The owner of a presidential-themed pop-up shop in Mt. Airy is now gearing up to host a free election night viewing party.
Since September, Everett Stanton has been giving voters the opportunity to wear their support for President Barack Obama with the Obama Boutique on Germantown Avenue.
On Nov. 6, Stanton, who heads Everett and Associates, Inc., will welcome residents from Northwest Philadelphia and beyond to 7165 Lounge to watch the results pour in from across the country in what’s expected to be a tight one between Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
“Come eat, drink, be merry and bite your fingernails,” exclaimed Stanton.
The 7165 Lounge, located at 7165 Germantown Ave., will open its doors starting at noon, though Stanton said the party will really pick up once the polls have closed – 8 p.m. in Pennsylvania.
The lounge will be equipped with a large screen television and will feature live entertainment, raffles, as well as food and drink.
Romney supporters are more than welcome to attend, though Staten notes the watch party will primarily be a fellowship of like-minded people.
An election to remember
Although the 2008 Presidential Election was historically significant, Staten said he believes the stakes are higher this election cycle. A Romney presidency would be “a major step backwards” for the nation, he said.
“People need to question what does taking our country back really mean – possession? Or back to the old days?” he stated.
Staten predicts the 2012 election will be close, but said he feels confident Obama will prevail.
“Obama has shown he’s not president of Black America. He’s shown he’s president of America” and demonstrated he cares about the welfare of the people, said Stanton.
It began with a button
Before 2007, the 64-year-old never got actively involved in campaigns other than to display an endorsement sign in his window at home.
But as he grew older, Staten said he began to want to do more to affect positive change in the world. He began asking himself, “What can I do to help?”
One way was through educating the public about the African-American experience through the Black History and Culture Showcase. For the past nine years, Staten has produced the showcase, which takes place annually at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
It was his involvement with the Black History and Culture Showcase which fostered an awareness of the historical magnitude of the 2008 election. Though other African-American candidates had run for President of the United States in the past, for the first time it was clear to Staten that “one of the greatest historical achievements was in reach”.
He ordered official Obama campaign buttons to sell at the showcase and raised $4000 for the cause.
Afterwards, Staten continued to sell the buttons at tables set up in front of different campaign offices. He was later approached to set up a temporary shop by a local business man who had a seasonal tax preparation office on the corner of Mt. Pleasant and Germantown Aves. Thus began the Obama Boutique.
Soon local artists were coming to Staten wanting to contribute to the campaign with their own creative twist on campaign merchandise.
Staten brought the boutique back for the 2012 election, this time in the rear of the Mt. Airy Cafe, 7163 Germantown Avenue.
So far, tee shirts depicting Obama on a U.S. postage stamp have been a top selling item.
Staten’s own enthusiasm for Obama has grown over the past four years. He’s optimistic about this year’s outcome.
“I think very positive,” Staten said.