter. I always like to read what he has to say, and he's funny too. :)