President Barack Obama visits Milwaukee to Campaign for Wisconsin Democrats
You can feel it in the air, the excitement for change to happen come Nov. 6—Election Day. Wisconsin, specifically Milwaukee, needs a change, a change in its leaders. From the potholes to the crooked law system, our leaders in Madison aren’t doing enough for its citizens, which is why Precious Crawley came to show support to leaders who she believes in at The Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s (DPW) rally at North Division High School, 1011 W. Center St. on Oct. 26.
Crawley is a single mother of three who has been working at McDonalds for seven months, only making $7.50 which is 25 cents more than minimum wage. Crawley is a part of the organization Fight for $15, who is fighting to raise minimum wage to $15.
“It would change my life,” she said. “We deserve it and we deserve a union.”
And, to those individuals who don’t think people like Crawley deserve the 15, Crawley strongly disagrees. She said she’s currently having to choose between getting necessities for her children or paying for the bills, such as heat.
But, Crawley isn’t the only individual fighting for something in the state of Wisconsin—fighting for a change—which is why the DPW invited President Barack Obama to Milwaukee. Over 3,000 people gathered in the North Division’s gymnasium where the event was held, and around 600 people were in the overflow room, according to Fire Captain of the Milwaukee Fire Department (MFD) Jordan Ponder.
Just like many Wisconities, Obama sees the systemic issues facing the state, so he came to share his support and to campaign for U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, who’s hoping to be re-elected as the senator of Wisconsin; Tony Evers, candidate running to replace Gov. Scott Walker and other Wisconsin democrats. He didn’t come alone though, he was accompanied by Congresswoman Gwen Moore, congressional candidates Randy Bryce and Dan Kohl, and other statewide and local elected officials and candidates.
Crawley said she came to the event to show her support for leaders such as Obama, Baldwin and others who understand that change needs to happen now.
Doors opened for guest around 12:30 p.m., but the actual event didn’t start till long after.
Many speakers stepped on stage and each one captured the crowd’s attention.
Mandela Barnes, Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin, wasn’t the first to grace the stage, but he spoke powerfully.
“We need to make sure we’re voting for democrats up and down the ballot,” he said. “If you see a democrat, check the box…we need to vote like we’re frustrated.”
Barnes grew up in the inner city of Milwaukee, so he knows the issues plaguing the city. He understands that the people are indeed frustrated. And,with him and Evers in office, he said, they will do everything Walker didn’t do, but should’ve.
Moore then came on stage like she usually does with spunk and flavor. She too spoke of the importance of voting, and she even sung it to the crowd, “with Scott Kevin Walker Blues,” we need to make a change, she said.
She kept the crowd laughing but made sure to stay on topic.
“All we have to do is show up and vote,” she said. “And we can change things.”
After about a 30-minute break, Evers walked on stage to a roar of applause. Evers, just like many of his speeches, discussed his component Walker. Evers stated that he will be replacing Walker in 11 days (Election Day), which got the crowd even more hype.
“I don’t know about you, but we need a new governor,” he said. “We’ve had enough of Scott Walker.
He then went on to state policies he’ll put into place once elected, such as funding Wisconsin’s schools because “every kid should have access to high, quality education,” he said.
And then, arguably the two most important speakers of the rally came to the stage: Baldwin and Obama. Of course, Baldwin went first.
She started off by thanking Evers for introducing her, then went straight to it.
“I became the top target of special interest,” Baldwin said about people in Congress and others attacking her with their ads. “Why me? [But,] then I decided I’m going to wear it like a badge of honor.”
She continued: “I don’t work for them, I work for you.”
Baldwin also discussed topics such as healthcare, like many of the other speakers. As an individual with a pre-existing condition, Baldwin says she knows the struggles of Wisconsinites, and how she’s going to keep fighting the fight, but she needs everyone to vote.
Then, the main attraction: Obama.
The crowd went ape shit, in the words of Beyonce, when Obama stepped on stage and hugged Baldwin. His smile radited the room, but his jokes left the crowd with a feeling of nostalgia. Many members of the crowd shouted how they missed him as a president, but he was there for one reason, and that’s to show his support for Wisconsin democrats.
Obama discussed an array of topics, but one that stood out was him calling out the corrupt government. According to him, each election, Republicans try to scare voters to distract them from voting.
In the 2014 election, society was told Ebola was going to kill us all, and two years later, it was Hillary Clinton’s emails.
“We gotta stop falling for this stuff,” he said. “We’re like Charlie Brown with the football.”
He continued: “The only check we got on this behavior is you and your vote.”
Obama said he was hopeful that Wisconsin will make the change and vote for leaders such as Baldwin.
“We need leaders to stand up for rights regardless of color,” he said. “You know who you can trust? You can trust Tammy Baldwin.”
He even discussed how the current leaders in power are “making stuff up.” Walker has been against individuals with pre-existing conditions since being in office, but now that it’s close to elections, he says he will fight for those individuals, Yet, Obama called Walker, and many other leaders, out on their lies.
With every word said from Obama, the crowd couldn’t contain their joy. Obama seemed to bring hope back to Milwaukee like he did back in 2008 when running for president.
“This moment is too important to sit down,” said Obama. “One election won’t fix everything. That’s not how politics work, but if you vote then things will get better.”