The 2017 CA Democratic Convention Was a Clear Indication That There are Many Challenges Ahead

I consider myself a proud American. I grew up in a conservative household in a military town in one of the most conservative parts of southern California. I voted Republican up until I was actually able to think for myself. The one thing I don't remember when looking back on my days as a young "conservative" was this intense focus on money, but an intense focus on America. On country. Obviously, this has drastically changed over the past decade as the Republican Party shifted their focus TO money, cloaking it in a holy veil that, in their ignorant and ironically ungodly opinion, gives them a pass on actually doing the work in helping Americans. In this case, they are now on a path to making 99% of Americans as impoverished as those in the Great Depression.

I "left" the Republican Party before I turned 20 and vowed until they could accept me as an equal gay man, and stop this costumed evangelical nonsense, I would continue to fight for the people of America and I saw that in the Democratic party. I organized my first debate watch parties and salons to cheer on the possibility of us electing the first black president in 2007 when I was just 22 years old. It was the election of Barack Obama that made me realize I had a second calling in public service.

It was within the Democratic party I found acceptance and a new hope for a future without wars and corporate influence. A more color blind America, painted with many colors as we help each other grow out of the mess that were the Reagan and Bush eras. As Obama's presidency continued and through the creation of the Pride PAC, I slowly realized that the only colorblindness that exists is in Washington, and the only color that matters is green. The financial shackles on our legislators on both of the isles is an epidemic of mass proportion and is one of the core contributor to why we are in the mess we are in today.

Fast forward to 2017 on the floor of the California Democratic Party convention. I'm now 31 and ready to see what the Democratic Party has to offer in the face of the disaster that we call the election of 2016. You see, the rest of the country may be burning to the ground, but the state of California is about to knock the U.K. off the list as the #4 largest economy in the world...and we're only growing. I always felt California has always been the leader of progressive change across America and my confidence in our ability to fight 45 is well within our grasp...but we still have many challenges ahead.

The infighting within the Democratic party was appalling. Kimberly Ellis, a Berniecrat and Eric Bauman, the so-called "Clinton establishment" candidate echoed the reality that still exists following the 2016 Democratic primaries, hard fought between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. The fact that we even have a name for the two groups is troubling. And even more surprising, the one issue that continues to sweep the country and the core fear of all Americans, Healthcare, was barely addressed throughout the entire convention. Millions of Americans (mostly Democrats) will be kicked off their health insurance within 5 years and barely a peep.

We must do better. We must unite, and come together as a party and put aside our differences, and most of all, unlock ourselves from the shackles of corporate special interest money. A way we can do this is to come online. To talk to your constituents on Facebook and on social media and appeal to them. Bernie's average donation was under $37, Obama's was under $20.

40% of HIV+ individuals get their life-saving medication from the Obamacare extension, which is one of the largest pieces of Obamacare on the chopping block. If any portion of that community loses access to their health care, they not only will die but the spread of HIV across the gay and straight community would cause an epidemic we haven't encountered in decades. This is a the top issues affecting Californians and little was spoken about H.B. 562, Toni Adkins's Single Payer Healthcare Bill. Even from our LGBT state legislators. We must do better. We must fight for our lives, because we are reaching a point where if we don't we may lose them. I am a proud democrat and will fight for my party...but let's start fighting for each other in the process.

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