by Jenn Powell
My name is Jenn Powell. I was elected as a Bernie delegate for Florida Congressional District 5 on May 7.
The delegate election came over a year after Bernie announced his run for the democratic nomination. I started a group locally in May 2015, our first meeting had 15 anxious supporters ready to get to work. I started a group because I wanted to join one and couldn’t find one.
I always expected someone with more experience, any experience, to come take over, but that never happened. I’ve heard the same story from others across the country; we did what we could with limited resources and we did pretty damn good. In Alachua County, Bernie lost by 45 votes, 17,738 people cast their vote for the most honest man in Washington, but even before March 15, the fix was already in, considering what we learned with the Wikileaks DNC email leaks. Even though the grassroots grew like weeds across America, the DNC acted as the Round Up, almost delivering the final dose at the Convention in Philly.
It was like psychological warfare from the second we arrived: we were bullied, we were chastised, we were treated as second class citizens and we were ultimately silenced. We were told we couldn’t have signs, so we got creative with the signs we were given – we snuck in our protest signs only to have them confiscated by the Gestapo-esque DNC volunteers.
Yellow vests carrying black garbage bags of free speech could be seen walking through the hallway. The Florida delegation was one of many that had the secret service watching us like hawks, it was uncomfortable. I imagined this is what it feels like in a police state. By the fourth day we nearly succumbed to what I could only explain as Stockholm syndrome.
The convention was nothing like I expected. It was four day long infomercial filled with propaganda and pandering and if we wanted to lose our seats we could get up to use the restroom or get food and water at inflated prices. I refused to leave; I suffered through day after day because I knew they didn’t want me there – they wanted to fill my seat with a smiling face for Hillary – instead they got me, a sleep-deprived, dehydrated grassroots activist mom from Gainesville, Florida.
The only take away I have was meeting hundreds of grassroots activists, from Alaska to Puerto Rico, California to New York and every state in between. We will be a force to be reckoned with going forward, if we can find a way to address the election fraud.
The convention is over, corporate democrats crowned their queen, but the movement isn’t over by any means. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out through November, you don’t just get over election fraud. Daily I meet voters who feel their votes really don’t count.
I can only dream of the days when Florida could be so blue that we could cast our votes with our hearts and conscience and not with a nose-holding swing state strategy.
I have hope for the future, and although it wont be smooth sailing, as it would be if Bernie was our nominee, I have faith that from the 1,900 delegates and grassroots activists everywhere, regardless of the outcome in 2016, in 2018 we will be able to vote in the midterms for candidates we can be proud of. We’ve got a lot of work to do.
If you want to continue the political revolution, join our facebook group: Alachua County Revolution or email Jenn Powell firstname.lastname@example.org.
For another report on FL Bernie delegates from Orlando and their experience at the DNC, see http://momentumnews.org/2016/08/02/orlando-sanders-delegate-looks-back-at-dnc-forward-to-partys-future/.”