The Great Divide – Election Night in Concord, California
Concord (Mass.) Patch was in touch with the folks at the Concord (Calif.) Patch, and talked elections. We wanted to hear about what happened on the west coast.
This was Lisa's first time to vote. She has just turned 19. At 70, Judie, on the other hand, is an old hand at it.
Lisa was excited when her voting packet came in the mail, introducing the candidates, introducing the propositions, explaining them all. She read it cover to cover, filled out the sample ballot, not paying attention to who was what. Finishing, she realized how she had to vote. She voted Democratic.
"I agreed with their views. The Republicans are too conservative for me," she said.
Judie, on the other hand, feels like the Democrats are taking her rights away. She didn't want the health care bill. She feels like it was shoved down her throat. She hopes the Republicans will repeal the healthcare bill and put things right.
"I want them to restore my right to be a free citizen," said Judie.
Such was voting night in Concord, California, the largest city in Contra Costa County with a population of approximately 122,000 of predominately white, predominately working-class.
Still, continuing regentrification is attracting the well-to-do, and these are just a
few of the thoughts going through the minds of its citizens as they gather around the town square and outside the polling places.
In his late 20's, Amir believes the Democrats need to get tougher, drive their programs home harder. And that Americans need to have a little patience when it comes to the country as a whole.
"The Democrats inherited a mess. You're not going to fix it in just 18 months," he said.
Red-haired, 40-something Doreen and her husband disagree. They voted straight
Republican because they wanted change. They thought they had change back in 2008, but it "wasn't really true change." Now they're trying on the Republicans and believe the Tea Partiers have got it right.
Sean, a young African-American, is fed up with both parties.
"I'm tired of broken promises. Politicians need to do what they say they're going to do. They need to balance the budget. They need to fix schools," said Sean. "They need to stop in-fighting and think of the American people for a change."
Everyone this night agrees with that.
Scott, in his late 50s, echoed this thought. "I'm just suspicious of Congress in general. There's too much adversarial relations in politics. They need to think about us."
But Scott, like most Concordians, is basically optimistic. "I'm hopeful about things. The economy is improving. The healthcare bill, I think, will prove ultimately good. I just think it's going to take more than two years to fix the mess we we're in."
A sentiment the Democrats agree with.
A sentiment the Republicans do not.
And so the debate continues on a surprisingly warm November night—voting night,
Concord, California style.