Election Day and Night

Arrive at my polling place. A no on 8 campaigner is handing out leaflets outside the required 100-feet.

Cast my ballot. Obama/Biden. No on 8 and a punch of propositions. Get my sticker!

Take bus to campus/work. Lots of people wearing their stickers too.

12-4 pm
Try unsuccessfully to get some work done, too distracted by news and anticipation. I do make a bunch of freshmen mad at me while playing Jeopardy! for our class.

Leave campus.

Head over to Busby’s East on Wilshire to meet up with Isa.

meet up with Isa next door at El Toro Cantina. We enjoy happy hour while watching the returns on the news.

Cheers erupt when MSNBC calls Ohio for Obama. Know it’s set when add the west coast states to current electoral count of 200; 270 is easily within reach.

Head back west to Century City for the party.

Park by Cheviot Hills Recreation Center. Grab my Latinos for Obama sign out of my car. I tell Isa I’m worried about losing the sign because I plan to give it to my grandkids. While waiting for Isa’s boyfriend, I check out the local polling place. It’s quiet.

Traffic is crazy. Isa parks while Daniel and I get in the long line to get into the Century Plaza.

Cheers erupt as news reaches the crowd — on their phones, checking news — that Obama now has the required 270 to win.

Photos with the sign start. Latinos for Obama. Pochos for Obama. Teachers for Obama. Roommate for Obama. White-collar workers for Obama. One of the men we meet up with breaks out a flask of 15-year old Scotch. He’s been saving it for an occasion just like this. I pass, afraid the gum in my mouth will mess up the taste.

The line keeps moving, but soon we find out that the fire marshall has closed the hotel doors. No more people will be allowed in.

Determined to get on TV, Isa grabs my hand and we run closer to the hotel lobby to join a crowd of people who couldn’t get in to the celebration. We yell and make lots of noise. People look, snap pictures. I think it’s the sign.

Realize that Obama’s speech has started. Run over to Intercontinental Hotel a few blocks south. Stop to make a picture.

The bar lounge at the Intercontinental is full with people who couldn’t get in to the Century Plaza. Our group of (7 at this time) join a silent and attentive crowd to watch Obama’s speech in Grant Park.

More pictures with the sign. The woman in the middle asked for the picture. She asked me and Daniel to join. Soon an Asian woman popped in too as half a dozen people took pictures.

Hotel worker changes TV to local channel. Reports of proposition 8 winning come in with 20% of precincts reporting. The crowd groans with disappointment.

Watch more reports coming in about the presidential and senate races. Text friends. Bump into other friends at the hotel. Stay away from some people, it’s just too awkward. Some things just don’t change.

Begin the walk back to the car. It’s windy and very cold. The crowd outside the hotel has mainly died down, but LAPD is still out in full force. Squad cars are parked up and down Constellation Avenue, but all the officers are just hanging out.

Get home. Warm up some albóndiga soup and sit down to watch more news before calling it a night. Celebrating is tiring.

A few days later, it’s sunk in the Barack Obama is now President-elect Barack Obama. However, I still can’t be that happy knowing that California voters approved Proposition 8. California has a way with passing these horrible propositions (187, 184, 209, 227, 21, and 22).


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