Monday, September 3, 2012 at 7:44 PM
Several thousand people turned out to Luke Easter Park on Cleveland's east side for the Labor Day festival and political rally held there each year. President Barack Obama had briefly planned to make an appearance, but reversed course in order to travel to Louisiana to visit with flood victims. ideastream's Bill Rice reports a major theme of the event was: Get registered, and vote!
The annual festival and rally was started 41 years ago by Congressman Louis Stokes, and it’s become a traditional political event for the city’s black community and local labor unions. This year voter registration was a top goal, with at least four booths and volunteers strolling the grounds with clipboards of registration materials.
Ben Holbert volunteered with the Urban League to sign up voters.
Holbert: “The situation we have here in Greater Cleveland, there’s been foreclosures, and sometimes people will have to move in with their sister, brother or another relative. If this takes them of the precinct that they were before, it may be one of the last things on their minds, but they still need to go down to the board of Elections - or even here at Luke Easter Park - and register to vote.”
Congresswoman Marcia Fudge urged the crowd to make sure they’re registered properly, and reminded them that there are other Democrats in addition to the President that need their votes.
Fudge: “When you go in and you look at the ballot you see Barack Obama at the top you vote for Barack Obama, but you go down that ballot , you go all the way down the ballot and vote for everybody. The mistake we made in 2010 is that we didn’t vote so he didn’t have any help. Now we need some help!”
Democratic Congresswoman Betty Sutton was in the parade that kicked off the event with local unions from around Northeast Ohio. Another Democrat, Senator Sherrod Brown also made and appearance later in the day.
Bill Rice, 90.3.
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