DNC 2016: Millennial delegates concerned about race and women’s issues, excited about party unity

By Brigid Edmunds - [email protected] | July 26th, 2016 5:02 pm - updated: 2:11 pm.

PHILADELPHIA — The historic nomination of Hillary Clinton for president has resonated with young delegates at the convention.

Many young delegates traveled to Philadelphia to take part in their first presidential election as eligible voters.

Ohio delegate, Kelly Harrop, 20, said she is most concerned about millennial and women’s issues this upcoming election.

Clinton’s platform promises to work to close the wage gap and pass Clinton’s “Paycheck Fairness Act.” Clinton also promises to increase the minimum wage across the country and combat violence against women, specifically working to address sexual assault on college campuses.

Harrop said Hillary’s nomination is inspiring to not only her, but young women across the country.

“Every parent should be able to tell their little girl she can be president,” Harrop said.

Harrop said it also inspires her to keep going in politics and run for office some day. She also said she hopes young people will continue to be involved in politics.

“Just because we’re young doesn’t mean our voices don’t deserve to be heard,” she said.

John Easterling, 19, a delegate from North Carolina, said he is excited to attend his first convention.

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to watch the party come together,” Easterling said.

He said while there was some division earlier in the week when a group of Bernie Sanders supporters protested in the streets of Philadelphia, Easterling said the party came together as the week went on.

For Easterling, he wants to see Clinton work on racial inequality and racial injustice in the United States. He warns about the choice between Clinton and Trump in the general election.

“(On one end), you have a bigot, racist, xenophobic, homophobic man who is a liar,” Easterling said.

Easterling said that Americans “have the opportunity to make history.”

Ohio delegate, Spencer Dirrig, 19, has never voted in a presidential election before and is “so excited to be (at the convention).”

Dirrig has been interested in politics since he was 11, and volunteered for the Clinton campaign in 2008. Dirrig is concerned about making college affordable, saying as a college student, he sees firsthand how debt affects college students and their ability to attend college.

“I can see it’s hurting people,” Dirrig said.

Dirrig said watching Clinton formally receive the nomination was “surreal on a number of levels.”

He also warns millennials about abandoning their votes this November in protest.

Echoing a speech he heard during the convention, Dirrig said, “Not voting is not a protest, it’s a concession,” adding, “we have to move our country in the right direction.”

Young supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders yell during a rally in Philadelphia, Tuesday, July 26, 2016, during the second day of the Democratic National Convention. Millennials will make up a sizable portion of voters in the November election. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/web1_AP16208611988115-2.jpgYoung supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders yell during a rally in Philadelphia, Tuesday, July 26, 2016, during the second day of the Democratic National Convention. Millennials will make up a sizable portion of voters in the November election. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

By Brigid Edmunds

[email protected]

Reach Brigid Edmunds at 570-991-6119 or on Twitter @TLNews


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