DNC 2016: Hillary Clinton Formally Accepts Party Nomination, Delegates Describe What The Dem’s Platform Can Do For Philly on Day 4
Two things have happened since the Flyers and 76er’s brought a championship to South Philadelphia: America has twice elected an African American President and now a major political party has nominated a woman to run for the highest office in the nation.
Spirit News was inside the convention hall when Hillary Rodham Clinton formally accepted the nomination of the Democratic party for President of the United States. The energy inside the hall was electrified as Clinton spoke about being a part of this historic event, and how proud she was to be introduced by her daughter Chelsea.
The concourse was again buzzing with notable social and political figures mingled with reporters and delegates. Rev. Jesse Jackson made his way through the crowd, guided by a young woman. We also ran into actress Rosario Dawson, who is known for her role in the controversial 1990s movie about inner city teens titled “Kids.”
As we continued on, we were bumped by another reporter who was chasing down former US Rep. Anthony Weiner. Weiner, who was became well known for sending pictures of his own genitals via cell phone, told Spirit News why he thinks Hillary Clinton is the best person for the job, and he even hit this reporter with a compliment.
“She’s highly qualified, she’s got the right temperament, the right judgement, and compared to what she’s running [against] it’s not even that close, you’re more qualified to run,” Weiner said.
We also spoke with Philadelphia City Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. who was more than willing to speak with us as long as we waited for him to use the bathroom. “It was urgent,” Jones said. We spoke outside the men’s room.
“Sometimes you take the best person who can go the longest distance,” Jones said. “Some of the ideas that Bernie Sanders brought up moved the needle in the right direction. To go the distance, to get that soft middle that could go either way for Republican or Democrat, Hillary is the person to get us across that line.”
According to Councilman Jones, he thinks the state and federal government needs to invest more money in programs aimed to ease the burdens of student loan debt.
“The state has to do a little more. The best thing in this package that I could imagine, is forgiving college loans. People can afford to do other things and they won’t need the government to intercede for them,” Jones Jr. said. “If you have an income you can take care of your healthcare. To my more conservative friends, I would say an investment up front provides you dividends in the long run.”
Councilman Jones sees Clinton’s nomination as a big step for women in this country and hopes that the Democratic party will be able to rally around her by November.
“For someone who has a wife, someone who has a daughter, it gives me that feeling that all things are possible, Jones said.
“When I was growing up, some of the best fights were in my house with my brother, but when we went on the street, we were together. Similarly, this party was fractured when Hillary was defeated by Obama, but we came together. We have a greater enemy to our country. What kind of a president calls upon the Russians to help him win.”
Spirit News asked delegates to discuss impoverished neighborhoods in their own state and describe what they hoped the Democratic platform would do to help people living there. Jason Bloomberg traveled all the way from Cheyenne, Wyoming in an electric car. He is a physician, a delegate, and believes that Donald Trump must not become the next president.
“I’m a Hillary delegate, and my co-driver is a Bernie delegate, and together we are the Trumpbusters,” Bloomberg said. “We’ve been busting Trump all across America.”
Bloomberg says that even Cheyenne, Wyoming has it’s share of economic issues stemming from impoverished areas of the city. “There is definite economic divide between north of the freeway and south of the freeway,” Bloomberg said. According to him, he sees the platform as a visionary step to helping bring back these neighborhoods from blight, but believes it will only happen when the local governments take a vested interest in revitalization.
We also spoke with Marvin Sutton, an at large alternate delegate from Texas who was in Philadelphia for the first time. According to Sutton, there are many towns and neighborhoods where he lives that would benefit from the programs described in the DNC platform, and touts his own success story as the reason to invest in these communities.
“We’re not asking for a handout. Give us a chance to be productive, give us a chance to get a quality education,” Sutton said. “I grew up in a housing project, and I’m now a productive citizen.” I got a decent education, and now I hold a job that makes over six figures.”
Spirit News also interviewed Karla Ortiz. She is the 11 year old daughter of undocumented immigrants. She was born in Las Vegas, and spoke at the convention. She felt empowered by being a part of the DNC, and watching history live. “I’m going to be a lawyer, or I’m going to be the President,” Ortiz said.
For her, being up on stage was an amazing experience, and she believes Clinton will help all immigrants not just her. “I felt actually kinda great. I’m a daughter of undocumented parents. [Clinton] said she is going to do everything she could to help everybody not just me,” Ortiz said.
Ortiz knows that not all undocumented immigrants are criminals, and hopes people will be able to look past the negative comments and realize that they are humans too. “I feel bad for them, I feel bad for us,” Ortiz said. “They don’t even know the possibilities. They think, but they don’t know.”