Archive for the ‘Naomi Ishisaka’ category

Obama supporter in New York subway

June 19, 2008

Supporter wears homemade Obama T-shirt in New York subway day after clinching nomination.

Obama supporter wears homemade T-shirt in New York subway one day after Obama clinches nomination. Photo by Naomi Ishisaka


The primaries are over, Obama may be the first black president – what does it mean to you?

June 11, 2008

With the primary season finally coming to a close, the first African-American to be a major party nominee may become president. What does this historic election mean to you? Have you participated in the campaign? Have you participated in politics before? Do you plan to be involved in the general election campaign? What did you think about the primary campaign?
Tell us what you think.


ColorsNW – A lesson in not taking success for granted?

February 10, 2008

As I tried to contact the Clinton campaign last week to get press access to her rally on Thursday, I was surprised to find that Washington State was not even listed on her Web site in the list of states you could contact for more information about volunteering, meeting other supporters, etc. This was two days before the Washington caucuses and yet our state wasn’t even listed. This struck me as possibly symbolic of some of the challenges the Clinton campaign has had in tapping into the energy and enthusiasm of Democrats. It seems in some way they wrote off Washington and other states because 1) They didn’t think the race would go on so long without their having clinched the nomination, or 2) They didn’t think they would win in Washington so they didn’t bother creating any infrastructure to support a win. Either way, I think it might be a sign that the Clinton campaign may have seriously underestimated the importance of reaching out to all people in all states and miscalculated in their overconfidence that they would sail through to the nomination. On Clinton’s site today, now Washington has been added, but there are still only 39 states listed, compared with the Obama site which has always had all the states listed. This difference, I think, might speak to why Clinton has been struggling. The old political methods don’t work anymore. People in every state have money, energy and resources that transcend state borders. To write them off as unimportant due to an election calendar is folly.

Clinton Campaign Web site

ColorsNW – Superdelegates a lesson in importance of civic engagement

February 10, 2008

In reading a New York Times story about the pivotal role in the election for superdelegates, I saw this statement:

Superdelegates, created in 1982, were intended to restore some of the power over the nomination process to party insiders, tempering the zeal of party activists. About 15 to 20 percent of the delegates at Democratic conventions are superdelegates.

It struck me that in the same way the role of the Electoral College came as a surprise to many voters in 2000, in 2008 everyone is suddenly aware of the potentially undemocratic nature of the superdelegate system. The superdelegates – more in the Democratic party than the Republicans – can subvert the will of the voters and allow a few elite party insiders to dictate our party’s nominee. So when are we going to learn that we need to pay attention to our electoral process before it’s too late, not after the horse has already left the stable? When are we going to stop listening to the conventional wisdom of pundits and “experts” who tell us things like “Washington’s vote doesn’t matter,” “Clinton is the inevitable candidate and will wrap up the nomination before Super Tuesday” and “White voters will never elect a Black man for president.” Over and over we find the so-called experts wrong. So why don’t we stop listening to them, educate ourselves about how the insiders are trying to shape the process to make sure the zeal of activists is tempered. Isn’t democracy supposed to be about the will and enthusiasm of the people? When did zeal become something that Democrats were supposed to circumvent?

If the Superdelegates end up deciding this election – and even if they don’t – I hope we will finally wake up and realize we all are responsible for making sure our system works for us. If it doesn’t, we should use our voice to make sure it changes.

According to the Seattle Times and a story in today’s paper, our state’s superdelegates are:

Washington’s 17 superdelegates and whom they support

Uncommitted State party Chairman Dwight Pelz, Seattle; Vice Chairwoman Eileen Macoll, Pullman;Democratic National Committee members Ed Cote, Vancouver; Sharon Mast, Bellevue; and David McDonald, Seattle; U.S. Reps. Brian Baird, Vancouver; Rick Larsen, Lake Stevens; and Jim McDermott, Seattle

Clinton King County Executive Ron Sims;

U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell;

U.S. Reps. Jay Inslee, Bainbridge Island, and Norm Dicks, Bremerton; former House Speaker Tom Foley, Washington, D.C.

Obama Democratic National Committee member Pat Notter, Wenatchee; U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, Tacoma; Gov. Christine Gregoire

Source: The Seattle Times

– Naomi Ishisaka, ColorsNW

ColorsNW – Dispatch from Precinct Caucus – Rainier Beach

February 9, 2008

Submitted by Naomi Ishisaka, Seattle –

Our caucus met at Rainier Beach High School in South Seattle where a very diverse group of many hundreds of people packed into a stuffy, hot lunchroom to caucus for their candidate of choice. While there were many, many Obama supporters, there were also a number of Clinton supporters as well, with many people – particularly white women – displaying their support for Clinton.

The process was incredibly chaotic, with no room between the different groups and a lot of difficulty hearing the speakers. After the first tally of our group, 53 people voted for Obama, 12 for Clinton.

After the first vote, supporters weighed in on their choice. Many speakers — all caucasian — spoke passionately for their support for Clinton, with one woman adamantly saying, “When you are looking for someone to fix your car, you need a mechanic, not a dreamer,” implying that Obama does not have the qualifications to lead the country. Another pro-Clinton speaker said that only Clinton had a plan for health care or Social Security.

A much more diverse group of Obama supporters also spoke, with one woman saying that she had nothing against Sen. Clinton but felt that the energy that Obama has tapped is the spirit of multilateralism in foreign policy, transparency in government and collaboration vs. authoritarianism. Ultimately, our group awarded four delegates to Obama and one for Clinton.

The enthusiasm and energy in the Democratic party — particularly among Obama supporters — is incredibly powerful. I have not seen this level of excitement — particulary among people of color — in my life. – Naomi Ishisaka, ColorsNW

Democratic caucus Rainier Beach, Seattle

Rainier Beach caucus Seattle

Rainier Beach caucus Seattle

Rainier Beach caucus Seattle

Results after first tally.

Rainier Beach caucus Seattle

Rainier Beach caucus Seattle

A supporter speaks for Obama.

Rainier Beach caucus Seattle

Rainier Beach caucus Seattle

Rainier Beach caucus Seattle

ColorsNW – Election Night Blogging – Final Results

February 6, 2008

Adding to Obama’s rout in overwhelmingly white, rural states: Alaska. Obama – the only candidate to set up a campaign office in the state – won Alaska decisively. – Naomi Ishisaka

Alaska for Obama

CNN calls Alaska for Obama, and an Obama aide sends in this picture of his Arctic supporters at the Whaler’s Memorial beside the frozen Chukchi Sea in Barrow. Photo from

ColorsNW – Election Night Blogging – Final Results

February 6, 2008

With California going to Clinton, many pundits and headlines are emphasizing Clinton’s win in the Golden State. With so many delegates at stake and Democrats’ proportional representation system, Obama and Clinton are effectively tied in the delegate count. This will make Washington’s Saturday caucuses critical.

Consequently. the organizers of the Obama watch party announced tonight that Sen. Obama will be in Seattle on Friday to rally support before our caucuses. For once, Washington’s vote counts and the candidates are courting it. The location is not yet finalized, but Obama will be in Seattle on Friday and most likely in a very big venue. – Naomi Ishisaka