YOU NOTICED it in the first day’s speakers at the convention: The battle-born state of Nevada has been strongly represented in the census of speakers appearing at the podium. Within the opening hours of the convention, four people represented the state speaking their truths to power.
Karla and Francisca Ortiz, a mother and daughter from Las Vegas, spoke on the need for immigration reform. Eleven-year-old Karla, who met Hillary Clinton at a previous campaign event, told her in tears about being worried her undocumented mother would be deported.
“What if I came home and find it empty?” she told the delegates Monday.
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Later, Astrid Silva, the organizing director of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, told a similar story of survival and struggle. An immigrant who entered the U.S. with her parents at the age of 4, Silva is now the organizing director of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, and widely thought to be in the vanguard of the Democratic Party’s activist leaders.
“My family believed so deeply in the promise of this country that we risked everything for the American dream,” she said Monday.
“When Donald Trump talks about deporting 11 million people, he’s talking about ripping families apart – separating families like mine,” she told the convention in Philadelphia. “Hillary Clinton understands that this is not who we are as a country…. I know she will fight to keep our families together.”
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THEN, NEVADA State Sen. Pat Spearman stepped up to speak as a pastor, an Army veteran and an out gay woman, taking Trump and his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, to task for instituting or proposing legislation that discriminates against LGBTQ Americans.
“We have heard Donald Trump say that he would protect the LGBTQ community. But he is against marriage equality and has said he is all for overturning it. Donald Trump says that anyone can use any bathroom in Trump Tower, but he still supports heinous bathroom bills and he would strip away the rights of transgender Americans. But his worst attack on us was his vice presidential pick, Indiana Governor Mike Pence.”
“Governor Pence signed a law that lets individuals and businesses deny services to LGBTQ Americans, and he used religion as a weapon to discriminate. ... As a lesbian, that hurts me. As a person of faith, that offends me. And as a legislator working hard to create jobs, that baffles me.”
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If Politico is right, Nevada is one of the 11 states that will determine the outcome of the Nov. 8 election.
There’s every good demographic reason to believe it’s true; the nonwhite percentage of the state’s electorate grew to 36 percent in 2012, so you know it’s higher that that now. And with casinos and the businesses that support them or feed off them, there’s a multitude of union workers likely to be right in Clinton’s wheelhouse.
Packing the first-day house with so many Nevadans at the podium, is the Clinton campaign sending the state’s voters a mash note redeemable in November? Looks like a big wet shoutout kiss to me.
Image credits: All still images: Convention pool camera image.