There is a group of people in my generation in DFW that are really starting to assert themselves in the political process. We've had these types of conversations for years. They are not part of any political establishment, they aren't card-carrying members of any prominent groups. As I've already read, the "machines" are assuming that they will fall into the ranks of the establishment; such thinking will likely prove to be incorrect.
I wanted to post a few of their experiences good or bad. Unedited, after the jump.
K- from Balch Springs
So you will have to excuse an improper language run-on sentences and what have you but I have to tell you what went down in BALCH SPRINGS. I'm hearing there was chaos everywhere but BALCH SPRINGS was off the chain.
My family gets to the rec. center and we wait until about 7:45 to enter the room for the caucus. Mind you I've never participated in a caucus before so I had no clue what I was supposed to go on. So all these people pile into this room and there is this elderly white poll judge sitting in his chair not giving any direction. It became clear he was overwhelmed by the turn-out of people. 10 minutes and no directions were given. Finally a woman from the city council of Balch Springs asked if he needed help. I went up to her and said I don't know what I'm doing but I can help with whatever you need. CHAOS Total chaos. People that came just to vote were now in charge of the Caucus. I heard the precinct judge say several times "I don't know". I stayed there from 7 - 11 until the sheriff came to pick up the ballets. I am so upset that this guy had a lack of knowledge of what was going on. I swear and this is not an exaggeration, by the end of the night I knew just about as much as he did. I have to really say I was impressed with the number of BLACK people that stepped up in a professional manner to help out with this process. Some people left because it was not organized.
Sorry this is so long but this has to be GOD working. I was supposed to be in volleyball practice at 8. I didn't leave the polling site until 11p.m. I have been saying I don't know what I want to do but in some way I want to be involved in politics. Well, I was nominated as a delegate and some of the City Council members of Balch Springs gave me their cards. Ya girl is about to get into politics. Now I have to speak up about the issues we had tonight. The sheriff's deputy as well as some others are going to report this guy and his staff. I could write a novel about the chick that was helping him out!
T from Grand Prairie
This was for Precinct 4520 in North Grand Prairie, Dallas County.
well i got there around 6:30 and it was at an elementary school. There was no place to park and I had to park way down the street and walk.
Walk up to the school and the line is longer than the one when I went to fort worth to see obama. Lots of the people had early voted and were there for the caucus so we were trying to figure out if we had to wait in that line.
We found out that we did not, and were told to go wait in the cafeteria. so we went in there but it didn't seem like anyone was in charge. We were trying to find the precinct captain for obama, and we finally found him and while he was nice, he was very passive and soft spoken and wasn't sure what he was to be doing.
This hillary supporter was there i guess trying to take charge, but me and this other girl heard her telling people that you could not caucus if you did not have your voter card which is a bold face LIE. And me and other sista tell her so. So she wanted to act all indignant like "how dare you question ME?!" We tell her that we know the rules and we just want to make sure that no one gets false information and everyone gets to vote. She tells me that if I know the rules then pull them out and I told her I would be happy to pull them up b/c I have internet on my phone. Then the other sista was like "I'm an attorney and ma'am I'm sure you don't want any problems."
By this time, a group of people had gathered around and wanted to make me their leader and the precinct captain asked for my help too.
So then it gets time to have the caucus (not till around 9pm b/c we had to wait till everyone finished voting) and we had to officially elect a leader and they asked me to do it and other girl be my helper. so we are trying to get everyone in a line and organized and this hillary supporter keeps trying to over talk her and everyone was like "sit down and shut up!!" Finally we get everyone in line and I start logging in the votes and everyone when they came up thanked us for taking charge.
As far as the votes when it was like one clinton for every five obamas.
It was by far the most unorganized thing I have ever went to. I don't understand how they could have not been prepared for this. Have they not been watching the news? Were they not aware of what the turnout would be?
(ps - as a side note, i was talking to one of my coworkers today who was showing me an email that she was sent as a clinton volunteer, to get to the caucus locations early and try and dissuade people from getting in, etc. This confirms to me that I was not imagining what I was seeing. I truly believe the disorganization was the result of a "favor" or something called in by the clinton campaign.)
Z from Ft. Worth -
If you caucus they will come....
Last night, I was floored!!! No, you don't understand, Precinct 1104 showed out during the Democratic Primary!!! I'd been telling people over the last few weeks that I didn't expect a huge turnout for the caucus in my area but oh was I wrong!( I vote in my parents community) In fact, I've never been happier being wrong in my entire life!!! At 6:45 the line was out of the recreation center doors and midway into the parking lot. At 7:00, the line was about a mile long! By 7:30, it seemed like the entire neighborhood was camped out to caucus. I saw people I hadn't seen since high school, and for the most part things were uber positive UNTIL.... around 7:30 when the election workers began arguing over the caucus itself. *Note to Tarrant County Elections officials, you need new help that can actually READ, and follow directions!
During my stint (about 3 hours) waiting in line, a nice blue haired lady had been waiting in her car in the parking lot for several hours, before getting out to inquire about the caucus line. She was there to caucus but didn't realize that the long line that she thought were late voters, were actually the hundreds of people who had shown up to caucus. Now normally I try to respect my elders and I hated the fact that she was going to have to walk a mile down the road and around the corner just to get in line, so I contemplated letting her cut in front of me. That is until I saw her car!! In huge letters on the windshield was written "Hillary Clinton for President". Um excuse me, no ma'am, you've ruined your chances for cutting in my space. LOL I know it was wrong and I commented to the lady in front of me who shared the same sentiment that I hope my actions didn't just secure me a place in the fiery gates of hell! LOL-But God fixed the situation by having the elections staff announce that people aged 65 and up could move to the front of the line anyway...so problem solved.('cause she WAS old)
After finally getting in, there was yelling, and cursing, and all of the great things that make Ft. Worth "funky"! The truly great thing was that all of these 'negatives' were happening for a positive reason. I heard so many people mention "History in the making", and I was truly grateful that my little brother was able to make it from class to attend. We both signed on as delegates and will hopefully be heading to the convention later this month! Ft. Worth, you and I have had a love/hate relationship since 1987 or so, but last night you truly made me proud to say that yes, I am a Fort Worthian*....