Happy Birthday, President Obama! Oakland celebrates his 50th at New Parish

Today is President Barack Obama’s 50th Birthday, and last night I went out to a club (something I rarely do these days) to celebrate!

Organizing For America – Oakland and organizers from  East Bay Young Democrats, along with a host of other co-sponsors, threw a “Happy Birthday President Obama” fundraiser at The New Parish in Oakland. Part of a nationwide celebration, with 1100 parties in cities across the country, Oakland did not dissapoint!

A who’s who of key players from Oakland were there to celebrate and raise money for the 2012 Obama campaign, such as City Council reps Rebecca Kaplan and Desley Brooks.

However the stars of the show were Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, Congressional Rep. Barbara Lee, Attorney General Kamala Harris, and keynote speaker Donna Brazile.

I was there to gush and tweet about the whole thing! Here’s what happened:

Mayor Quan opened the program by reminding the guests that although California was largely in support of Pres. Obama, Oakland was still instrumental in helping to garner support across the Nation. She noted that she herself was one of the many who made calls, especially to motivate Chinese voters, across the country. Mayor Quan encouraged the crowd to continue their support by knocking on doors, making phone calls, and raising money. “We can make a difference here (in Oakland)!” Yes, we can!

Barbara Lee, charged up the crowd by expressing how glad she was to be back home in Oakland! She lets us know that it was because of the efforts of Mayor Quan and her frequent trips to Washington DC that the city of Oakland is becoming an important player in this year’s campaign.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris, an Oakland native, thanked us for all of our support and help in getting her to Sacramento. Harris said she wasn’t a stranger to campaigning for the President. In 2007, she stepped out in the cold winter of Iowa and knocked on doors, and continued campaigning in several other states. Harris said that re-electing President Obama is not about the money or huge fundraisers, it’s about us the people!

Last but not least, Donna Brazile came out and got the crowd pumping with a chant “Fired up and Ready to Go!”  The audience was clearly impressed with the history of her work with the Democratic Party and her continued commitment towards the Obama Administration. She says that she will continue to have “Obama’s back” during the upcoming election. Now more than ever, President Obama needs the continued support of progressives. Although the deal wasn’t ideal, he preserved Medicare and Social Security for the poor and continues to fight for the “least of these”.

At the end of her speech Brazile led us into a rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday” Stevie Wonder style, while we waited for the venue to overcome technical difficulties in bringing up a live stream of the President at his event in Chicago. Once things got underway, we listened as the President thanked his supporters and urged us to stick with him.

The President’s speech was a little long.. (my feet hurt from standing)..and he looked exhausted. However Obama is nothing if not a good orator and he peppered this one with cute jokes like this..

“Tomorrow I turn 50 and will get a letter from AARP asking me to ask the President to protect medicare”

At points during the speech he leaned over the podium. He was tired..so was I. ..but his job is harder, so he gets a pass. LOL

and rousing statements designed to encourage and keep us  focused on the  fight ahead  “You knew when you elected me that we were in for a long struggle..” or “Change doesn’t happen over night”  etc..etc..

PopLyfe ..they are AWESOME. Support tha kids please!

At the end of the program we were further entertained by PopLyfe, a young band mentored by Dwayne Wiggins of Tony Toni Tone.

I personally believe these young folks are awesome and OAKLAND, nay AMERICA, needs to support them 100%. The two guitarists would make PRINCE himself proud.  I was so impressed..yet mad at the same time. WHY did I stop playing clarinet in high school? That could have been me!!

We were also blessed to have a couple of songs from Dwayne Wiggins himself.

All in all, I had a great time! The event was successful, the MC announced that they reached their fundraising goal! 🙂 I was very happy to be there.

Thanks to my friends Anne ..for inviting me to the party. Dalila..thanks for the pics (my camera is janky..who wants to donate an iPhone?).  Rebecca nice to meet you looking forward getting to know you better.

I am IN, President Obama. I’m ready to do what I can to help you get re-elected!

So friends..tell me. Did you celebrate with Obama? Were you at home watching the Chicago program..or did you go out? Are you a supporter? Are you in..will you stump for Obama, too? Share!

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