DNC ‘overwhelming,’ but Mississippi delegates ready for a fight

One of the two screens that gave delegates a better view inside the Women's Caucus meeting at the convention center on Wednesday.
One of the two screens that gave delegates a better view inside the Women's Caucus meeting at the convention center on Wednesday. Special to the Sun Herald

Regardless of whether their work at the Democratic National Convention transforms into progress, delegates from Mississippi said they’ve been working hard.

“It’s been jam-packed, overwhelming, exhilarating, amazing,” said Bear Atwood when asked to describe her experience of the last 96 hours at the convention in Philadelphia.

Atwood is an at-large Hillary Clinton delegate and shares many of the same feelings as other Mississippi delegates.

The DNC wraps up on Thursday and as many boarded the shuttle in the morning, leaving the delegate hotel for the caucuses at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, they agreed.

“This week was absolutely overwhelming, only for the fact because there was so much to do,” said Sugar Stallings, who represents South Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District.

“As a delegate, you just have so many responsibilities,” said Stallings. “You have to be places on time and make sure you sign the proper procedural paperwork that you need. Email and communication is very important for a delegate.”

Those who made the trip and spent hundreds of dollars for hotel rooms realized just how special Thursday night will be.

“You know, I came here to see history be made and I’m really excited to be a part of it,” said Atwood.

“It’s fun and everything, but you have to do what you’re supposed to do, when you’re supposed to do them,” said Stallings, “and I think that’s the critical and most important thing.”

Many attended the DNC to give speeches and share stories inside the packed Wells Fargo Center. Speakers included celebrities such as Sigourney Weaver and political figures such as former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Some delegates were pleased by the speeches and notable public figures in attendance, but admit it is only building suspense for the woman who will be standing on the stage late Thursday night.

“There were so many speeches that were really outstanding that you could remember them,” said Atwood. “I’m ready to hear Hillary tonight and move forward and get her elected president.”

Mississippi Field Director Jacqueline Amos took in all of the speeches and realizes how much work there is left to do.

“They’ve given us a lot of talking points to take back with us,” said Amos. “When we get back we have work to do in all 82 counties. We’ve got to get stronger county executive committees in our counties.”

Delegates know it will be back to grind in when they head home. Some even know what they will be doing Monday.

“I will be getting ready to make phone calls, knock on doors, and organize my local precinct,” said Atwood. “You know, I think this is our best shot of turning Mississippi blue in a long time, so I’ll be working to make that happen.”

For Amos, all the work delegates were able to get done at the DNC will be brought home to Mississippi in getting ready for the general election in the fall.

“I will be contacting every county chair in our state making sure they have begun planning their events for November,” said Amos. “I am charging all of our counties to have some kind of event. I don’t care if it is a picnic in the park to a gala.”

Amos said she will be working with the Clinton campaign in Mississippi. Or as she puts it, “from the Gulf Coast, you know, to DeSoto County.”

Christopher Abruzzo, a student at Temple University, is covering the Democratic National Convention for the Sun Herald.