Friday, July 4th, 2008, El Cerrito, CA.
Yesterday we did a campaign stop in El Cerrito at their Fourth of July Fair. El Cerrito is the next town over from Berkeley. It was where a lot of people moved to when Berkeley got yuppified. So it is like how Berkeley was people-wise 25 years ago…working-class, mixed-raced, family/community oriented, multi-generational. Across from our booth was the Green Party’s booth…next to them a church had a booth. A few tables down from us was the N.R.A.! But this was the deepest embracing of the campaign of the festivals we have been at…warm and direct!
After having a super yummy meal and then making at trip to Roma to get coffee we got ready and headed out to the event. We were there in no time and the event was in a park and rec area of El Cerrito. It was already hopping an hour into the event. There was an art show area, a music area and then a food and vendors and everything else area. We looked around and did some shopping Linda and Mikee getting some super cool brightly colored sunglasses. We found our booth and it looked great!!!!! Another super decorating job by Corey and Alexi who arrived earlier to set it all up. We looked around a little more and did some more shopping and that's when we found the pants for me where the woman gave us each a present wishing us luck on the campaign. She gave Frank a good luck bracelet. Then it was back to the booth. There was a steady stream of people all day long who came up to the booth and many others who would stop and stare at the banner and us taking it all in. We handed out lots of platforms and people were very excited about it some at first not sure what to make of it and then their faces melting as they read the platform and took in that Frank was for real. We video taped everyone as they came up. There were a few people that recognized us from our TV shows and a guy who remembered Frank from the Art Institute. He had been a nude model in one of Frank's performances there. Everyone at the event seemed happy and really having a good time, enjoying being with their families and loved ones at this fun event. They were all very open to learning about the campaign even if they did not think they would vote for Frank they wanted to hear about it. Some people took several platforms, made donations, took bumper stickers and buttons, young and old happy to take in the hope of Frank's platform, something different than what is out there now, something that is about taking care of people and families which seems like what people are about in El Cerrito and Richmond where a lot of the people were from. We saw our acupuncturist and Captain Fred who has a show on Luver and lives in El Cerrito. What a fun day!!! We could hardly pull ourselves away from the table to go to the bathroom when we needed to and we found some organic food to eat for a snack!!! The event ended at 4:00 and we did a little more shopping and then headed home. It was our last planned campaign festival for a while. It had been really fun to go to all these festivals and Corey was hot on the job of finding more for us to go to so we would see. At home we had beverages and Frank laid down for a while while we got dinner going and then I started on the dusting. Frank was crashing and at the end of the event his lungs were bothering him. There was still smokey particles in the air from all the fires.
We hustled to get everything ready and get dressed and out the door so that we could get to the event as close to 7am as possible.
When we got there, people were already setting up, lots of cars pulling into the lot ... the weather was terrible! Overcast, windy ... We were setting up next to a co-operative preschool called Skytown, that is just up the hill from the park. They were a friendly group of women, and later offered us donuts, which we actually had to go with our coffee as soon as we had the booth finished! It was fun setting up, and as always, it took us hustling right up to the last minute to get it all done, and then the crowds were appearing ...
One of the first to come by the table was Paul from the East Bay Media Center, but there was a stream of people that started right at the beginning, and continued all day, drawn to the booth and curious to read about what Frank was all about, wondering if this was for real? And really liking that it was! It would be impossible to write-up all the many interactions that happened both before, and after you guys arrived ... but it was a totally mindblowing day ... the sheer quantity of people that stopped at the booth and the extremely positive reactions ... and the disillusionment with Obama was palpable, something that was not there at events just a month prior ... Where it had been, "This is great, but I do have to say I'm voting for Obama", now the same people were saying, "The choices are horrible ... Obama is showing his true colors ..." While we were packing up at the end of the day, we were talking with the Skytown women again, about how the day had gone, and we told them about this phenomenon ... they were in total agreement with that common feeling. They said Obama was never what he said he was ... he just had a slick presentation for a while. It was really great to hear ... people are not dumb!
It was fun to be there in the booth all day, offering folks Frank's platform as they walked by, magnetized by the signs and banners ... most could not help but to come up to the table and meet Frank and take a look at the platform. The people were so right there, sharp, not afraid to come and talk, to interact with Frank. It was so much fun. The food was yummy ... organic himalayan plates, followed by sausage with various mustards ... The Aidell's sausage guy really wanted to buy a t-shirt (if only it were a muscle tank)!!
The busiest booth of the year, close to home in El Cerrito ... the over an hour of video showed just how many people came up and interacted with Frank ... the camera popped on and off for each person that came up, if we could even get to it in time!
It was sad to pack it all up at the end of the day ... always a trip to see the space returned to what it was when we had arrived, although the energy had been transformed!
For more on his platform visit Candidate Frank Moore’s Blog