On a windy Election Day, if you were looking for a party first thing in the morning, the place to be was outside City Hall.
Starting at 7:30 a.m., the creative partnership between Pizza to the Polls — a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that delivers food to people engaging in civic participation—and Joy to the Polls offered Philadelphians free coffee and breakfast while encouraging people to vote.
Folks from Pizza to the Polls, as well as Philadelphia’s Grammy and Oscar-winning hero Questlove were on hand, as well as a handful of crowd-enticing line dancers and a surprise guest appearance from District Attorney Larry Krasner.
Because lines on Election Day can be long, Pizza to the Polls was on site to bring good vibes and plenty of goodies — including coffee from La Colombe, chocolate from Tony’s Chocolonely, energy bars from KIND, bottled water and free breakfast burritos.
And while DJ Cosmo Baker, Pink Sweat$ and DJ Diamond Cuts were set to appear at other locations throughout the city, including Abraham Lincoln, Roxborough and West Philly high schools, DJ Questlove of The Roots brought the jams to Center City for unsuspecting business people, students and commuters.
Wearing a DOOM sweatshirt and a woolly cap to combat the cold and the wind, Questlove stood atop the Joy to the Polls bus, and spun tracks from Gil Scott-Heron, Funkadelic, James Brown, the Isley Brothers and more. While the DJ gave it up to devoted fans and listeners, the Pizza to the Polls dance team created a nonstop conga line and encouraged everyone to join.
“The morning is going great so far,” said Pizza to the Polls executive director Amirah Noaman around 9 a.m. “The energy is high and people are excited to support democracy. We are warming people up with food and dancing as they are casting their ballots on this chilly day… If we get reports of long lines at any other voting location, we will move our trucks there, too. And if anyone in a line can report to polls.pizza we will deliver pizza to their polling sites.”
One unannounced face in the crowd was District Attorney Larry Krasner, who was there to check out the proceedings and groove along to Questlove.
“I think this is awesome. This is a wonderful nonpartisan event that is getting people out and to the polls,” said Krasner. “And it looks as if we have a pretty great turnout at the polls already this morning – it’s amazing to see such a level of participation in the city for the voting process.”
Krasner was enthralled that Philadelphians were paying attention to the importance of this election, and that thus far, everything was peaceful across Philadelphia voting sites.
“They understand how crucial it is to vote, regardless of their chosen candidate,” Krasner said. “We’re looking forward to a big day, and hope it will be peaceful. But let me tell you something, if there are problems, we will be on them. And by we, I mean the Feds, the state authorities and the local authorities, as well as my office. Because we are not allowing our democracy to be taken away.”