Washington state delegates are weary from late nights, and others are worn down by the political process.
But Wednesday morning, many of the state’s delegates in Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention found the strength to stand, cheer and chant “Bernie,” as Sen. Bernie Sanders made an appearance at breakfast.
In his eight-minute speech, Sanders thanked Washington delegates for their support on behalf of his wife — Jane O’Meara Sanders — and himself.
“We want to thank you for the extraordinary support that we received from your beautiful state and we thank you so much,” he said.
Sanders delegate Mark Hoover, of Pasco, said the senator’s address was “an unforgettable surprise treat.” He captured the intimate speech on his cellphone.
Hoover was disappointed that the senator will not be the Democratic Party’s nominee for president, he said.
We were sent here by the people in our communities. None of us got here alone and none of us are here just for our own self-aggrandizement. But it truly is within reach of all of us. Democracy is a participatory activity, not a spectator sport, and I’m very proud to have been sent here.
Sanders fan Anita Latch
Another Sanders delegate, Zachary Pattin of Tacoma, was moved by the appearance.
“Having Sanders come out to give thanks to us, that was important, it was a good gesture,” Pattin said. “We’ve really been there for him and so it was nice seeing him personally there for us.”
Pattin was less enthusiastic about his role as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, saying the party has marginalized them.
“I personally feel kind of cheated. The party makes a lot of effort to make us feel our voice counts, but they use us as props,” he said.
Pattin accused convention officials of neglecting disabled delegates and not treating them fairly or respectfully. He said the Wells Fargo Center doesn’t meet the physical access requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Convention officials responded to Pattin’s claims in a statement, saying “the Democratic National Convention Committee is unwaveringly committed to the letter and spirit of the ADA. We have invested extensive resources into ensuring that our convention is the most diverse, inclusive and accessible in history.”
Other delegates feel more confident in the democratic process, including Tacoma delegate Lynda Foster.
“I was really happy to see him there,” Foster said of Sanders. “Hearing his message about everything we have to lose this year spoke to my heart and I was just really appreciative of him coming.”
Foster is a delegate representing Clinton, but acknowledges the hard work of Sanders’ delegates, and was glad he came to speak to them.
Sanders fan Anita Latch of Tacoma, a member of the credentials committee, feels a slow burn for Bernie. Although she is despondent about Clinton’s nomination and Sanders’ endorsement of Clinton, “This morning was especially poignant for me, it was wonderful to hear Bernie speak in person to our delegation.”
Latch feels that by attending the convention she is participating in democracy.
“We were sent here by the people in our communities. None of us got here alone and none of us are here just for our own self-aggrandizement. But it truly is within reach of all of us. Democracy is a participatory activity, not a spectator sport, and I’m very proud to have been sent here.”
Christina Klos is a journalist and a student at Temple University in Philadelphia. She is reporting on the Democratic National Convention as part of a project allowing students to cover the event for local news outlets.