Friday, July 22, 2016
Meet a DNC Delegate, Pasquale Luz
1) Tell us a little bit about who you are.
My dad is from the Philippines and my mother's family is from Mexico. They met in the Army in the first Desert Storm and raised me and my brother & sister in Chicago. I grew up working on political campaigns with my mother, her mother, and my aunt with the National Organization for Women. I worked on local elections, went to rallies, knocked on doors, etc. Eventually, I decided to go to school in Iowa at the greatest college on Loras Boulevard (Go Duhawks!) and have been working on political campaigns since I graduated.
2) Why did you want to become a delegate?
To tell my grandmothers that I was there to make this happen for them. I know how much it means to them to elect Hillary Clinton and I wanted to make sure I did everything I could to do just that.
I used to ride my bike past Hillary Clinton's childhood home in Park Ridge on my way to work. I remember always hearing my grandmother say how she was going to be President someday. I wasn't able to vote for her in 2008 so it's surreal to have made this my first vote for a new President.
From the first caucus to the nomination, I'm lucky to have been a part of this.
3) What was the process to becoming a convention delegate?
There's a series of conventions on the way to being nominated. You start by getting named to go to the county convention from your precinct, then named to go to the district convention from your county. Fortunately, if you don't get nominated at district, you can go to the state convention in Des Moines.
My little brother was with me the day of the county convention and got to see me plead my case to the couple hundred people in Dubuque County voting for delegates. I moved on from Dubuque County to the 1st District Conventions in Anamosa.
(See photo above) I brought this picture and told a story about my background in politics, my mom's background in the Army, as well as our experiences with NOW. I was elected on the first ballot. It was really exciting. I ran clear out of the room and called my bosses, my mom, my dad, my brother, my sister, and did a full lap around the building before coming back in.
4) You caucused in Iowa in a very close election. What was that like?
Intense. Both the precincts in my caucus location were packed with Bernie supporters but we had to recount and recount and recount. I believe both of the precincts went in the favor of Bernie by 2 delegates instead of by 3 or 4; with the state being won by 4 delegates in February, that was huge. Shout out to my friends on the Hillary for Iowa team who did an amazing job throughout the process.
5) What surprised you about the process thus far?
Getting sent to the Democratic Convention at all. I would never have thought that I would have this opportunity and I honestly still can't believe it.
6) What are the costs/logistics associated with attending the DNC? Does the state party cover any of it?
Since Iowa is sharing a hotel with California and Florida, the Marriott is charging $700 a night. To combat these costs, I made the decision to share a room with a few other delegates from Iowa (as well as flying out of Trenton at 4 am the morning after the nomination). Unfortunately, the state party doesn't cover any of it but they've helped us a ton in coordinating the trip. However, I'm very fortunate to have a great foundation of family and friends who have helped me along the way. (Nancy's note: getting to convention is EXPENSIVE, click here to support Pasquale's GoFundMe campaign!)
7) What exactly does a delegate do? What are your responsibilities?
As a Hillary Clinton delegate, I'll be there to cast my vote for her and make her the next President of the United States. Wow, that's cool to say.
Along with that, I'll be going to different caucus meetings to meet people from across the country, voting on different platforms, and trying not to nerd out on all the different Congressman and Senators that'll be there.
8) What are some of the things you are most excited for at the DNC?
Of course, nominating our next president on Thursday night is right up there. Also I'm really excited to see our current president speak on Wednesday. Somehow, being from Chicago and living in Iowa, I haven't been able to see President Obama speak and it's definitely on my bucket list.
Number 1's gotta be eating an authentic Philly cheesesteak. Seeing the Liberty Bell and the Independence Hall probably rounds out my top 5. And running up the steps like Rocky.
9) Anything else you want our readers to know?
You might not know it to look at me, but I can run really, really fast.
Thanks for letting me share these stories with you.
Thank YOU Pasquale!