Thursday, 4:30 PM
Voters weigh open invitation to Patrick inauguration
By Lisa Wangsness and Donovan Slack, GLOBE STAFF
Deval Patrickís inaugural committee blasted e-mail messages to tens of thousands and launched a media blitz promising hot cocoa, cookies, and a chance to shake Patrickís hand in the first-ever outdoor inaugural ceremony in Massachusetts. On his inaugural website, he says it will be a "historic occasion," an inauguration for the masses that packs the Boston Common and that lines up hundreds to greet the new governor in a receiving line at the State House.
Patrick built a large grass-roots following, and inaugural organizers said the ceremony will draw supporters from around the state who worked to elect the first-time candidate who said he was leading "a movement for change." Wednesday, as workers installed press risers and a small bridge to run media cables across Beacon Street and as Patrick prepared to make the opening statement of his tenure, people across the city looked forward to Thursday in different ways.
In Dudley Square, many said they would make it a point to see the inauguration of the stateís first black governor on the Common. "He made history," said Penny Godwin, 40, of Mattapan.
Downtown office jockeys said they may wander over to the proceedings over their lunch hours. "Iíll probably walk by it," said Nate Beckles, who works in the downtown financial district.
Others, said that they would be happy when Patrick is sworn in, but that other priorities would come first.
"Pomp and circumstance doesnít pay for diapers," said Philip Michelson, a movie producer from Brookline who was walking a friendís poodle near Coolidge Corner in Brookline.
"God bless Deval Patrick, but Iím not getting paid to show up there ..."
Others said they had found themselves swept up in the festivities. Kesha Lawrence, 18, who was sightseeing downtown Wednesday, said she had moved from St. Croix to Massachusetts only last month, but she said her uncle, a Boston police officer, will take her to the inaugural.
"He told me about the whole governor thing," said Lawrence, adding that she had seen media reports about Thursdayís ceremony. She wants to attend, she said, "just to see what itís all about."
Carlos Ortiz, a South End resident who was having lunch in Downtown Crossing with his wife Wednesday, has been waiting for Thursday for months. He said he had volunteered to help with phone banks for Patrickís campaign. Patrick, he said, struck him as someone who was interested in "reaching out and helping people," and Ortiz said he would not miss Thursdayís swearing-in. "Iíll make sure Iíll be down here," he said.
So will Mark Snyder, an early supporter and campaign volunteer because of Patrickís advocacy of gay rights.
Snyder said he had never been so involved in politics before.
"I love how Deval brings his message to the community," said Snyder, founder of the blog QueerToday.com, who works on Winter Street, across from the Common.
But for those who did not vote for Patrick, like Frank Hanifin, 74, a Democrat from Walpole who voted for Republican Kerry Healey in November, Thursday will be just another day.
"I think if he was serious, heíd get to work," he said. "He can celebrate when he accomplishes something."
Slack can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.