By Stephen Witt
Plastic New Years Day horns were blowing amid shouts and tears of joy as Bedford-Stuyvesant’s young professional crowd and political leaders celebrated President Barack Obama being elected to a second term at the Vodou Bar, 449 Nostrand Avenue on election night this past Tuesday.
Both floors of the spacious two-story lounge and eatery was filled to the rafters with revelers and election watchers who sat nervously as a few early states were called for Republican presidential Mitt Romney.
“I’ve been going to the Voudu Bar for a few years now and knew I would meet up with like-minded Obama supporters,” said Ebonie Johnson Cooper, who is going to graduate school in public relations and corporate communications at New York University. “Everyone had a sense of nervousness. It was a relief when they called the election. It was like you could breathe again.”
After the excitement of Obama’s reelection died down a bit, Bed-Stuy male district leader Robert Cornegy played master of ceremonies in the backroom upstairs in front of the giant screen television in introducing some of the local politicians who had also come to celebrate the election party.
“This is just the start for what’s happening here in Bed-Stuy,” said Cornegy, who is president of the Bed-Stuy’s powerful Vanguard Independent Democratic Association (VIDA) political club and who is considered the frontrunner to replace term-limited Al Vann in the city Council.
The energetic Cornegy implored the crowd to seize the moment and get involved politically after spending the day putting out fires at local polling places that ran short on ballots and other critical supplies.
Also on hand was Assemblywoman Annette Robinson, who was re-elected assemblywoman for her sixth term after serving in the city council from 1992-2001.
It’s important to praise and support the local elected officials who held down Bed-Stuy before all the fancy cafes, bars and restaurants came into the neighborhood, she implored the delighted crowd.
“If Barack Obama can be president of the United States you can be the CEOs of American Express and other major corporations,” she said.
Others on hand to address the raucous crowd were Flatbush State Sen. Eric Adams, the frontrunner to replace Borough President Marty Markowitz next year in citywide elections and become Brooklyn’s first black borough president.
“Winners want the ball when the game is on the line and I want the ball to become Brooklyn’s first borough president in 2013,” said Adams. “Let’s make ourselves a winner the way Barack Obama made us a winner.”