This past week, approximately 50,000 people converged on Philadelphia to attend the 2016 Democratic National Convention, a historic moment that saw Hillary Clinton become the first woman ever to accept the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. The HPR attended the convention and met various people ranging from a Congressional nominee from New Jersey to a TV cameraman working at ABC. The following ten individuals were asked to condense their thoughts and emotions into one word:

Adrian Best. TV Cameraman. Tired.
“I can’t wait for this to be over. I worked at the RNC in Cleveland and now I’m here in Philadelphia at the DNC. The days have been long and although I admit this is all very exciting, it’s been very hard work for me. I think it’s time for me to go home.”

 

Emily Lovette. Clinton delegate from North Carolina. Empowered.

“To be in the presence of all my political heroes is really empowering. It’s especially empowering to know that I can be president because the highest glass ceiling has been shattered this week. And I was a part of this history.”

 

Juan Rosado. Project manager. Impresionante (Impressive).

“I am so impressed with the organization of the Democratic Party. I have witnessed how in every town and county people are coming together to knock on doors and talk to the people like myself! And this is all contributing to the rise of our next president—the first female president—Hillary Clinton.”

 

Angie Aker. Sanders delegate from Wisconsin. Silenced.

“The DNC is threatening that they might pull my credentials if I don’t take this [duct tape] off…They want to truly silence me. They don’t even want me to have this much free speech.”

 

Lonnie Affrime. Sanders delegate from New Jersey. Mania. 

“I am a Bernie Sanders delegate, but I believe that we need to come together and support Hillary Clinton in order to stop Donald Trump from taking the White House. Obviously there are a lot of people on my side who disagree with this position and it’s been a pretty crazy process with people protesting both inside and outside the convention. I’m just hoping that we all come together before November.”

 

Catherine Yun. Law student. Hungry. 

“I’m hungry for change. I’m hungry to see this country be claimed by more than your typical mainstream white male. I want other communities to feel like they have a stake in the future of our country. I’m excited to see what the new platform is going to bring for this country and I’m hoping for a movement of change for all people.”

 

Peter Jacob. Congressional nominee. Progress.

We need a democracy and economy that works for all of us. As a social worker, I have seen the challenges many people face in our country. The families who work two or three jobs and take pay-cuts. The veterans who served our nation but ended up homeless and suffering from PTSD. The senior citizens who have to choose between paying for food, medication, and rent. We need progress in this country.”

 

EJ Dionne. Washington Post Columnist. Working-class.

“It is very important that the Democrats not leave white working-class Americans to Donald Trump. They need to remember that the last two conventions in Philadelphia were in 1948 and 1936 where both Harry Truman and Franklin Roosevelt spoke for and about the working class. From now until November, Democrats must not forget about this very important demographic.”

 

Phyllis Friend. Retired school principal. Urgent. 

“If Hillary doesn’t win, I feel like it would be wrong. Not just disappointing that my candidate didn’t win. But wrong that we would elect someone like Donald Trump. He does not characterize who our country is or what our country values. Hillary does.”

 

Rebecca Joseph. Grandmother. Future.


“I’m old. I’m 70. To see a woman on the verge of claiming the presidency is a very exciting thing in my lifetime. It’s hot and humid here, so did I really want to come all the way from New York and attend this convention? Yes! It’s worthwhile seeing the future being made before my very eyes.”

Image credit: Joe Choe

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