Bill Clinton stresses turnout

Written By Sabrina Bodon, Online Editor

Addressing an intimate crowd, former President Bill Clinton rallied for his wife and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at the Pittsburgh Coliseum in Homewood last Friday morning.

“We need to get real about this election again. This is about you and your children and your future,” Clinton said.

Clinton’s speech included anecdotes of his southern upbringing on a farm where indoor plumbing was a luxury and then spoke on his time as governor, while declaring his true and total support for his wife’s goals and passions for the American people.

The crowd of about 500 gathered throughout the morning in the predominately black neighborhood, according to a 2013 census, for the event.

This was the first time any major politician has visited the neighborhood.

Throughout his 35-minute speech, Clinton differentiated main differences between his wife and Republican nominee Donald Trump, whose campaign stance is to “Make America Great Again.”

Clinton equated this objective to taking America back in time 50 years, a time not so great for minorities and LGBT individuals, he said.

“Hey folks, I’m a white southerner,” Clinton said. “I know exactly what he means.”

In past speeches and appearances, Clinton has referred to Trump’s pledge as building a social and political totem pole, placing white Americans at the top.

Clinton made a point to remind audience members to look for solutions and problem solve during times of turmoil.

“Don’t substitute anger for answers,” Clinton said, quoting Hillary’s campaign slogan. “Don’t substitute resentment for responsibility. Remember empowerment comes from being stronger together.”

Clinton also spelled out top campaign promises Hillary has chosen to hold including creating jobs by investing in infrastructure, bringing manufacturing jobs back to the states, establishing treatment options to address the country’s growing opioid epidemic and providing access to tuition-free college education for those from families earning less than $125,000 a year.

“She is the only person who has actually told you what she is going to do,” Clinton told the crowd which included students, union members and other members of the community.

While Clinton held his event, the neighborhood of Homewood honored the life of one of their own, the Rev. Eugene “Freedom” Blackwell, who died of cancer late last month at 43 years of age.

Clinton began his speech expressing sympathies to the community and embracing Blackwell’s legacy, encouraging those in attendance to use Rev. Blackwell’s life as an example.

“Tonight when you watch the news, tomorrow when you think about this…think about this man’s life,” Clinton said. “When you get older and you have more yesterdays than tomorrows, you ought to be more upbeat and forward-looking.”

The main event was preceded by speeches from community and campaign workers, as well as State Rep. Ed Gainey and Congressman Mike Doyle.

“Pittsburgh is in the midst of change and right now it’s getting bigger. Right now we need to get everybody under one tent,” Gainey said.

Gainey embraced the crowd in a speech calling for action, reminding the Pittsburgh community to organize and vote.

“It’s not about ideology, it’s about people,” Gainey said. “We need somebody that represents us. This election is about unifying, not discriminating.”

Clinton closed his speech by urging the audience to go out and vote in November and to get everybody in their community to go out and vote.

“We can do it. You can do it,” Clinton said in the final moments of his speech. “But Hillary, to do it, has to win Pennsylvania and that’s you.”