On Saturday, January 17 a history-making train will depart the Philadelphia station with President-Elect Barack Obama about for his inauguration in Washington D.C.. But this time, it’s different: Guests being referred to as “ordinary Americans” will be riding along with Obama. These are the folks who wouldn’t be able to pay the costs of attending an inauguration- but they are the exact same folks who made the inauguration of Barack Obama possible.
Invitations to the expense-paid event went out nationwide and one of those invitations was sent to Las Vegas resident Rosa Mendoza.
Mendoza, a teacher and Vice Chair of the Nevada Hispanic Democratic Caucus, helped organize Nevada Latino support of Obama from the beginning of the 2008 presidential campaign. During her years as a single mother, working as a waitress while she earned her college degree, Mendoza believed in the possibilities for her and for her daughter in the “Land of Opportunity”. And in candidate Obama, Mendoza found someone who had lived her life and understood her world.
So in September 2008 when Mendoza had the chance to introduce then Senator Obama to 12,000 cheering supporters at Cashman Field, she told her story and invited the Nevada voters to choose Obama as the 44th President of the United States.
When Barack Obama takes his oath of office on January 20, becoming the first black president of the United States, Rosa Mendoza will be there front and center- a witness to the history in making she helped create.
Rosa Mendoza never dreamed her actions would lead to selecting a dress for the presidential inaugural ball.