Thursday was the day so many have been waiting for. Hillary Clinton formally accepted the nomination of the Democratic Party and gave the speech of her life.
You could feel the excitement here in the streets of Philly. My first stop of the day was at the DNC Finance office to pick up my tickets for the after-party with Hillary, which was held at the beautiful Kimmel Center. It began after the last gavel of the convention comes down.
Then it was off to the second DNC LGBT caucus meeting of the convention at the Philadelphia Convention Center. There is excitement in the room because every major speaker remembered how important we are and spoke to achieving our full civil and human rights and our right to love whom we choose. So different from what happened in Cleveland last week. In the room were Diego Sanchez, Mara Keisling and Dominic Lowell, the Clinton campaign liaison to the LGBT community. The speakers included Congressmen Mark Takano and Mark Pocan both always great and Jim Obergefell whose case won marriage equality at the Supreme Court. Lisa Goodman from Delaware, Brian Simms and Dustin Lance Black. Howard Dean did what he always did and brought the group to its feet.
Then it was off to the Equality Forum panel discussion on the ‘Future of the Movement’. Kudos to my editor Kevin Naff for doing a great job as moderator. The panel included Evan Wolfson, Jay Brown and Chris Jennings. The discussion went from our continued fight for full protections under the law to the LGBT community joining the fight for gun control after the massacre at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. The discussion veered into the role of millennials and people of color in the movement. Brad Luna and Kris Eisenla of Luna/Eisenla Media did a great job all week for the Equality Forum and got more press for our movement than ever before.
From there it was off for a full evening at the Wells Fargo Center and the wait to hear Hillary. The Hall was packed and I claimed a seat in the press section and settled in for the duration. In the crowd were Lawrence Yanovitch, Fred Schneider, among so many others I know. It was an amazing night from Katy Perry singing “Roar” to the serious issues of the convention and the important issues the American public must hear. The parents of a Muslim American soldier who died fighting for our freedom spoke passionately about their son and his and their love for America. They challenged Donald Trump to even read the Constitution.
Then the final speakers. Chelsea introduced her mom and spoke beautifully about who Hillary is as a woman. Then there was Hillary herself. It was an amazing speech and she reached out to Bernie Sanders’ supporters and to Americans everywhere. She spoke about her belief that “It takes a village” to solve America’s problems and that in essence ‘Love Trumps Hate.’ It was an inclusive speech, speaking to all of us.
Then it was fighting the crowds to get back downtown to the Kimmel Center, which luckily was within walking distance from the apartment where I am staying. I was on a bus with two delegates from Democrats Abroad. They still had on their Bernie buttons but told me that after Hillary’s speech they were ready to vote for Hillary. They were also heading to the party. They and it seems like a thousand others including Jeffrey Marburg Goodman, Sen. Chris Coons, Billy Kreisberg, Lynne Hackney, and Vince Ryan who came with me. Food and drink and great music and for me a great end to the week came at 2 a.m.
It has been a long but good week in Philly — a week I dreamed of for many years. From the time I worked with and for Rep. Bella S. Abzug back in the ‘70s and earned my feminist credentials; to meeting Hillary Clinton in Little Rock in 1990. Understanding this nomination is historic and the fulfillment of a dream that began for women officially in Seneca Falls, New York and will come to full fruition on Jan. 20, 2017 when Hillary Rodham Clinton is sworn in as our 45th president and the ‘glass ceiling’ is finally fully shattered.