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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 16, 2008 at 3:35 PM

A new president and new opportunities

Race wasn’t it

President-elect Barack Obama may be unbelievable. The statistics are not. More than3 million Obama campaign donations averaged $87 each. Election-Day attendance could surpass 1960’s (64 percent) or 1908’s (66 percent.)

Some estimate the number of newly-registered Democrats up 50 percent from 2004.

Over 50,000 people routinely attended Obama rallies, many waiting hours on Obama’s rock-star-style tardiness. Tens of thousands of “super volunteers” worked 40 or more hours a week on the Obama campaign. The numbers don’t lie.

The campaign’s 365 electoral votes trounced that of President George W. Bush in 2000 (271) and 2004 (286.) The manifestation of Obama’s campaign shines on a coming administration like none other, organized and accountable to a pioneering coalition of engaged citizens. Whether motivated by his message or oratory skills, the novel participation stems from more than Obama’s race. The rhetoric of identity politics does not break ground like the statistics.

Those who say “race is the only history in this election” miss the historical marks. Those who didn’t vote for Obama might fear the power in numbers. This is no time to fear. It is time to accept the facts, embrace the real history and finally get back to work fixing our country.

— Mike Leavitt, Seattle

Back to the grind

The people have spoken, and now it is time for politics to take a back seat to solving the problems we face together. No matter if you voted for President-elect Barack Obama or Sen. John McCain, if you are a union member, small-business owner or retiree, we share one community. We need to play our part to help our elected leaders fulfill their campaign promises.

Now is the time to demand affordable health care for every hard-working American. It’s time to rebuild the middle class by creating good jobs and letting workers have a voice. It’s time to seize this moment and create the change that working families need.

On behalf of the 100,000 hardworking SEIU [Service Employees International Union] members in Washington state, we congratulate our elected candidates and pledge that we will continue our work to make the promises of this election a reality. Now is the time to roll up our sleeves and get back to work.

— Charlotte Anibas, Bremerton

Comments | More in Politics, Presidential election

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