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Letter From Convention: Stamford Delegate Pushes Progressive Platform

Nina Sherwood stands on the floor of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia Wednesday.
Nina Sherwood stands on the floor of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia Wednesday. Photo Credit: Contributed/Nina Sherwood
Delegates stand on the floor of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia Wednesday as Vice President Joe Biden speaks.
Delegates stand on the floor of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia Wednesday as Vice President Joe Biden speaks. Photo Credit: Contributed/Nina Sherwood
Delegates stand on the floor of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia Wednesday as President Obama takes to the main screen.
Delegates stand on the floor of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia Wednesday as President Obama takes to the main screen. Photo Credit: Contributed/Nina Sherwood
A protestor at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia Wednesday holds up a sign.
A protestor at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia Wednesday holds up a sign. Photo Credit: Contributed/Nina Sherwood

STAMFORD, Conn. — Stamford resident Nina Sherwood is attending the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia as a Connecticut delegate. Here are her reflections on her experience Wednesday at the convention in her own words:

Third day of the Democratic National Convention and things are still severed. Most of the top-billed speeches were excellent. Vice President Joe Biden always delivers a beautifully unpolished speech to a T, while President Barack Obama unites the world under the soft but strong canter of his diction. Their effect was enhanced by the fact that Donald Trump is a worthy and easy target.

On the other hand, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine didn't do much to move me in any way. Maybe I just need more exposure to him however, I am happy about his recent denouncement of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Michael Bloomberg's presence confused me. As the birth father of 'stop and frisk,' he does not deserve to share the stage with the party that champions recital equality, Black Lives Matter and criminal justice reform. What about all of his anti-union comments? People on the floor started booing him at those moments and were quickly silenced. Aren't we the party of issues? I scratched my head.

It's important to note that nothing was said about the TPP. Not one word. With a majority of polled Democrats against the TPP, you would think this issue would be a slam dunk. Instead, it wasn't addressed even once. And those who held up anti-TPP signs were booed and shunned. Why the disconnect? Isn't that want a convention is supposed to be about? Discussion? Or has our party largely ornamentalized its convention to a point where is has become vestigial?

But Obama's speech hit home. Nobody can argue that. Seeing him tonight brought back a lot of memories for me. I worked hard to get him elected. I canvassed the streets of Pennsylvania and made calls for him every night. That was when phone banks came in the form of Excel spreadsheets — and not hub dialers. Times have changed.

In his speech, Obama commended the civil rights movement, gay rights, women's rights and the labor movement. He praised them for their hard work and accomplishments. He asked all Americans to work as hard as Bernie Sanders volunteers. These words were met with boisterous cheers from me and everyone in that convention center. We are proud of our progression and are unified in that respect.

What separates us is our perception of our current progressive protesters. Some see it as an embarrassment while some look back at the history of the progressive movement and know that change does not happen top down. It is always lifted up on the backs of the grassroots, who feel they have no other avenue for change other than their freedom of speech and descent. When will the Democratic party begin to champion the current issues of the day instead of just waiting until the poll numbers are safe enough to take a firm, public stand and then take all the credit for the movement?

Nina Sherwood

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