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    An Electrifying DNC as Hillary Clinton Makes History

    leslieAs one of the lucky individuals who was in the arena at the Democratic National Convention, I still cannot even begin to fully convey the electricity that was felt by almost everyone in the hall. There were few dry eyes as Hillary Clinton said, “I accept your nomination,” thereby becoming the first woman ever to be the nominee of a major party for the U.S. presidency. An older woman next to me was openly sobbing, as she had only dreamt of such a moment in her lifetime.

    Hillary Clinton captured the importance in her keynote speech: “Tonight, we’ve reached a milestone in our nation’s march toward a more perfect union: the first time that a major party has nominated a woman for president. Standing here as my mother’s daughter, and my daughter’s mother, I’m so happy this day has come. I’m happy for grandmothers and little girls and everyone in between. I’m happy for boys and men—because when any barrier falls in America, it clears the way for everyone. After all, when there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit.”

    If you have read this far, I am sure you care at least a modicum about politics and are more than well aware of what has transpired with the conventions recently held by the respective parties. I watched the Republican National Convention, aka Trump Show, on television and was beyond appalled by the hubris, ignorance and demagoguery on display. The DNC convention, by contrast, displayed a thoughtful, cohesive, sane approach to what we should look for in our next president, and also revealed what kind of person Hillary Clinton really is, as opposed to the caricature/fictionalized persona created by the radical right and bought into by far too many people.

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    The DNC convention featured people that look like this country: nearly all colors, religions and sexual orientations. It also included veterans, disabled individuals, immigrants who have given us all so much, those who are struggling economically, and so many more. In terms of our own community, over 11% of the delegates to the convention were LGBT, and at the LGBT caucus, it was so heartwarming to see the growth in the number of transgendered delegates to the Democratic Convention.

    A picture was painted first by Michelle Obama (so impressive!) on what is at stake for our children and our country. Then Bernie Saunders was gracious while telling his supporters to get behind Hillary because not only are the stakes too high, but also he and Hillary are actually much closer on policy matters than the primary would have suggested. Bill Clinton described his decades long love and respect for Hillary. Biden, at his absolute best, described what issues are so important for us all and that clearly differentiate the two parties’ candidates.

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    President Obama showed us how lucky we were to have had him in the White House and steering the country. He acknowledged that Hillary is smart, steady, compassionate and better prepared for the role than anyone in our lifetime. Many then got to meet Tim Kaine for the first time. His warm and affable style was palpable in the hall, as was his commitment to social justice and his toughness and reserve in handling whatever comes his way.

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    Chelsea introduced her mother and, in doing so, showed that she too has that special quality of extraordinary intelligence and insight combined with a commitment to better the world. As Hillary spoke, it seems that the pundits were more interested in her clothes and tone of voice, listening little to her actual message and demonstrating the subtle and not-so-subtle misogyny that is still at play.

    Hillary Clinton’s keynote speech, as well as the days of speakers who talked about what she is like in action, revealed a caring, thoughtful and measured person who is more progressive than many think and who has a real plan to keep us moving forward. She knows what the job entails and, as she has previously stated, will be ready to lead from day one. In contrast to Trump, she is someone who loves this country, is hopeful, can keep us going in a positive direction, and will not turn her back on people traditionally left behind. She genuinely cares. Indeed, she has committed her whole life to helping those less fortunate.

    One of many poignant moments of the final evening occurred when the Muslim parents of slain American Army Captain Humayun Khan spoke about their son, his sacrifice and experience as an American Muslim. Many of us watching were deeply affected by the words of Humayun’s father, Khizr Kham: “Donald Trump, you are asking Americans to trust you with our future. Let me ask you: Have you even read the U.S. Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy. (He said, while whipping out his well-read copy from his jacket pocket.) In this document, look for the words ‘liberty’ and ‘equal protection of law.’”

    In sum, the contrast between the RNC and the DNC shows how stark the differences are between the parties’ candidates for the presidency. Even the Houston Chronicle, known for its conservatism, recently endorsed Hillary Clinton. The endorsement read, in part: “His (Trump’s) convention speech comment, ‘I alone can fix it,’ should make every American shudder. He is, we believe, a danger to the Republic.” It went on to say, “These are unsettling times, even if they’re not the dark, dystopian end times that Trump lays out. They require a steady hand. That’s not Donald Trump.”

    Hillary Clinton is the clear choice. I am so with her!

    Leslie R. Katz is a former member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, was the co-author of the City’s Equal Benefits Ordinance, has served on the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee (as Chair, and as a general member), and serves on the California Democratic Party’s Executive Board. She is an attorney with a government law, policy and strategy practice, with a focus on emerging technologies.