CC Corner: Election Reaction

 

Your CC's are here to share their thoughts and reaction to the election week! 

 

Ellie:

Wow, election week is finally over, and it definitely feels like a relief! Amanda and I discussed our thoughts about voting on our podcast, Getting There, last week, and ever since we have been preoccupied with watching the election unfold in suspense. As we mention in the podcast episode, this was our first experience voting in the presidential election, and we both felt like there was a lot riding on the results. When I saw how close some of the states' votes were, I truly felt like my vote mattered, and I was so excited to see how many more people showed up to the polls in this election than the last. 

On Saturday, when we found out that Biden had won, the city absolutely erupted in celebration. Cars honked their horns, people cheered from their balconies, and groups of organizers migrated downtown to show their presence and support for the new president elect. I took the red line downtown with my roommates to join in on the action. The weather was sunny and warm, a testament to the feelings of joy and relief that could be felt throughout the whole city. After the months of protests and riots this past summer, it was so refreshing to see people gathering to celebrate positive change. I saw people, young and old, carrying signs with messages that showcased the delighted public sentiment. The sheer amount of people that showed out spoke to how powerful we can be when we all come together. I truly felt like I was a part of something, and that memory will live on in my mind for years to come. I am so proud of us for participating in this election and fighting for democracy!

 

Amanda:

Is it just me or did last week feel like an entire month? I was fully prepared to not have a winner announced on Election Day, but what was so mentally and emotionally draining was not knowing when that winner would come. Every night I would wake up in the middle of the night and refresh that Google map that truthfully might haunt my dreams for years to come. When I woke up on Saturday, I expected another grueling day of attempting to do my school work but inevitably getting distracted by election updates and Twitter memes.

So when one of my roommates rushed down the hallway into the kitchen to announce that Biden’s victory had been officially called by the Associated Press, I barely knew how to react. That’s when we started hearing people outside our apartment scream and cheer, bang on pots and pans, and honk their car horns as they drove by. 

I texted my family back home about it and my mom said, “That’s funny, it’s like when your team wins the Super Bowl!” She was right, it was like that. But it was also so much more. It was a sigh of relief, a celebration of our country and each other, and a renewed sense of hope for our collective future.

As my roommates gathered on one of the street corners a few blocks away from our apartment and played celebratory music for everyone that gathered, rode by on their bicycles, or stuck their heads out their windows to watch, I couldn’t help but think that Chicago was the best place that we could’ve been at that very moment. I’ve never felt a stronger sense of community with complete strangers. Yes, we were cheering for a Democratic victory, but we were also applauding each other. 

It was truly a day I will never forget. Obviously Biden’s victory doesn’t miraculously solve all of our country’s problems, but we’re one step closer. I hope that we can build on that energy and continue to push for necessary social, political and economic change.