Who: VN Senior Editor Elizabeth Castoria, Peter Ryan, and some of the finest animal advocates on the planet
What: Yes on Prop. 2 Election Night Party
Where: The San Francisco SPCA, San Francisco, Calif.
When: November 4, 2008
Why: To watch and freak out as Prop. 2 passed!
The Scoop: Remember way back in April when a few VN staffers headed out to celebrate the seemingly impossible accomplishment of drumming up enough signatures to get Prop. 2 onto the California ballot? Well, maybe a ton has happened between then and now. Maybe a veritable army of volunteers has leafletted, canvassed, and in all other ways promoted the hell out of Prop. 2 all over the state, and maybe it was officially time to see their efforts pay off. After an excrutiatingly long day of refreshing the online swing-state maps and twitching in anticipation, I headed down to the SPCA, ready to hear some good news.
The scene was quietly energetic when Peter and I first arrived, as most people were glued to the television watching reports of the presidential election results come in. As at any good party, there were tables of food, specifically vegan Mexican food from Flacos and a selection of chocolate-mint mini cupcakes and butterscotch brownies from Sugar Beat Sweets. First things came first: finding and hugging Erin Williams of The Humane Society of the United States, who has worked tirelessly on this campaign. I found her, Karin Olsson, and Andrew Page—also of HSUS—glued to a smaller screen, that of a computer that would soon tell us Prop. 2's results.
What's the hardest part of being so close to victory? The waiting, believe it or not. While some people have been "cautiously optimistic" about the potential of Prop. 2 to pass, a certain senior editor has been convinced wholeheartedly that the passing was imminent from day one, which made the wait even more intolerable. Thankfully, someone thoughtful organized a little distraction called the presidential election. As news that Obama had officially won came in, a massive sigh of excitement and relief went up. Listening to his moving acceptance speech was probably the only possible thing that could have prepared us for the excitement that was about to be announced. Appropriately, the well-oiled, history-making machine that was the Prop. 2 campaign has been compared to the obviously successful, and well-organized Obama campaign.
When the time finally came to make the big announcement, Erin asked us all to keep it down just a bit—we didn't want shrieks of joy from animal advocates disturbing the animals at the shelter! Barely able to contain ourselves, we listened as she told us that, yes, Prop. 2 passed. We died. Some of us may have literally cried—a lot. The excitement, relief, gratitude, and exhilaration of victory was palpable in the room, as people hugged, clapped, and hugged again. Erin gave a brief, lovely speech and thanked everyone profusely, as did Karin and Nora Kramer. By the time the evening came to its close, the world had changed for the better.