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Young Urban Professionals Gather To Root For Jerry Brown

Hillel Aron |
October 12, 2010 | 10:24 p.m. PDT


Eric Garcetti makes his post-debate speech
Eric Garcetti makes his post-debate speech
The Young Urban Professionals held a debate watching party Tuesday night– sorry, that’s the Young Professionals, which is less an official group than an e-mail list, made up of young urban professionals.

“Do people make that mistake a lot, do they stick urban in there?” I asked Marshall Wright, a Young Professional organizer. 

“No,” he said. “I think you’re the first.”

“And you don’t get made fun of, people don’t call you yuppies?”

“Uh… no, I haven’t gotten that yet.”

The event was held at Rama, one of those Thai restaraunts for young urban professionals near 3rd and Fairfax with bamboo and Buddha statues everywhere you turn. Their cockatail menu had a cocktail named the “Jerry Brown," apparently some version of Sangria. The price, $5, was written in pen.

Comedian Ben Gleib had the unenviable task of warming the crowd up before the debate, that is, the 15 or so who weren’t stuck in the horrendous rush hour traffic.

“People are comparing Obama to Hitler a lot recently,” he said, in the art deco courtyard, the sky a dark shade of blue as the sun was setting. “The tea party, huh? I think they’re misremembering Hitler’s agenda a little bit. Cause I’m pretty sure Hitler’s big plan was not health care for everybody. Pretty sure it was the exact opposite.”

The TV projector was set to Channel 4 and was projecting the last five minutes of the 6:00 p.m. news against Gleib, and as he went on about Obama’s Afghanistan strategy and why they don’t fix the crack in the liberty bell, the 7-day forecast for San Bernardino was projected on top of him. 

The debate started, and it was a-cracklin. The young professionals started to arrive in force, all blue jeans and blue striped collared shirts. When Jerry Brown asked Meg Whitman how much her tax plan would save her, they applauded.

City Council President Eric Garcetti arrived, himself the very model of a young (he's 39, but could easily play 30) professional living in an urban environment. He stayed inside near the bar. People nervously approached him, saying they’d met him before at this thing or that thing. He told them he remembered them. He put them at ease, laughing and joking. 

Garcetti’s arrival, coupled with sunset and the drop in temperature, shifted the center of gravity of the party toward the inside, where people made chit-chat and checked their Blackberries. A girl on the brown suede couch with a handbag the size of a microwave oven pecked out an e-mail on her iPad. Best friends were introduced. Shrimp was ordered. Facebook statuses were updated.

And then Tom Brokaw uttered the word, “whore,” and the room went quiet. It sounded like a foreign object he’d been waiting to expel from his body. Jerry had to answer that question, and he did quite well, the professionals thought, throwing it onto Pete Wilson like that, did you see the look on her face? And so the chit-chat slowly started back up.

One person who stayed outside watching the debate intently, was Carly Schwartz, who works on the Jerry Brown campaign in the new media department. She was sitting in the front row furiously taking notes for the blog post she had to write later. I sat down next to her and tried to start a conversation.

“Wait,” she said, “I want to hear what she says about voting.”

Meg Whitman was apologizing for not having voted in the last god knows how many elections. 

“See, she says she’s independent but…” Schwartz said, noticing that I was taking notes, “Wait, are you quoting me?” she asked, getting nervous.

After the debate, Eric Garcetti made a speech, thanking all the young professionals that came out, urging them to get involved and vote and volunteer.

“Are you ready to work to make sure Jerry Brown is our governor again?” he asked.

“Wooooooooo...” said the crowd.

“Are you scared about the idea that Meg Whitman would ever be our governor?”


“Because I would go one way or the other– I think it’s really important to be scared and excited. Elections are really about fear and hope.”

Jerry Brown, it would appear, has a lock on the Los Angeles yuppie vote.


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