Monday, February 15, 2016

Why she showed up for the Dems Dinner

Posted By on Mon, Feb 15, 2016 at 5:50 PM

click to enlarge Dems party down on Saturday at the Sheraton. - J. ADRIAN STANLEY
  • J. Adrian Stanley
  • Dems party down on Saturday at the Sheraton.

The 83rd annual Democratic Dinner in Denver on Saturday had quite the headliners: Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

In the hours leading up to their speeches, event-goers sipped on wine and socialized outside the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel. The Clinton campaign was in full swing, handing out stickers, signs and foam glow sticks. The Sanders campaign seemed to have a lighter touch, perhaps because Sanders had just finished speaking to a rally at the Civic Center, where his campaign estimated that over 18,000 people showed up to support him. But it also appeared that this crowd was weighted toward Clinton supporters, with many party-goers proudly sporting their "I'm with her" stickers.

If elected, of course, Clinton would be the first female president, and she's playing that as a strength in her campaign, asking women to support her and emphasizing her work on issues that are important to them.

With that in mind, we asked four of the party-goers, all women, why they attended the dinner and what their hopes are for this campaign season.

click to enlarge Maria Gonzalez - J. ADRIAN STANLEY
  • J. Adrian Stanley
  • Maria Gonzalez
Maria Gonzalez of Commerce City is working with Emerge Colorado, which helps train Democratic women who want to run for public office

Indy: So you're in Emerge, which means you want to run for office? What do you want to run for?
MG: “I want to run for mayor of Commerce City. Right now, there’s not a position open, but I did run for City Council last year and I lost by 300 votes, so it was very close.”

Indy: So why did you decide to come here tonight?
MG: “Well, it’s the first time that I’ve come to this dinner and [I want] to really get to know who’s out there, and especially get to know, what Hillary and Bernie are here to say, you know ... For me as a Latina woman participating in politics, I want to make sure that I’m in the right place, that I’m supporting the right person that’s going to continue with the programs and services and leadership that we need for our community.”


Chrystian Woods, who lives out-of-state, is a Hillary Clinton staffer
click to enlarge Chrystian Woods - J. ADRIAN STANLEY
  • J. Adrian Stanley
  • Chrystian Woods

Indy: Why are you out here working for Hillary?
CW: “Because I believe that she’s a great candidate. I believe that she supports American families. I believe she’s going to support education, she’s going to support women’s rights, and those are issues that are important to me.”

Indy: How old are you?
CW: I’m 26.

Indy: You hear that most young people are supporting Bernie Sanders, but I’ve seen a lot of young people here tonight supporting Hillary Clinton. So what would you say to other young people that are gravitating towards Bernie?
CW: “I mean, I definitely have respect for Senator Sanders. I think it’s important that everybody choose a candidate who they feel like best supports their issues and best represents them.”

Indy: “But you feel like that’s Hillary for you?”
CW: “Definitely. I do.”

click to enlarge Kelli Schulte with her husband - J. ADRIAN STANLEY
  • J. Adrian Stanley
  • Kelli Schulte with her husband
Kelli Schulte, of Littleton, is a volunteer for the Bernie Sanders campaign

Indy: So what have you been doing for the Bernie campaign?
KS: “I've been canvassing a little bit and showing up at some of the different events that they have, finding out what different kinds of events we can volunteer at. I personally enjoy canvassing more than phone banking, because it’s a little more personal and I’m doing it in my own House district, which is great.”

Indy: Why did you decide to support him this year?
KS: “You know what? This is the first year I’ve got real excited about a candidate this early. I just really like some of the stances he’s taking. I”m not anti-Hillary by any means, but I just think that he goes one step further, and in the current political climate I think that it’s important to make sure that you’re actually getting out there and you’re saying what you really want. And it creates a little bit more negotiating room. And I think that if you’re starting right where we’re at right now, you’re going to be in a position where we’re going to be having to give more than we’re actually able to get. So, that’s where I stand and why.
We also have three little kids and so I look at things like school tuition and things like that. We’re probably going to be able to take care of that for our kids, but there’s so many people that aren’t able to do that.”

Carolyn Cathey, of Colorado Springs, is a Democratic activist
click to enlarge Carolyn Cathey - J. ADRIAN STANLEY
  • J. Adrian Stanley
  • Carolyn Cathey

Indy: Are you a Hillary supporter or a Bernie supporter?
CC: “You know, I am a party supporter and I think that is the most important thing that we have to keep in mind now that we have before us an appointment to the Supreme Court. We have to support our party. We have to support Democratic ideas and ideology, and we have to stand for freedom and equality and find the best candidate for the Supreme Court and do it quickly.

Indy: And why are you here tonight?
CC: “I am here tonight because, one, [El Paso County Democratic Party Chair] Kathleen Ricker was voted Democrat of the Year and that’s a major coup for El Paso County, and to represent El Paso County in the best way that I possibly can. They can see that — I want the rest of the state of Colorado to see that we have activists, that we have gay people, and that we have Democrats in El Paso County.

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