PHILADELPHIA – As Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton prepared to accept her party’s nomination, another potential political rival was on the scene. Jill Stein, head of the Green Party and presumptive presidential candidate, was interviewed outside the Wells Fargo Center.
In addition to environmental issues, Stein said the Green Party is also committed to racial equality and legalizing marijuana.
PHILADELPHIA – A religious protest outside City Hall became heated on Thursday when a Trump supporter got into a verbal debate with Black Lives Matter supporters.
Five men held signs reading such things as “Homo Sex is Sin” and “God Hates Porno Freaks” stood in the courtyard, flanked by police. A protestor with a megaphone announced that he was a Trump supporter. Several other men, including 26-year-old Desmond Taylor, began a loud debate with the religious protestors.
PHILADELPHIA- Sen. Al Franken lent his star power to the Senior Council meeting Thursday at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. He and other speakers voiced their support for Hillary Clinton for president.
Franken and other speakers including Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers, and Jon “Bowser” Bauman of Sha Na Na – discussed issues important to senior citizens.
The issues discussed included protecting the gains that had been made in the fields of Social Security and Medicaid, advocating for the baby boomer generation in Congress, and leaving a prosperous future to their offspring.
The Senior Council meeting was attended by members of the American Federation of Teachers and the Sheet Metal Workers International Association.
The common refrain heard throughout the meeting was that members could rest after Election Day, but that for the remainder of the campaign, it was time to work. Strategies of going door-to-door and collecting signatures, as well as engaging other voters were floated for voter engagement.
While there was a defined platform for the senior council, several members had issues that they felt were important.
Jimmy Gaunce, 84, from Lexington, Kentucky looked at Social Security as a key issue to tackle.
“I think it’s very important that we protect Social Security, that we improve Medicare, and most certainly the Affordable Care Act.”
Charles Jackson, 69, of New York City had an entirely different pet cause as a senior voter.
“The most important thing I feel is that we all get out vote. Try to get the other people who want to sit out to really get involved, because it’s very important that we try and get Hillary elected, because the opposition doesn’t really seem to care about the welfare of our seniors.”
Armando Mandes, 64, from Middletown, N. J. said pensions were the most important issue facing the senior council.
“Protecting defined benefits for everybody, including the people that today don’t have pensions,” he said.
Mandes also had strong words for how important he felt it was to ensure benefits for the future.
“Every worker, whether they’re in private industry or the public sector must have a defined pension. If you don’t the country’s going to be in trouble very shortly.”
PHILADELPHIA – In a crowded caucus meeting at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, a pro-LGBT rights crowd supported their community with applause and cheers. But the energy grew absolutely electric when N. J. Senator Cory Booker showed up.
A surprise visitor, Booker was just one of dozens of special guests Thursday afternoon who spoke about the importance of advancing LGBT rights.
During the caucus, speakers and guests made clear they’re enthusiastic about electing Clinton as well as other Democratic candidates this election season who will advance the LGBT agenda.
Booker, who spoke at the end of the caucus, made his point by pointing out LGBT rights are not central to just one aspect of a community or country.
“This was a movement for American rights,” he said. “Every American should have access to full citizenship rights.”
By the end of the session, the caucus passed four resolutions in support of pro-LGBT legislation which will later be posted on its Facebook page.
Kate Brown, the first openly bi-sexual governor from Oregon spoke adamantly about the importance of electing Hillary Clinton, saying that Clinton considers the LGBT community part of her family.
Although the room was full of delegates, educator Shannon Cuttle of Maplewood, N.J attended as a guest. Cuttle uss they/them pronouns.
“Especially in schools, it’s important LGBT children’s voices be heard,” they said. “It’s important to continue the conversation, so that’s why it was important I come today.”
Cuttle said they personally feel confident Hillary Clinton is the right choice to advance LGBT agenda, particularly in schools when it comes removing discrimination.
“Although she didn’t used to support us, over the years she has become one of our strongest allies,” Cuttle said. “She is the strongest candidate not just for LGBT, but also the needs of educators. This is a teachable moment.”
Joe Longoria, a Clinton delegate from Mohave County, AZ was at the caucus as an ally to the LGBT community.
Longoria said his county vice char is a lesbian woman. When gay marriage was legalized last year, she asked him to be her best man.
Touched, he attended the caucus today to “learn whatever I can” for the community.
He, too, believes Clinton will be an excellent advancement for the LGBT community. That’s why he said he’s running for mayor in his hometown of Kingman, AZ.
“(Clinton’s) also an excellent voice and champion for children, for women, for everyone,” he said.
As Cory Booker wrapped up his speech, he spoke what seems to be the theme of this week’s convention.
PHILADELPHIA- Dozens of reporters jockeyed for position, crowding around an empty stage.
Actors Susan Sarandon, Danny Glover and Rosario Dawson had called an early evening press conference to once again highlight efforts within the Democratic Party leadership to defeat Senator Bernie Sanders, which were exposed in recently leaked emails.
“These are two sides that, frankly, are having a very difficult time communicating with each other,” said Gasland director Josh Fox of lingering tensions between supporters of Sanders and Clinton.
The media event was also called in support of Nina Turner, a former Ohio senator, who said she was scheduled to speak at the convention on Tuesday night before being ousted from the stage. The decision for her ejection is reportedly due to her refusal to support Clinton.
“We stand with her, and we stand in opposition to anybody bringing any harm or any disrespect to her,” said Sanders activist YahNé Ndgo.
It was unclear what — if any — impact the press event would have on the larger convention, other than to once again raise the question of whether the most passionate Democratic Party activists will be able to reconcile before the general election in November.
PHILADELPHIA – A DNC-themed pop-up exhibit rips political cartoons off the printed page and puts them in a public gallery space.
“The Nib Takes Philly,” which is sponsored by the cartoon website called The Nib, features political cartoons and election-themed objects, and props at a location on Cherry Street in Old City.
No one is spared. Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and many other politicians are lampooned.
Cartoonist Matt Bors, 32, from Canton O.H., explained how the exhibit started with a simple idea.
“We had a new website launch last week, and we were talking about sending cartoonists to do live drawings,” said Bors. “Then it was maybe we can do a gallery show. It just sort of grew and grew into something quite big.”
Dan Perkins, 55, a cartoonist at the exhibit from Iowa City, I.A., who goes by the pen name Tom Tomorrow, said the exhibit is more than just comic relief.
“Cartoonists have been through a decade basically of newspapers going out of business, cutting budgets, and of websites not wanting to pay for cartoons,” he said. “The art form is kind of teetering on extinction.”
“So the fact that you have someone like Matt, with his energy and his ability to find someone to sponsor this and to pull this thing together,” Perkins continued. “I can’t even explain how important this is to cartooning.”