So you think this election’s about you

29 Jul 2018 09:58 pm
Posted by: Krista

With “Fight Song” playing in the background and memories from 2016 showing up on my FB feed, I’m reliving my time as a delegate for Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention.

Philadelphia. July. 2016.

It was hot and sweaty, oppressive for this used-to-the-dry-heat Arizona native, but being there, in the City of Brotherly Love, staying at a hotel within walking distance of Independence Hall, living and breathing in the birthplace of the nation during the week the first woman of a major political party became a Presidential nominee… That was magic. That was energizing. That was mind blowing.

For a few days, that was a whole lotta people living in a bubble where logic and reason prevailed, and a steady hand and temperament took center stage. It was a world where strangers were friends, Delegates were celebrities, and everyone wanted to be us.

Do you know what it’s like to be in a city with thousands of people who share your values?

We were all smiles all the time. I met a woman at the SEPTA station. She was a Hillary delegate from New Mexico. We got to talking while waiting for the train, on our way to the convention. We parted ways, and I didn’t expect to see her again…until I met her another day on another station waiting for another train. It didn’t occur to me to get her info, but then I found her on FB because how many Hillary delegates named Rita live in New Mexico? We’re still FB friends.

I want you to know there was a man I met on the train who thanked me for being an active Democrat in a state like Arizona. I told him it’s a beautiful state and there are a lot of energized Democrats working there.

Our Arizona political superstars were hobnobbing with us. Like Councilman Daniel Valenzuela, always with a smile and a kind word. He could talk to my husband about tech and Phx startup for hours, always energized and full of Arizona’s potential.

I sat on the convention floor with Representative Charlene Fernandez, an amazing force whose super power is balancing strength and kindness. She sat in rapt attention, absorbing every word in every speech, and chair dancing to every song.

I sat with Senator Katie Hobbs, whose enthusiasm and excitement for Hillary were palpable. She was on fire, full of energy and pride to be a part of this movement. If I hadn’t already been a Hillary fan, Katie would have sold me on her.

And then there was the brief time Gabby Giffords came to stand with Arizona. It was so good to see her.

I saw Howard Dean in the halls, and I wanted to tell him “Thank You.” He was surrounded by people, and I couldn’t get close.

Then there was the Bernie supporter who was an acquaintance. We didn’t know each other very well, but we kept running into each other and talking. Now she’s one of my best friends and a Vice Chair for the Arizona Democratic Party. I tell her I forgive her for being a Bernie supporter, and she laughs because she thinks I’m missing something.

My memories don’t match the picture some people paint of the discord and rancor on the floor at the convention or after. There were a few delegates who tried to foment rebellion, and we heard that some delegates staged a walk out. But all I saw were the speakers, all I heard was the incredible flow of words coming from the stage. Such poetry and eloquence. I witnessed it all. I was there when Michelle Obama wowed us with her words. I was there when Khizr Khan pulled the Constitution out of his pocket and waved it in the air. I was there when Hillary was nominated and we saw the glass ceiling break. We were overcome with emotion, grasping hands, and crying and smiling through our tears.

You see, the Democratic National Convention brought us together. The convention was balm for our souls, and we were done fighting because we had an election to win. I was lucky to be a part of something big, and I was ready to get to work. I didn’t expect to be blindsided like an M. Night Shyamalan movie.

If only we’d known how important that election was.

Arizona. July. 2018.

It’s so hot, always sweaty. Primary season. Some of our candidate friends are running against other candidate friends. Every canvass feels hotter than the canvass before, but candidates still need volunteers. It’s the volunteers who walk in the heat that candidates love the most, because they know the sacrifice. That is loyalty.

We know some of our friends are going to lose in the Primary. Thinking about it hurts, but that’s really what I want to talk about. Yes, some of our candidates are going to lose, and some of us may want to take a break. We may even think about voting for a third party because the candidate who beat our friend in the Primary doesn’t deserve our vote. That’s what I fear. Because we need to stand firm. To go back to Hillary and the convention, we are so much stronger together.

We are poised to take over the Senate for the first time in my life, and we are close to taking the House with great candidates running in key races this year. If they win, we will send pro-education, pro-women Democrats to the legislature. Just think of how many bills a powerful group of Democrats can stop before they get to the Governor.

And let’s talk about the Governor. No matter who wins, I’m supporting the Democrat. I would love to have a Governor who can veto some of the nonsense that comes out of the Legislature again.

With CD2 in play, we have the chance to deliver another Dem to the U.S. House of Representatives. The more we deliver, the stronger we are. It’s not my district, but I have faith that my friends in CD2 unite behind the primary winner to take back that seat in November.

And then there’s the Senate seat. Remember, DeVos was confirmed when the Vice President cast a tie-breaking vote. If we had won the Senate seat in 2016… Well, let’s not deal in “ifs.” Instead, I’ll put this out there: from the time the VP took office in January 2017 until June 2018, he cast nine tie-breaking votes. We can’t let him cast anymore. No matter who wins the Senate primary this year, I’m voting for the Democrat.

We may not have a convention to pull us together after the primary, but we did have the Women’s March. We did have the March for Our Lives, the March for Science, and #RedforEd. We are in the fight of our lives. Walking in solidarity with tens of thousands of new friends was magic. It was energizing. It was mind blowing.

Those movements brought us together in ways we haven’t seen in decades. Seeing the mass of people marching was balm for my soul, and we can’t let the momentum behind those marches die. We have an election to win, and we can’t let our new friends down.

Because we do know how important this election is.

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You can find Krista Pacion on Twitter or Instagram as @kristabellerina. You can also catch up with her on www.KristaPacion.com.

1 Comment(s)

  1. Pingback by Writing for Democratic Diva – Krista Pacion on July 31, 2018 12:01 am

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