Hollywood comes to Germantown to rally support for Obama, register people to vote

With Pennsylvania’s Oct. 9 voter-registration deadline looming, actresses Alfre Woodard and Phylicia Rashad joined Organizing for America Pennsylvania (OFA PA) volunteers to kick off a boost-voter-rolls drive on Saturday at the campaign’s field office in Germantown.

“I’m here because yes, I saw on CNN that the President [Barack Obama] was polling a little ahead of Mitt Romney in Pennsylvania, but we know we never trust polls,” Woodard told the crowd. “I don’t know about you, but I’m over 60 years old and I have never been polled.”

Getting people registered to vote

Echoing a campaign mantra, the Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award-winning actress noted that she’s still fired up “from the last time” and ready to go “door-to-door, ringing bells, Facebook, e-mail, stand up in church and testify to protect the progress that this president has made on behalf of all of us.”

“All we have to do is make sure that by the 9th of October, every living person that is eligible to vote in the state of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, in this community, is registered to vote,” said Woodard, urging volunteers to put their hands out as she discussed the record of the candidate she supports.

“Right now, you have the power in your hands to make this election,” she continued. “You have the power in your hands to keep this progress moving forward.”

‘Cosby Show’ alum looks beyond Obama/Romney

Phylicia Rashad, best known as Claire Huxtable from “The Cosby Show” and the first African-American actress to win the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play, challenged the crowd to focus on other races, as well.

“No matter how great one person is, one person can’t do all that work by himself,” Rashad said. “Pay attention to congressional and senatorial races. Please do. Encourage voters to pay attention.”

Message resonates

Cynthia McKiney came to the rally from Pennsauken, NJ with friends. She said she is encouraging family members to get registered and, then, to the polls.

“I wanted to get the word out and to make sure that everyone is registered to vote,” McKiney said. “I got my son. He goes to Delaware State. And [I tell] his friends, ‘Get yourself back home, get registered to vote.’ So I want to do all that I can to make sure that people understand that this is an important election. I’m fired up.”

Margaret Allen, who owns a daycare at 19th and Diamond streets in North Philadelphia, said she came to the event to show support “for Barack Obama and to do what I can to get him back in office.”

“I tell my parents, ‘If you want daycare to stay here, go vote for Barack Obama,'” she said. “Otherwise, it’s already dwindling and it will dwindle completely if we don’t get everybody involved.”

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