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Elizabeth Warren appeals to voters at Hibernian Hall

Kenneth J. Cooper | 4/25/2012, 7:05 a.m.

Jackie Nesbitt, a machinist from Lower Roxbury, said afterwards: “I need to get to know more about her — where she stands on issues.”

Nesbitt gave her credit for holding the event, asking rhetorically, “Have you seen Brown at a meeting like this?”

Warren promised to return to Hibernian Hall, a frequent venue to political forums, and answer questions. “Sure. We’ll be back. We’ll be back,” Warren said.

Two young campaign workers stood outside on Dudley Street holding up signs about the meeting. Rev. Joelee Baker-Bey, pastor of St. John Missionary Baptist Church, disparaged the partially handwritten signs as looking like they were “made in the yard.”

Baker-Bey said he came to the meeting because Brown voted in the Senate the night before to block debate on Obama’s proposal to raise taxes on millionaires under the Buffet rule.

“That’s the only reason I’d like to elect her — hold the party line,” he said. “Not that she’d agree with the president, but go with the party line.”

Retired teacher Bob Marshall also faulted Brown’s Senate record, noting that “He’s voted against Obama on a number of things.”

Unlike Coakley in the January 2010 special election, Warren has the advantage of sharing the ballot with Obama. His presence is likely to boost black voter turnout.

Still, Warren will need help from experienced political organizers rooted in the black community who know how to get the vote out. She has more persuading to do.

Mukiya Baker-Gomez, who organized in communities of color for Sheriff Andrea Cabral’s first campaign, was taking names and contact information inside the front door of Hibernian Hall. Baker-Gomez said she was working on behalf of state Representative Gloria Fox, who’s seeking reelection, not Warren.

“I’m contemplating,” Baker-Gomez replied, when asked why not work for Warren. “What [are] you going to stand for? What [are] you going to do? Who [are] you going to have working for you that looks like me — and not just for free?”

Those and other questions await Warren when she returns to Roxbury.