Photo Credit: Mary L. Datcher/Chicago Defender

Photo Credit: Mary L. Datcher/Chicago Defender

FlOTUS SLAM DUKES THE OPENING NIGHT OF THE 2016 DNC

As the 2016 Democratic National Convention gets underway, some familiar names and fresh faces graced the speaker podium.

Philadelphia’s own, Grammy-award singing group; Boyz II Men brought the DNC attendees to their feet as they opened up the convention with one of their hit songs.

The Clinton camp wanted various themes to resonate throughout the six and half-hour program–hammering home hot button topics such as immigration, mental illness, joblessness, economic disparities, healthcare and the racial divide.

Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D-CA) addresses the Democratic delegates. “We know our children aren’t born with hate or racism in their hearts. They learn it from watching the world around them and following the example of the adults in their life. Too many of our children are watching and learning the wrong lessons from Donald Trump.”

Mental health and substance abuse–the main triggers that can lead to crime and put pressure on our justice system also was brought to the forefront from a Pop superstar, Demi Lovato and Clinton supporter. She shares her challenges with depression.

“Like millions of Americans, I am living with mental illness. But I am lucky. I had the resources and support to get treatment at a top facility. Unfortunately, too many Americans from all walks of life don’t get help, whether they fear the stigma or cannot afford treatment.” 

Sanders advocates have been added to the program to set the tone for unity and show a uniformity in the DNC’s message to the American people. U.S. Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) passionately spoke to convention goers but primarily focusing on the die-hard Sanders delegates, “As a Sanders supporter, I will always remember feeling-the-Bern in Minnesota. Six thousand people in Duluth, 14,000 in St. Paul–Bernie sparked the beginning of a revolution.”

The crowd cheered and he continued to solidify his appeal for party unity.

Photo Credit: Mary L. Datcher/Chicago Defender

Photo Credit: Mary L. Datcher/Chicago Defender

“Together, we called for climate justice, racial justice, wage justice and we have made our voices heard! Together, Democrats; we will make our voices heard in November when we defeat Donald Trump and elect Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States!,” said Ellison.

New Jersey Senator, Corey Booker who rose to the national spotlight as the Mayor of Newark–one of the country’s economically challenged cities. His approachability and constant access to his constituents made him a rising rock star in politics. The enthusiastic Clinton advocate, made his voice known leaving an audio footprint on most delegates in the Wells Fargo Center.

“This is the high call of patriotism. Patriotism is love of country. But you can’t love your country without loving your countrymen and countrywomen. We don’t always have to agree, but we must empower each other, we must find the common ground, we must build bridges across our differences to pursue the common good. We can’t devolve into a nation where our highest aspiration is that we just tolerate each other. We are not called to be a nation of tolerance. We are called to be a nation of love,” he said. 

Taking one of many jabs at the Republican Presidential candidate, Donald Trump–he adds.

“Hillary Clinton knows what Donald Trump betrays time and again in this campaign: that we are not a zero sum nation, it is not you or me, it is not one American against another. It is you and I together, interdependent, interconnected with one single interwoven American destiny.”

As he wrapped up his speech, the once busy halls of the Wells Fargo Center began to clear as people made their way back into the arena to prepare for First Lady Michelle Obama’s entrance.

The Chicago native entered in pure style and the deafening applause and standing ovation from DNC attendees would gladly compete with a Beyonce concert. As the Chicago native waited for the cheers to die down, she poignantly spoke for the last time as the First Lady of the United States at the DNC.

Standing poised on the podium, she began to talk about guiding and protecting her daughters against those who insist President Obama’s citizen status. 

“How we urged them to ignore those who questions their father’s citizenship or faith. How we insist that the hateful language from public figures on tv does not represent the true spirit of this country. How we explain that when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level. Our motto is ‘when they go low, we go high.’”

Photo Credit: Mary L Datcher/Chicago Defender

Photo Credit: Mary L Datcher/Chicago Defender

The First Lady continued. “With every word we utter and with every action we take, we know our kids are watching us. We as parents are their most important role models. Barack and I take that same approach as our jobs as President and First Lady because we know that our words and actions matter not just to our girls but to the children across this country.”

As she wrapped up her speech, she says”My daughters and all our sons and daughters, now take for granted that a woman can be President of the United States. So, don’t let anyone that this country isn’t great that somehow we need to make it great again because this right now–is the greatest country on earth.”

Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL) was ecstatic about Obama’s speech. “She was fabulous! She is the closer—she could be a surrogate for Hillary all over. I found it interesting that Trump commented on every speech but he didn’t comment on hers. She talked about being a parent and she talked about things you could really relate to no matter who you are.” said Kelly.

Following that rousing speech, Clinton Democratic rival, Senator Bernie Sanders speaks–urging not only his supporters but the American people to support and embrace Hillary Clinton as the Democratic Party Presidential candidate.

On Monday the Senator thanked the grassroots movement that energized his presidential campaign, said the political revolution they began will continue and detailed issue after issue – from health care and higher education to the environment and economy – in which Hillary Clinton is the clear choice over Donald Trump.

Illinois Clinton Delegate, Alderman Leslie Hairston is confident that both Clinton and Sanders delegates will meet at a common ground to defeat Donald Trump.

“The first day is always interesting and everyone is very passionate about their candidate. It was very clear that everybody was overwhelmingly appointing Hillary Clinton. The Sanders supporters are very energized. I think everyone is trying to get to the place where we are a unified party.” she said.

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