Music and Politics Collide at the Grassroots Event in Philadelphia, PA

Grass Roots ft. President Obama supporting Tom Wolf
November 2, 2014
Liacouras Center- Philadelphia, PA

         A Pastor opened up with Prayer for blessing over our country and our leaders. Afterwards, a 5 piece group of young men, ages ranging just 17-20, hailing from Philly, Brotherly Love followed with singing the national Anthem acapalla. The guys continued their heavily acapalla weighted performance with a cover of The Jackson 5’s ABC. After amping the crowd up they broke out a slower jam, displaying their phenomenal vocal abilities and dance moves. Brotherly Love was extremely interactive with the crowd and had fans clapping along to a majority of their set. They played another upbeat jam, shortly after taking their jackets off. The talented brothers performed a few covers as well as some remixes of more of today’s popular music i.e. Usher’s Oh My Gosh. Each member of the group introduced themselves as Brothers, to the crowd. They turned their backs for a special performance as promised, to those who sat behind them.  Throughout the duration of their set they encouraged the crowd to vote by having the crowd chant “V.O.T.E”. Once their set had come to an end, they told the crowd to follow them on Instagram  @brotherlylove215. The brothers threw their white coats over shoulders with a sense of accomplishment and exited the stage.

Brotherly Love5V6A5688Next Grammy nominated artist Jazmine Sullivan was welcomed to the stage. She got the  ladies going, starting off her set with a solid performance of Bust Your Windows’ The accomplished singer shared her appreciation for Philadelphia, being her home and current town. Shouting, “Philly make some noise!” the singer gets back into the music. Performing Hold You Down, Sullivan becomes more and more energetic and interactive with the crowd, telling them “put your hands up!” It was the singer’s first time being at a rally and she expressed her sincere appreciation for having had the opportunity. Sullivan also references her first album Fearless in which she follows up with singing Lions, Tigers & Bears acapalla. Sullivan finishes up with a song off her first album called Need You Bad. “Don’t let your pride hold you back. If you need someone, let them know”, encouraging the crowd to join in on her final song. Before exiting she thanks everyone and lets them know her album will be out this year, encouraging them to check it out. There was a pretty long break from the music until the speaking began. During the intermission there was a DJ to keep the crowd alive and excited to vote.

State Senator, Mike Stack, praises Tom Wolf and spends the beginning of his speech disagreeing with the decisions Corbett’s made while in office, in which the majority agrees. He talks about the lack of progress that had been made and the immense amount of money being cut from Education Funding. Tom Wolfe’s objective is to invest in education and in a sense reverse the ‘mess’ Corbett created while in office. He stresses that idea that Pennsylvanians are the key resource in change and hope for a better future. In which he explains that the opposing position had neglected to realize. He continues his speech by encouraging Americans to exercise their right to vote. Leaving the crowd with a “Let’s turn Pennsylvania around! Thank you!” The crowd roared with cheer. Chair Woman, Katy McGinty was up next. She explained the importance of the respect towards everything we work for as hardworking Americans. “We  stand for dignity, and for good hearted people. We stand for hard working women and men breaking their backs. We stand for an economy that lifts people up.”  McGinty briefly references Michelle Tom Wolf 5V6A6359Obama’s recent visit. She talks a little more about the subject the begins raising questions, “Do you care about every child having a decent education? Do you care about having a decent wage for a decent days work? Do you care about the dignity of every person?” She exclaims, “It’s on the ballet! VOTE!” She goes on asking questions in the nature of whether or not we care about women’s health and privacy, etc or the right to vote, challenging us to prove it by getting out to vote. Katie ends her speech, with “Go out in vote! Let’s fight! Let’s win!” The mayor gets booed by a majority of the crowd but picks it back up by having the crowd chant “Tom Wolf”.

Despite their dissatisfaction with the Mayor, the crowd seems decently reciprocative of the idea of electing Tom Wolf. Bob Casey references Dr. Leon Bass, veteran and past student of Temple University. He too displays great character, and a positive objective. Casey also talks about the changes that need to be made in order for a fresh start for Pennsylvania. Casey pushes registered voters to get out and vote, ending with “Let’s make a change, Philadelphia!”

Wolf keeps the trend going with encouraging the audience to vote. He mentions quite a few notable and realistically sad statistics such as the billion dollars being cut from funding for education on Tom Corbett’s watch. He keeps it pretty brief and to the point with a slight sense of humor. Wolf comments on not wearing a neck tie as he was instructed. He says he’s going to keep it brief because he knows we’re not here to see him. The whole room laughed and cheered. He talks about education and it’s importance and fair funding for schools. Wolf goes on to talk about the promises being made and the importance of seeing them through. He moves on to the jobs topic. He reminds us that we were at the top of the chain for jobs and recently we’ve gone from 47 to 50th out of 50 states. Following that comment he tells us that we could and should do better. Wolf is about “jobs, education and fairness.”

Obama and Tom 5V6A7261Obama gave a remarkable speech. He won the crowd with his passionate speech, charming smile, with just the right amount of comedy to keep the crowd smiling and entertained. He touched on some important topics such as: Education, Women’s Rights, jobs, and general equality. Following up with some startling facts and statistics of the current governor’s time in office. Obama explains that talk is cheap and Wolf doesn’t just talk the talk but that he also walks the walk. The President shares his knowledge of Wolf’s character, his plan, and his ability to see it through. He shared real life stories and situations relating to these topics further proving their importance. Further proving the importance and his perspective on proposed arguments. His smile is contagious, and you can see the passion in his eyes. The audience piled on top of each other to shake the President and Tom Wolf’s hands once they exited the stage. They both took time to talk and take photos with as many people as they could on their way out. The crowd was very receptive throughout the entire event. The auditorium was packed of individuals thriving for change. It was quite an exciting day for politics! The bottom line is:

No matter who is in office, there is no denying that mistakes will be made. The government is a flawed organization made up of flawed individuals, who will sometimes make mistakes. But don’t you want a government that at least fights to give working class people a fair chance at a better future? Someone who looks out more-so for the people vs. themselves? If you do, then you’ve already made your decision. A government for fairness and equality is a government of success. Please vote! This is an opportunity not to be taken for granted. Do not sit on it. If you want to make a change, do it. Exercise your right, and go out and vote!

Review by: Liana Marie

Obama and Tom Wolf

Tom Wolf

Brotherly Love

Jazmine Sullivan

Bob Casey

Katie McGinty

Mike Nutter

Mike Stack