My name was included in the list of West Suburban Women for Obama who proudly support Barack Obama for President of the United States (Wednesday Journal ad, Jan. 23, page 2). But why? I am a member of the group which is “supposed to be” supporting Hillary Clinton in this election because I “lived” the feminist movement. I represent a demographic.

Perhaps the reason that I am supporting Obama began way back in 1960. I was a junior in high school and a newly elected, young and very handsome, JFK was suddenly asking me to think about a commitment to my country. I very personally heard, “Ask not what your country can do for you …” His words, passion and dreams initiated my lifelong personal journey trying to find ways to make us a more just country.

Barack Obama has revived that hope and dream for a better country and world. He has done this passionately with his words, but he lives his values. He has demonstrated the ability to transcend bitter divisions between factions and groups, using skills learned on the South Side of Chicago and put in place during his eight productive years in the Illinois Senate. He understands the needs of a diverse society. He articulates the need for hope and for the plans which grow from our hopes. His message resonates with me today as did JFK’s message so long ago. I am excited to witness his message of hope resonating with so many young people who are understanding this dream, and they are getting involved, just as I did.

Those of us who came of age in the ’60s have lived through many decades, and we have seen our hope change to cynicism. I know how hard it is to let go of that cynicism and believe again, to dream again. But these extraordinary times require that we have the courage to let go of our fears and be open to the transformative vision of a passionate leader who can engage us and a new generation in the hope we once understood. Our children deserve this new type of leadership and a new kind of politics. They do not deserve to hear that believing in hope is “a fairy tale.”

Of course I want a woman to become president, but at this crucial time in our country’s history, I want to elect a strong, unifying leader who can bring us out of our national darkness, heal the divisions of the last 15 years, and bring change at a time when change is urgently needed. That leader is Barack Obama.

Vote for hope and change on Feb. Vote for Barack Obama!

Jerry Delaney
Oak Park

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