Some Evanston voters show Democratic roots
Evanston resident Lamont Jackson and his 6- day-old daughter Elena participate Tuesday in the once-every-four years national election. | Jon Durr~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 7, 2012 7:53PM
EVANSTON — Talk about an early introduction to politics.
Lamont Jackson and Theresa Velazquez brought their daughter, Elena, bundled up in a bassinet, with them to the polling place at Fleetwood -Jourdain Community Center on Evanston’s west side this afternoon.
Elena, born Nov. 1, is a Democrat, said her father.
At least her parents are decidedly pro-Barack Obama.
“If it wasn’t for him we would be living on the South Side right now,’’ said Theresa, a cafeteria supervisor on the Northwestern University campus.
Currently, the family is living in new refurbished housing, thanks to a grant to the city under the federal NSP2 program.
Evanston received an $18 million grant for the program, with the mayor and other working their Democratic connections.
Then there is the Head Start program, student loans, and other programs that could be under the gun if a new administration gets in, said the couple.
Even Big Bird?”
“He can’t do that,’’ said Theresa, now in fighting mode. “I need that for the kids.”
Voters crowded into Fleetwood-Jourdain, located in the heart of Evanston’s African-American community, four years ago in the historic election of the country’s first black president.
The precinct regularly delivers Democratic margins 90 percent or higher.
The mission is different this time around, and even more critical, maintained Delores Holmes, alderman in the ward and visiting different sites to make sure the vote was getting out.
“It’s so much more important because there’s work still to be done and you’d like to see him (President Obama) finish the work he started. He deserves a second chance. He’s earned it.”
Paul Howlett, retired from the telecommunications business, returned from a visit with family in Texas just so he could vote.
In Texas, he had more than one spirited discussion with a brother-in -law who described himself as a “Blue Dog Democrat.”
“What is that, I’ll tell you,’’ said Howlett, answering his own question. “It’s a sleepy Republican.”
As for the election, “I think it’s going to be close but it shouldn’t be. Everything he’s tried to do (people) are against him. Even immigration, he did the same exact thing they (opponents) wanted.”
Count Virgil Massie, a musician, also is a firm Obama supporter.
“I think he’s good for the country, not just for blacks, whites, (Hispanics),” said Massie, who is African-American. “The man is very qualified for the job. He’s shown what he can do.’’
At Fleetwood, many people were lined up early. “Basically we had people waiting in line at 5:15 in the morning,’’ said Sue Walton, one of the election judges.
Overall, turnout was “very heavy” early “but more lightweight now,’’ said Evanston City Clerk Rodney Greene.
He said of the few irregularities reported, some had to do with people having to vote provisionally because they hadn’t changed their address on time.
Early voting probably also affected Tuesday’s turnout, the clerk said.
Some 9,414 voters took advantage of the early voting option in Evanston, making the city the fourth highest of any in the county, he said.