Local Democrats get ready for an inauguration like none other

Written by on January 18, 2021

Local Democrats get ready for an inauguration like none other

By Ben Stemrich

January 18, 2021

Vice President Joe Biden returns to Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 21, 2011, for continuing negotiations between Republicans and Democrats in Congress on how to solve America’s debt crisis and budget problems. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

With tension unlike any in modern American history surrounding the transfer of presidential power, Democrats’ celebration is muted this year. WLVR’s Ben Stemrich spoke with some in the Lehigh Valley.

Longtime Democratic organizer Celeste Dee, of Whitehall Township, serves on the Lehigh County Democratic Committee’s executive board. She says she’s not going to Washington for the inauguration of Joe Biden.

“COVID-19 will make it harder to enjoy Inauguration Day. To not be able to be there and participate the way that we normally would — it’s going to make it harder,” Dee says. 

Dee says she does plan on watching Wednesday with a special group.

“It’s just going to be small but meaningful with people who stand shoulder to shoulder, election after election, and who stood shoulder to shoulder with me in this one,” she says.

Northampton County Council member Tara Zrinski says she’s still worried after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol following a rally by outgoing President Donald Trump.

“I’d like to think this is a momentous occasion but at the same time I’m approaching Wednesday with a lot of apprehension about what might happen,” Zrinski said. “I think there’s a lot still unknown.”

Thousands of National Guard troops are in Washington protecting the Capitol, and will continue to do so on Inauguration Day.

Northampton County Council was scheduled to meet Wednesday night. The meeting has been moved to Thursday in case of any protests, as well as to give people time to watch the inaugural ceremony, officials said.

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