Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Democracy is Alive and Well in District 36

This weekend I attended my precinct caucus at Seattle Center’s Armory. It was held in the mezzanine, a large open space, which was jammed packed with mobs of people, the air sparking with energy. From my perspective they all looked like Millennial, perhaps voting for the first time, with a scattering of a few of us “old folks. There weren’t enough chairs to go around so people were standing or sitting on the floor with a look of expectant hope on all their faces.

It took a while to work my way through the maize of dozens of precincts to find mine. A young man offered me his seat, for which I was grateful.  A gentlemen sitting to my to my right said,  “I am 80 years old and I don’t look it”, but I wound never want to shatter his dream because in fact he looked a lot older.

The chattering quieted down as a volunteers read the instructions for the process and asked others to volunteer to be a group leader, secretary, vote counters and hands shot up in anticipation.  We filled out a form to select our choice for a candidate to run for President of the United States. 

The discussion was open for people to plead their case in three minutes or less in support of either Hillary or Bernie. All the speakers were passionate, reasonable, and specific and not one negative thing was said about an opponent.  A speaker might have issue with a specific platform proposal but no words were bandied about a candidate’s spouse, previous romantic liaisons, questionable personal comment, and everyone was respectful.  They all emphatically agreed that whoever would receive the most votes  would have their vote, anything to derail the Republican candidates. 

Some voters brought children old enough to understand what was going on. Speakers included heath care workers, lawyers, Chicano supporters, small business owners, computer industry workers, and young people with staggering college loans.

Speeches were closed and votes were tallied up - 87 for Bernie and 24 for Hillary.  Our precinct was allowed 6 delegates to the Congressional District Caucus in April. Then there are several steps to whittle down to delegates to be selected to attend the July Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, the home of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.  How apropos.  I have to say this morning long process convinced me that the younger generations are swell.  And all along I thought all they were intereted in are smart phones. I confess to being wrong.  

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