PHILADELPHIA -- For Alicia Tucker, the moment made her feel as if she is “a part of something that’s so much bigger than all of us.”
To Pasquale Luz it was a reminder of his mother and grandmother and aunt working “since I could remember” for the National Organization of Women.
When South Dakota put Hillary Clinton over the top to secure the Democratic nomination, Latino delegates at the Democratic National Convention had a front row seat to the watershed moment.
“When they finally called it and her name was up there – Hillary Clinton 2016 – I think that’s the moment,” Luz said. “It’s history. It’s historic. I still really can’t believe that it’s really happening.”
The divisions and turmoil under which Democrats opened their convention were pushed to the background by the electrifying roll call vote through which delegates from across the country made Clinton the first major party nominee for president of the United States.
Thunderous cheers filled the arena and some could not hold back the emotions as they saw their party break from nearly a century of barring women from running the country. Clinton had tried to surmount that obstacle eight years ago but the country chose to first break down the color barrier to the White House.
“This has been 240 years overdue,” said Tucker, 34. “This is for every woman before me but especially for every woman after me.”
A nursing student from Las Vegas, Tucker has worked on Clinton’s campaign 15 years, using her spring breaks and other time off school to volunteer for her, including working the Arizona primary.
“My great grandma was born at a time … when it wasn’t a thing … and I’m living at a time when I can not only vote, but I can vote a female into office? It’s something I can’t even explain the vibe was so thick in here,” she said.
Luz said he too was choked up as he watched the moment he long had discussed with the women of his family – how Hillary Clinton was going to be president some day.
“Every time you hear the first something, being able to knock down these barriers, whether they are because of the gender, because of the race, this or that … it means so much because I know how many doors it opens to so many people,” he said.
Nico Armesto, 28 of Boca Raton, Fla., said he’ll need some healing time, before he can relish the history-changing moment. He had worked hard for Sanders, he said, and it was difficult to watch him cede the nomination to Clinton.
But he said “we will all turn the page and go forward as the Democratic party.”