Eugene Cho

washington caucus mania

I’m sure that the turnout for today’s Democratica and Republican caucuses will break  crush previous records. The activity and frenzy for politics is at a level I haven’t experienced in a long time. Over 5K showed up for Hilary Clinton’s visit on Thursday night and 23K folks showed up to hear Obama at Key Arena on Friday morning. Crazy. Today as some of you know, caucuses were held throughout the State at 1pm.

Minhee and I participated in our local precinct caucus and as I expected, it was a frenzy. I was particularly excited that Minhee was able to particpate for the first time as a U.S. citizen. As for who we supported, we’re not telling as I shared yesterday in faith and politics. It was a little disappointing because it was somewhat disorganized. Our precinct didn’t have a PCO [precinct caucus officer?] so the group sought volunteers and went about the process and got the job done. Overall, a beautiful portrait of democracy at work. Isn’t democracy a wonderful thing?

And to give you some ideas how hectic things got, check out these pictures from one of the caucuses held at Q Cafe – a place I serve as the exec. director.I was worried before about the potential crowd and well, it was beyond what folks expected.  They were expecting about 200 and over 400 folks showed up.  But I was told by the staff that people were incredibly respectful and cooperative.  And plus, I can guarantee you that this precinct served the best kickarse coffee in the entire Washington caucuses!

Every single crevice was used in the cafe and back offices:

qcafe4.jpg

caucus.jpg

And so, tables had to be set up outside in the parking lot:

caucus2.jpg

And even after 1pm, the lines were out the doors and went at least a block or so to Dravus Street. And people kept coming.

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12 Responses

  1. Our caucus was the same. Mania, packed to the gills. Very exciting!

  2. Beth says:

    Wow- that is crowded. Maybe more crowded than my precinct.

  3. DKim says:

    It was completely a zoo in my precinct. Disorganized but good to see some neighbors. Thought the one minute speeches were a waste of time. Who in their right mind comes to a decision or changes their decision in 60 seconds?

  4. whydidyoudoit says:

    According to the demographics, I should be voting for Hillary Clinton: I’m a white, 60-year-old, highly educated woman from the Northeast. But I’m voting for Obama. I’ve waited all my life for a viable woman candidate for the presidency, but this is not the right woman. I want a woman of the highest ability and virtue, who would serve as a glorious role model to all young women. Hillary Clinton is not that woman.
    She rode into power with her husband, and together they’ve acquired a long and seriously flawed history of self-serving and secretive financial and political dealings. The most cursory research will prove that true. She started out her political life supporting the racist Barry Goldwater. She is as comfortable with deception and trickery as George Bush. When I hear woman saying, “Oh, but that’s how you get things done in Washington,” I literally cringe.
    I am passionately supporting Barack Obama. He can beat the Republicans; she cannot. Obama has attracted Independents and even Republicans to his camp, and in a general election they would vote for him, but not for Clinton. Clinton voted for the war, and has never apologized for it. Obama has spoken out against it from the beginning. Obama brings us hope–and not just that. Take a serious look at his ideas and experience.
    Please, I beg of you, Sisters young and old: wait for the right woman. Then we can be proud.

    Diane Wald

  5. Kris says:

    I’m glad to know that Scot and I aren’t the only couple who vote differently. In fact, sometimes we look at each other and ask why are we even voting when we are cancelling each other out! It may be the same this year since both of us are still undecided.

  6. gar says:

    Things were crazy down south here too (Renton/Kent).

    My local caucus was held at an elementary school and over 500+ people showed up. I talked to someone who was at the 2004 caucus and they said this year’s numbers is about 5x what showed up then.

  7. Pastor Eugene,

    Looks like it was a crazy day at Q cafe. I wish my precinct was at a cafe. Yeah it was crazy at my caucus too. I’m glad that Minhee was able to exercise her right to vote for the first time. Thanks for being a great example in balancing the proper role of politics and our faith. =)

  8. chad says:

    how cool is it that Quest can serve its community by hosting its precinct elections! so exciting to me.

  9. In response to Ms. Diane Wald,

    I live in a small rural city in Northern Japan, and the people over here are equally as interested in the U.S. political race (I recently did a seminar to explain and discuss the recent race for presidency). Funny, that you reveal your demographic because I spoke to 3 women in your demographic, and 2 of them support Hillary and the other supports Barack. I’m a 32 year old black male from the New York, and I support Barack, but something interesting they said keeps ringing in my mind – “Obama is a nice rhythmical speaker, but he doesn’t give the details of his policies, while Hillary always gives me the details.” I had to agree with her to a degree. I of course just went to the internet and looked up his policy papers and what not. No problem, but these older Japanese women didn’t think of that, and I’m sure there are many people who don’t.

    People around the world are watching this race very carefully, and it will for some time by other foreign powers judge how the United States is viewed. These people only see what CNN, ABC News, and other media outlets let them see. Trust me when I say they were shocked to see that politicians can buy so much airtime, whether it be TV or radio, and of course the Internet. If there is a way, tell Obama campaign organizers for Obama to get more policy information on the news and on other media outlets because 2 out of the 3 women went for Hillary purely on the fact that she spoke hard facts, and not motivational rhetoric. They didn’t like Hillary’s talking ability, and they didn’t care. Facts over rhetoric won the day in this small rural Japanese town. I wonder what the rest of the world is really thinking?

    All that said, Go Obama!!

  10. Tess says:

    Ahh, you lucky Washingtonians being able to caucas! Our state only has vote-by-mail – no opportunity to even go to a polling place to cast one’s vote, much less caucus. I hope it will be Obama over Hillary. And though I’m a D, I do like the straight-talking McCain. What great fun for us political junkies!

  11. Sean says:

    Ah, I think we’re in the same precinct! (I haven’t been to Quest, but I have a friend that does, and I enjoy reading your blog.)

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One Day’s Wages

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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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