Veteran civil rights leader and Pastor Emeritus of Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Rev. Samuel B. McKinney, U.S. Congressman Adam Smith and one of the emerging leaders in the Pacific Northwest, Marcia Tate Arunga will be the keynote speakers at a gathering of supporters for presidential candidate Barack Obama, at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 28, at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 1634 19th Ave.
There will be a "Learn about Sen. Obama" workshop at 1:20 p.m. for those who want to know more basic facts about the candidate.
The event, organized by the grassroots group Washington for Obama, is free, however, to defray the cost of renting Mt. Zion's meeting room, a donation of $2 or $3 is welcome and attendees will receive an Obama 2008 button (while supplies last).
"We very excited about this event," said one of the event organizers, Daewoo Kim. "Obama supporters from around the state will be joining this meeting. We held our first major gathering in February, and people have been asking when we are meeting next. Support for Senator Obama throughout Washington state has been growing ever since he entered the presidential race."
Since announcing his candidacy in February, Sen. Obama, D-Ill., has campaigned around the country to large crowds. His message of people taking personal responsibility to change the course of the nation is widely perceived as being different from the normal political position of most candidates. In the two months since the launching of his campaign, Obama accomplished something that his rivals were unable to do years after painstakingly constructing a national campaign structure — raising $25 million from 100,000 individual donors.
"In fact, that's more than the combined number of donors for the other two leading candidates in the Democratic party," Kim said. "From ending our involvement in the Iraq war, to dealing with the crisis in health care, Obama has been working to bring effective change to the lives of Americans since before he became a U.S. senator."
Obama raised more money from online donors than any other candidate currently in the race, illustrating the breadth and depth of his support nationwide.
Rev. McKinney was pastor at Mt. Zion for 40 years (1958-1999). He was a founding member of the Seattle Civil Rights Commission, founded the Seattle Opportunities Industrialization Center and led the Seattle community in pushing for equal opportunities in jobs, housing and education. In 1963, Rev. McKinney marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Washington, D.C. and in Selma and Montgomery in 1965.
Congressman Smith, D-Wash., has represented Washington's Ninth Congressional District, which includes portions of Renton, Kent, Auburn, Burien, Federal Way, Normandy Park, Sea-Tac, Tukwila, Puyallup, Tacoma and Olympia, since 1996.
Arunga is a longtime community guardian, cultural custodian and women's leader who organized and led seven cultural reconnection missions to East Africa primarily for African American women from the Northwest. Arunga is a lecturer at Seattle Central Community College and Bellevue Community College where she teaches inter-cultural communication.
For more information, contact Peter Masundire at [email protected].
Information about the Obama for America presidential campaign can be found at www.barackobama.com. Voter registration forms will be available at the event. People can register online for this event at http://barackobama.meeup.com/133/.