This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time - to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth - that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:
Yes We Can. "
-Barack Obama in his presidential acceptance speech
Historic Vote, Historic Turnout: Local Voters Tolerate Longs Lines on Election Day
Alexis Hauk with contributing reporting by Emily Johnson
The morning of Nov. 4 was off to a busy start across the country, with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporting on its Web site that lines were sprouting up hours before the polls opened at 7 a.m. In Boston, one M.I.T. graduate student who voted in the South End said he missed a class because of the long wait, over an hour. Although Boston is generally considered a Democrat stronghold, the massive turnout may have had to do with three referendums on the ballot this year.
Massachusetts College of Art and Design student Franchelly Acosta, 18, was exercising his right to vote for the first time, in favor of Senator Barack Obama.
"We want change in this world and have to do something about it," he said. "We always argue that we want something new, but people don't do much about it."
CHAF Brings Stability, Aid to Homeless and At-risk Population
In its tenth anniversary year, the Cambridge Housing Assistance Fund (CHAF) is taking a new approach to its annual fundraiser: celebrity chefs and reggae.
CHAF’s fundraiser, Home Sweet Home, will be held on Nov. 14 from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge. A $50 ticket buys guests a night of dancing to live music by Toussaint and the China Band and dessert samples from local restaurants and celebrity chefs, who will compete for best dessert. For $75, guests can also enjoy appetizers and a dessert and port wine tasting. The event will feature chefs Judy Rosenberg of Rosie’s Bakery and Jed Hackney of Harvest Restaurant, and Billy Costa of NECN’s “TV Diner,” who will be auctioning off a guest critic spot on his TV show.
All event proceeds will benefit CHAF’s work of providing homeless and near homeless people with the startup costs of rental housing. Their fundraising goal for 2008 is $200,000, which will help about 225 families and individuals secure housing.
In these hard economic times, organizations like CHAF will become even more necessary. The slowing economy “affects people who are vulnerable a lot more than the rest of us,” Pap said. “In this economy, there will be more and more homeless people. We will have to call on our neighbors for help.”
CHAF hopes there will be more success stories like George Caponigro’s, a CHAF recipient who compares himself to a phoenix, the mythical bird that burned to death but rose alive again from its ashes.
Caponigro became homeless after struggling with bipolar disorder and losing his business. He lived on the Boston Common for three years before getting connected with CHAF, who helped him obtain stable housing. Today, Caponigro lives in Quincy, is reunited with his family, and has been a homeless advocate for 15 years.
“I’m a very fortunate man. I feel I have a responsibility to give back,” Caponigro said. “I try to make a difference for every homeless person behind me – reaching out, pulling the next person out of the fire.”
CHAF fundraiser tickets are available at www.CHAFund.org
Voices from the Street: Why Lesbians and Gays Should Be Banned from the Military
I'm a radical. I'm pro lesbian and gay and therefore, I support a ban on gays in the military. Equal access for all? No: No access for anyone. Discriminate against everyone. Ban everyone from serving in the military. Shut the military down. No one should be allowed to fight and kill.