Philly bound…

We leave today and I vacillate between unbelievably excited and unbelievably anxious.  The excited part is easy: I am going to be living and breathing and participating in history.  No matter what happens, my children, their children and theirs beyond will be able to say that I was there and I was fighting for them.  Fighting–it ain’t over yet.

And that’s the anxiety part–it can’t be over yet.  The Wikileaks documents just came out and my God, there was collusion.  The process was rigged from the start.  No integrity, no transparency, just the court jesters deciding who will be the queen.  The joke, however, is on them.  There is no way Bernie supporters will support her, no way anyone with any kind of integrity will support her.  The best they’ve got cannot beat the orange goo the Republicans call their own.  Ha!

If I thought the Republican convention was a shitshow (true confession:  I couldn’t watch it was so disgusting), then the DNC is likely to rival it in it’s own sordid way.  There are plots and plans aplenty, people in every online delegate group laying out strategies for how to derail the coronation.  It’s overwhelming and exhausting.  Facebook, Twitter, Slack, Messenger, Reddit…I have to turn it off.

Yet I fear that I’ll be out of the loop or miss vital information or fail to do the one true thing that will ensure Bernie’s nomination, so I turn it off, then turn it on, then turn it off, then turn it on…  I’m tuning out the chatter and trying to listen to just a few trusted sources:  Bernie’s campaign, the MDP for logistics, official DNC communication–again about logistics, TYT, adoptaberniedelegate.com (great newsletters and support), Michelle and Lena.  There are just too many people making too much noise and worrying about minutiae and howling at the moon.

My strategy in Philly is to be inside the party and talk with people.  Yes, I’m going to the welcome receptions. Why do we hold marches and protests and submit petitions?  To be heard, to get a seat at the table.  Well, we have a seat at the table and I’ve been elected to sit there and that is what I’m going to do.  We can’t have change if we don’t talk to people and if there’s one thing I do well, it’s talk.  Others will have to march.

So there are clothes strewn all over my bed; I’m trying to figure out my tablet, phone and computer capabilities; I’ve got 3 yoga mats packed for the morning yoga and I am going to take advantage of it to try to keep sane, and I hope to God I’ve got the right shoes–because it’s all about having the right shoes.

Oh, and I’m running for the School Board and as a write-in candidate for precinct delegate and all of that paperwork has to be done TODAY to make the filing deadline.  When I get back, I get to run my own campaign and I am so excited because I am DOING what Bernie asked us to do–get involved. I’m also terrified of putting myself out there, but here’s the thing–it was the Canton Dems who reached out to me to ask me to run and they have been incredible. They are going to coach me and support me and they have made it safe for me to do this.  Good people and we have to come home and work together for the state–but I just cannot bring myself to support Hillary.  Lately on my Facebook Memories old posts–as early as 2012 have me posting about Bernie and wishing he would run for President.  I’m faithful, if nothing else.

Time now to print out the DNC Platform so that I’m ready for the conversation.

Bernie 2016! And we’re heading to Philly.

It’s a slow Bern…

Bernie just held a conference call with all of his delegates and here’s my takeaway:  The Revolution isn’t over; it’s a Slow Bern and we are only just beginning the fight.

There really wasn’t anything surprising in the beginning.  Bernie thanked all of his supporters and reminded us that we are part of a unique moment in history.  He listed some of the truly incredible accomplishments of this last year.  We won about 13 million votes, 22 states and 1,900 pledged delegates, and we did it after the mainstream media and talking heads wrote Bernie and his supporters off as fringe.  We forced a discussion in the media and political circles about issues that really matter such as income inequality, climate change, the criminal justice system, the lack of affordable health care, the cost of college tuition, and so much more.  We created the most progressive platform that the Democratic Party has ever created (though I still don’t think it went far enough!)…and we did it with grassroots efforts and contributions from every day working people.  We did that–WE DID THAT–and so much more.

Where do we go?  We keep moving forward.  We elect progressive candidates at every level of government from the school board to the Governor’s mansion and we keep on electing them.  We develop a 50 state strategy to support progressive candidates. Bernie is going to announce organizations that he is starting to keep this movement and momentum going.  

The delegates have a key role to play in Philadelphia.  Bernie will speak, there will be a roll call vote so that every one of the delegates’ voices is heard; the Rules will be challenged to create a more fair and open Democratic Party.  It’s time to challenge the superdelegate system, the closed primaries, and the politician’s dependence on billionaires and corporations. I remain committed to my job as a pledged delegate for Bernie and will be voting for Bernie in Philadelphia as planned!

The goal, the end game, my friends, is no less than the transformation of the Democratic Party and the entire nation!  We are transforming the way politics is done in this country and in so doing changing the world!  

Yesterday, last night, I was disheartened by the thought of Bernie endorsing HRC, but now I am filled with hope. Yes, I wish Bernie had won, and I have seen all the posts about lawsuits and strategies and I admit a part of me still hopes…until that happens I take heart in knowing that we are being inspired and guided by a visionary.  Bernie has said from the start that this election wasn’t about him; this election is about transforming US, ordinary citizens, into so much more than we have been.  We are alive and awake and energized to do the work that we must do to create the country we deserve. It’s not a violent revolution; it’s a Slow Berning one.

#Bernie2016  #SlowBern

Anxiety eve…

Yoga did not help.  Downward dog–is he going to endorse?  Up dog–no way. We’ve worked so hard and the convention is in 2 weeks.  Down dog–but what about this meeting tomorrow?  Cat and cow–yes and no.  What the hell is going on?  No, I am not feeling the namaste tonight.

Rumors are flying; speculation is rampant and all anybody knows for sure is that we know nothing for sure.  Over the weekend the platform committee met and the end was a disaster.  My fellow Michigander, Lena Thompson, posted a Facebook Live rant to the delegation late on Saturday night(Lena’s post).  She both confused and frightened me.  She was angry, confused, felt betrayed and exhausted.  What the hell happened?  I saw the full video (“Unity Amendment” video) the next day:  the HRC camp had substituted language into the final amendment that pretty much declared HRC not just the nominee but the president.  It went on to thank Senator Sanders and his supporters for their tremendous effort.  What. The…F?

Today rumors are flying and all we know is that Bernie and HRC will be appearing together tomorrow at a rally in New Hampshire.  Please God, let him not endorse.  If he does, what was all this for?

Screenshot 2016-07-11 20.10.05

I will be FURIOUS if Bernie endorses HRC and doesn’t take this all the way to the convention.  I–WE–have spent countless hours and countless dollars to take it this far and it better not be over now.  Why the hell should any of us waste our time and money going to Philadelphia if he endorses her?  I feel sick and anxious and angry and I am praying that it will not be true.

And what about the people who elected me?  As far as I’m concerned I’m still pledged and it still is my job to go to the convention and VOTE FOR BERNIE SANDERS and I have every intention of doing that.  If he does endorse, I still will do it, but it will be with a heavy heart.  How many more betrayals can we stand?

I stand with Bernie; please God, let him still stand with me.

Standing strong…

Post #3 has been swirling in my head for a week; three times I’ve started and three times I’ve failed to get my thoughts together.

It’s been a rough week.  I will not comment on HRC’s emails, or the two black men killed by police, or the 5 police officers killed by a sniper.  My heart is broken and the words from Hamilton are singing in my head.  The World Turned Upside Down, The World Turned Upside Down…what have we come to?

When I was elected a delegate for Bernie I really did not comprehend what an incredible honor this charge is.  All week, as the world turned upside down, I kept telling myself that there are good people in the world, that good will triumph over evil, and that Bernie’s campaign MATTERS.  Whether he wins the nomination or not (and I’m still praying that he will!), what we have accomplished over the last year MATTERS, and the ripple effects of this movement will carry on long after I exhaust my Bernie t-shirts and buttons.  We have campaigned for a man who advocates peace and justice and love and respect for all living beings as well as our precious mother Earth–and that MATTERS.  Issues that wouldn’t have seen the light of day and voices that wouldn’t have been given a platform, became part of our national dialogue and consciousness because of Bernie–and that MATTERS.

This week I received a telephone call from a fellow delegate from Michigan’s 11th Congressional District.  She is pledged to HRC and was calling to encourage me to attend a “unity” event.  She was warm and friendly and delightful to speak with, and I appreciated her outreach.

But then she asked me, “What do you think of the Bernie supporters who say they won’t support Hillary?”

Danger, Patty Mullen!.  As a pledged delegate I can be de-credentialed if I speak out against the Democratic Party or appear to support another candidate.  There are rumors–I repeat, rumors–that the HRC camp is trying to flip Bernie delegates.  I proceeded with caution.

“I don’t speak for other Bernie supporters, only for myself and, at the convention, for the people who elected me.  My job is to vote for Bernie and that is what I am going to do.  I am not projecting beyond July and will not comment on November.  I can tell you, however, that no matter what happens in Philadelphia, I will be coming home to work with other Democrats to get rid of our terrible governor and win the state legislature.”

“Oh my God! I am so tired of losing! I’ve been fighting for so long and we HAVE to win to fix Michigan.” She almost wept. Wow.

Three things happened there.   First, I responded to a charged question with an answer that is truthful and true to my position as a Bernie supporter and delegate.  Second, I realized that my HRC delegate counterpart is NOT the enemy.  

See what I did there?  I grew up a little. Good for me.

This woman and all of her friends who have been part of the Democratic Party for years and years have been in the trenches fighting for good schools, for women’s rights, for civil rights, for sane gun legislation, for the environment and for a host of other issues that I support–and they’ve been doing it all this time WITHOUT ME.  I will have a lot to learn from her.

The official invitation for a Unity cocktail party came from the Michigan Democratic Party later in the week and, but for a wedding that we have to attend, I would be there.  I’m ready to make some new friends and allies–there is work to be done back home in Michigan after Philadelphia.

The third thing that happened is more profound: the full weight of my election hit me.  I was ELECTED to represent Bernie’s supporters at the convention.  I am CHARGED to make their voices heard.  It is not MY vote that will be cast–it is THEIRS, and I cannot, I will not, betray that trust.  Asked if I would support HRC down the road, I felt a physical sensation as if the 45, 054 people of Michigan’s 11th Congressional District who voted for Bernie were holding me and I them.  We are standing strong for Bernie and voting for him in Philadelphia.

I have no doubt that I will be asked the “who are you going to support in November” question again, and delegates need to be prepared to answer it truthfully and smartly. I’m ready to answer AND I’m ready to vote.