Former President Barack Obama rallies for Californians to vote

Story and Photos by Anna Karkalik and Sydney Fredericks-Selby

Former President Barack Obama speaks at a rally held at the Anaheim Convention Center on Saturday, Sept. 8. Photo by Sydney Fredericks-Selby

Former President Barack Obama appeared at his first rally this political season to advocate for seven California Democratic Congressional candidates at the Anaheim Convention Center on Saturday, Sept. 8.

The invitation-only rally took place with the message of reminding people to get motivated and vote in the upcoming elections in November.

Media sets up before Former President Barack Obama speaks to Democrats at a rally held at the Anaheim Convention Center on Saturday, Sept. 8. Photo by Anna Karkalik

The rally also promoted the ideas for candidates to reach out to college students and young adults to vote for this upcoming election as LBCC and other colleges have a diverse crowd of students where their voices should be heard.

“This is a government for everybody, it’s not for sale and that is what we believe in” Obama said in response to the crowds concern that minorities voices are not being accounted for in the current Congress.

Former President Barack Obama speaks at rally held at the Anaheim Convention Center on Saturday, Sept. 8. Photo by Sydney Fredericks-Selby

With Orange County traditionally having a strong Republican presence, the “Take it Back” movement hopes to inspire change by winning some California Republican seats in Congress.

People in the crowd hold signs saying #TakeItBack at rally. Photo by Sydney Fredericks-Selby

“The biggest threat to our democracy is not one individual. It is not one big Super PAC of billionaires. It is apathy, it is indifference, it is us not doing what we are supposed to do” Obama said.

Obama stood beside candidates Harley Rouda (CA-48), Katie Hill (CA-25), Josh Harder (CA-10), TJ Cox (CA-21), Gil Cisneros (CA- 39), Katie Porter (CA- 45) and Mike Levin (CA-49) and gave support to each during his speech.

“What’s interesting about each candidate is they are very focused on things that are going on in Orange County, LA County, San Diego but at the same time they are thinking much broader terms. They are thinking about the effects on the United States as well as worldwide. They are global thinkers” local supporter in the Orange County area Dena LeCave said.

LeCave and other crowd members filled with campaign volunteers that were present shared the common belief that these candidates can change the current state of our Congress.  

“We have to get out there and vote. Vote to get this nimrod out of office.” Steve Velasco a campaign supporter of candidate TJ Cox said after attending the rally.

Those in attendance also acknowledged that the change needed in the White House may not come easily but are prepared to undertake the task.

Carol Adamski a member of South Bay Swing Left and Orchard City Indivisible said, “My heart is open and ready to go for as long as it takes.”

While leaving Samantha Garcia, an active volunteer in her high school and resident in the LA area, was asked if she decided who she was going to vote for.

“No not yet. I haven’t done my research on it but I do plan to vote. I’m not exactly sure who is in my district. Whoever is in my district that is democratic I will” Garcia said.

The already enthusiastic crowd left the rally with the drive to continue pushing for these candidates and inspiring others who do not partake in voting to evoke change with them.

Rally participates leave the convention center after listening to President Barack Obama speak. Photo by Anna Karkalik