Election Night in Chicago

Although I haven't actually gotten to see the President speak in the flesh, I feel so blessed to have been in Chicago for the past two elections.

I will never forget 2008: climbing on porta-potties to catch a glimpse of the big screens through the throngs of thousands gathered from Grant Park all the way back beyond Millennium Park. Crying and hugging the strangers around me who were just as ecstatic as I was that we had elected our first African-American president. Feeling like a part of something bigger than myself and not even worrying for a moment about my safety, despite warnings from others that the rally may turn violent.

There was nothing but pure excitement and hope for what was to come and I am beyond thrilled that the American people decided to continue down this progressive path to see where this amazing man will lead us.

Admittedly, my vote in '08 was not the most informed decision. Everyone around me, including my family and very liberal classmates at DePaul, were all voting Democratic so it seemed like the right thing to do. Obama's fierce messages for hope and change also played a role, igniting something within me that I had never really cared about before, but in all honesty, I just figured that someone with his amount of swagger should be the man in charge of my country. 

Four years later, my experiences abroad along with my education (and an extremely political ex-boyfriend!) all contributed to a much more educated decision -- that oddly enough didn't change a bit.

Gathering at the Thompson Center at Clark & Randolph, I was disappointed to see that the crowd wasn't as energetic and massive as back in '08. But don't get me wrong--it was still incredible to be in the President's home state, surrounded by his supporters and celebrating the progress we can make with four more years. Popping the bubbly, I couldn't stop smiling from ear to ear to be standing with so many of the people that joined me in 2008 in support of Barack Obama.


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