Award winning actress Alfre Woodard paid a special visit to the Obama for America campaign office on 7171 Ogontz Ave. on Saturday to lend her support for the re-election of President Barak Obama.
Woodard, who performed in such movies as: “The Family that Preys,” “Crooklyn” and “American Violet,” toured locations throughout the city with members of the campaign.
“I came to Philadelphia because Pennsylvania is vitally important in this election,” said Woodard, who lives in California. Woodard said that as an actress, she is often required to travel from one place to another and feels an affinity for the people who live and work among around the country.
“Because the whole country is basically my neighborhood, I feel a connection and wanted to come here. Pennsylvania especially because it is key in this election; it is key to keep moving forward with the president and protecting the progress that the president has made,” said Woodard.
During the interview, Woodard recalled working with her parents at the young age of 10 where she lived in Tulsa, Okla. Then she would work the precincts and continues the effort to raise awareness about the importance of voting and to encourage voters to exercise their right at the polls.
“I know right now that people are hearing about the polls and that it appears that the president has a lead here in Pennsylvania and some people might say, ‘Oh, I don’t really have to show up because he’s going to win anyway.’ But we know how that can turn out,” said Woodard, who cautions everyone to show up at the polls and cast their vote regardless of what pollsters might say.
“It’s not over until the polls close,” said Woodard. Woodard says that if Democrats win in Pennsylvania then it would also be a victory for the nation as a whole.
“It [a victory for Obama] would be protecting the progress he made in terms of the affordable care act which benefits millions of Americans across every community and every economic strata,” said Woodard who also says that the president’s protection of school PELL grants funding, allowing more of our children to be awarded PELL Grants, his restoration of the student loan policies, economic rights for women and other key social issues.
“We all know now that if our children don’t have some form of higher education or college education than they are starting out with a disadvantage which will be very, very difficult to recoup or to have a successful life,” said Woodard.
Woodard said that Obama needs the support of a committed Democratic base in states like Pennsylvania to help support and reinforce his efforts to implement his national agenda in the face of Congress that has vowed to sink his presidency.
“Everybody has to do whatever they can: if you are a baker, if you are a truck driver, a lawyer or a babysitter, everybody has power right now to make sure that he has the power to keep his progress moving forward and that’s why I’m here right now.”
Asked about the contentious voter ID law in Pennsylvania, Woodard was undaunted and expressed her belief that such regulations need not hinder voters if they are prepared and committed to exercise their rights.
“I think we are a progressive people, we move forward and we take positive action. Right now there are some people who are fighting the legality of it [the voter ID law] but if I’m not a lawyer fighting the legality of it or a Judge hearing it, then I know my job is to make sure that everybody has an ID, and we can do that,” said Woodard.