For Lorain resident Jeanine Donaldson, visiting Washington for the inauguration is mainly about being a part of history.
Donaldson saw Obama’s first inauguration four years ago and is eager to attend again this weekend — not simply to hear his speech, but to participate in what she calls “a quintessential American experience.”
“It will be interesting to see the crowd,” she said. “Last time, it was really a demonstration of America’s diversity … and clearly a shared experience.”
So does Donaldson expect any changes in demographic or attitude from four years ago?
“I don’t know what I expect,” she said with a laugh. “That’s why I’m going.”
Elyria Councilman Marcus Madison, D-4th Ward, will be among those participating firsthand. Madison has helped get out the vote and coordinate grassroots initiatives for the Obama campaign.
On Friday, he traveled to Washington to represent City Council and Lorain County at the inauguration alongside other campaign members.
He also will participate in the National Day of Service in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. today and will tour the White House as a Council representative.
Madison is “excited, and truly humbled” by the opportunity to represent his community and Council at this nationwide event. He is also glad to participate in the president’s “national call to action” through service projects in the capital.
“I’ve never had the opportunity to tour the White House before and see what they do, so I’m pretty excited for that,” he said. “But (the trip is) also a showcase of appreciation for the amount of time that people have put into this campaign.”
Supporters of Obama who are staying home are celebrating, too.
Tonight, the nonprofit Old School Lorain Group will hold an inaugural ball at DeLuca’s Place in the Park. The event planners “just wanted to celebrate President Obama’s success,” said coordinator Donna Mitchell.
The event will include a cocktail hour, dinner, live entertainment, a speaker and a dance. The $35 tickets are sold out.
“We thought we’d give the people of Lorain County a chance to dress up and have a good time,” Mitchell said. “It’s not often that we get to have a ball like this, so I’m very excited.”
Contact Hannah Varadi at 329-7243 or firstname.lastname@example.org.