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.

caucus3.jpg

Filed under: politics, , , , , , ,

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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She was a devoted wife until she lost her husband to cancer, mother to three daughters, and later became a pastor. She became a follower of Christ as an adult and as such, led her her family to Christ. In her late 50s, she obeyed God's calling to go to seminary and be a leader in the church. She graduated #1 in her class and reminded us that it's never too late to follow a new dream or calling.

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Someday, I hope that when my kids speak of Minhee and I...above all, they would say with integrity that their parents prayed for them and kept pointing them to Christ. On this Mother's Day, I want to take a few words to honor mother.

There’s a moment from a few years ago that will stick with me until the day I die. It’s regarding Sung Wha, my mother.

Minhee and I were at a point of transition, between working at an ethnic Korean church in the northern suburbs of Seattle called Lynnwood and launching Quest in urban Seattle. As I shared earlier, I was in desperate need of a job. I had a mortgage to pay. A pregnant wife. A kid at home. 
Then, praise God, after months without work, I finally landed a job.

My mom was in between jobs at this point in her life. She was in her late fifties, but she had such bad knees and degenerative hips that it was, and is, difficult for her to walk. My mom is like a human barometer—when a storm is coming and when it rains, her hips throb. Although my parents lived in San Francisco, she was visiting us in Seattle to encourage us in this difficult season.

As I prepared to go to work one early morning, I walked downstairs to put on my jacket and shoes, and forgot that my mother woke up early every morning to pray. In fact, she had been praying for months that I would find a job. “Eugene, where are you going?” she said when she saw me.

I hadn’t told my mother the news that I had just recently been hired for the janitorial gig at Barnes and Noble. I chose not to because I thought she and my father would be devastated. I didn’t want them to think that after laboring, sacrificing, and doing so much for us over all those years that their son had failed them.

But I couldn’t lie to her, so eventually I told my mom that I got a job and was going to work. “Great! What job? What are you doing?” “Um, I’m working at Barnes and Noble as their custodian,” I said finally.

Without asking another question, my mother got up from the dining table where she had been reading her Bible and praying. She slowly walked slowly toward me.

She approached me, then walked past me without saying a word, and I realized she was headed toward the closet. She opened the closet door, put on her jacket, turned around and said to me (in Korean), “Eugene, let’s go together. I will help you.” This is my mother.

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