Thanks to the mybarackobama website I became aware of a rally for Obama that was taking place earlier tonight at The Crescent Cafe located at 69 Canterbury St in Worcester. The Crescent Cafe is located a few short blocks away from our place and I had witnessed the building reopen within the past year, without ever stopping in to check it out.
The fact that they were holding an Obama rally was the perfect opportunity for Crystal and I to walk down there this weekend and partake in the festivities and check out the lounge for the first time. The Crescent Cafe is a hop skip and a jump away from our building and sits on Canterbury street pretty much sandwiched by a defunct and dilapidated Crompton and Knowles mill to one side and a defunct and dilapidated Standard Foundry building on the other. This is certainly the heart of Main South. As Crystal and I walked up to the cafe there was good crowd of 40 or so people on the corners of Canterbury and Gardner street holding signs and chanting to passing vehicles. Right away I was happy that me made our way down the block to show our support.
We made our way inside and ordered a couple beers. We then made our way over to the information table and signed in with email addresses and contact info. Overall they were organizing for everything from bus trips to New Hampshire to phone banking to rallies, recruitment and voter registration right in Worcester. Before I knew it the crowd had moved inside so we could get down to the business of the night. Gladys Rodriguez-Parker who organized the event spoke about what everyone can do to help effect the change that we want to see by getting Obama elected thru phone banks, door knocking, NH trips etc. Next up was Stacey Luster who owns the Crescent Cafe with her husband, she proclaimed how very proud she was of the turnout and every one in the room and made a very thought provoking point of how she does not think the corner of Gardner and Canterbury streets has ever been the site of such a big sign holding event as it was this evening.
Stacey then introduced Congressman Jim McGovern who was fresh off a plane from Washington after voting yes to the bailout package. I give Congressman McGovern all the kudos in the world for coming deep into the District 4 hood on what has probably been one of the most hectic weeks of his political career in order to motivate folks to get out the vote for Obama. McGovern stood on top of a barstool, and addressed the 80 or so folks who were in attendance. McGovern did not hold back, calling George Bush "terrible" and "the worst President this country has ever seen". McGovern echoed how each one of us can make a difference even if we can change just one voter's mind, whether it is here in Mass or the battleground state of New Hampshire.
One Love Cafe was providing food for the event, so Crystal ordered up a plate which we shared while spending some time talking with McGovern with a small circle of folks. Yes he did vote for the bailout, he seemed to state that something needed to be done asap and it was certainly more about restoring credit lines to individuals and small businesses than bailing out Wall St. He hoped for an environment where the bailout happens, Obama is elected and a economic stimulus package is put forth as one of the first orders of business in January. I was able to bend his ear for a couple minutes regarding foreclosure and the individual homeowner and was able to describe our plight here at University Park Lofts.
All in all it was a great first chance to walk to a lounge just a couple blocks away and feel a groundswell of energy and community spirit around the campaign as well as finding out that the Crescent Cafe is a nice little hidden gem that I will swing into again in the near future.