Several Coast leaders are among the delegates who will represent Mississippi at the Democratic National Convention that starts on Monday.
They left Saturday with a lot of excitement, anticipation and hope that what they do in Philadelphia will get people here to vote.
“I’m excited about people,” said delegate Curley Clark, the director of the Jackson County NAACP. “I’m excited of making sure that everybody has a place at the table. To ensure that everybody’s voice is heard.”
This is the seventh Democratic National Convention for Clark.
And, it’s the first time for two of his road trip partners.
“They worked hard and they deserve being delegates,” he said. “But I also want them to understand the seriousness of it and to get ideas and being to come back and ensure Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine are elected in November.”
Ruthie Thaggard-White, president of the Harrison County Federation of Democratic Women, is a delegate for the first time, but it’s not her first trip to the convention.
“I’m voting for Hillary, not because she’s a female, but because I feel, I know, she is qualified for the job.”
One of the biggest ways, they said, is simply to get people to vote despite the sour taste of politics.
“The rhetoric is out there, but if people aren’t engaged in the process. ... Some people are saying that they’re to sit out. Period,” said Sugar Stallings Mangum.
To Mangum and the rest, key platform items include education, healthcare, Social Security and women’s rights.
“We want to heal those plights,” she said. “And how do we do it? By engaging, by holding a conversation. But also voting on these platforms that for the next four years in succession will hold us and be the key to keeping America safe but also moving America in the right direction. Progress. Forward.”