West Richland delegate looks beyond Bernie at convention

Two days into the Democratic National Convention, some Bernie Sanders delegates are still refusing to compromise within the Democratic party. “Bernie or Bust,” they say.

But Kate Moran, a Tri-City delegate from West Richland, is not among them. In fact, she was so moved by Sanders, she is ready to enter the game of politics herself.

Moran, a self-proclaimed Sanders “fan girl,” said she still fully supports the senator from Vermont and plans on standing behind him throughout the convention. She even wore waterproof mascara to listen to Sanders speak in person for the first time Monday.

“I’m feeling I don’t even know how to explain it there’s this emotion that goes beyond feeling happy, its more than elated,” she said just moments after his speech Monday night at the Philadelphia Convention Center.

So in order to continue the fight for a more progressive Democratic party after the convention, Moran said she intends to run for local office. “I decided after Bernie gave the call and after this I’m going to start hitting heavy. I plan on going for city council in West Richland next year,” she said.

She eventually hopes to develop more influence in the Democratic Party.

Moran, who works for a Hanford contractor, already is a precinct committee officer and secretary for the Democratic Party for District 8 in Washington.

She asserts that her support goes beyond one candidate’s bid for Democratic nominee for president. Sanders, she said, was a catalyst for the progressive movement of forward-thinking Democrats.

“It really needs to be brought to the front and center that Sen. Sanders wants to make certain that this (movement) doesn’t die here,” she said. “We need to continue with this we need to make certain that we push for progressive ideas and values.”

“We’re trying our best to get unity,” says Moran, still smarting from her candidate’s failed primary bid, “but when you’re not listened to it’s very difficult to feel unified.”

Moran believes her purpose at the convention is not to force a unified party, but to give voice to those who voted for her to be a Sanders delegate.

“There are people that need voices and I feel like I have a strong voice. I’m loud. I will make certain I get I heard,” she said. “And I will make certain that my constituents who voted for me will also get heard and they very strongly said they want Bernie Sanders.”

Unified or not, Moran said the most important objective the Democratic party must accomplish is to keep Donald Trump out of office.

Regina Speer, the 4th Congressional District chairwoman, said Moran has been getting involved locally and is new to the scene. When it comes to young members, Speer was optimistic. “All we can do when they’re young is hope they stay active and not wander.”

Jose Caballero, Moran’s long-time friend and comrade, believes in her goals. They served together in the Navy and he is a Sanders delegate from California.

“I think she is a strong example of why Sanders is popular. She’s young, running for office and standing up when young people don’t always want to be in politics. She is what our political revolution needs.”

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.