For the first time in US History a national political party speech included an anecdote about the nominee’s water breaking before labor. Now that Hillary Clinton has officially been named the first female nominee, she also takes the title of the first mother running for office and other political matriarchs are showing their support.
During the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night, “Mothers of the Movement” stood on stage to endorse Clinton. The mothers were from across the country— Georgia, New York, Illinois— but had one common thread, all nine mothers had lost a child to police brutality.
"Hillary Clinton isn’t afraid to say black lives matter,” Lucia McBath, mother of Jordan Davis, said. "She isn’t afraid to sit at a table with grieving mothers and bear the full force of our anguish. She doesn’t build walls around her heart.”
McBath was joined on stage by the mothers of Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Oscar Grant, Dontre Hamilton, Blair Holt, Trayvon Martin and Hadiya Pendleton.
"I’m here with Hillary Clinton because she is a leader and a mother who will say our children’s names,” Geneva Reed-Veal, mother of Sandra Bland, said.
Women are considered a coveted voting demographic by some experts, given they made up 63 to 65 percent of the voter turn out in 2008 and 2012, respectively. This is especially relevant to Democrats as Pew Research found women lean liberal by 52 to 36 percent.
However, women only made up 19.4 percent of congress in 2015, according to the center for American Women and Politics.
This is why women, like Zionsville mother Shannon Watts, turned to advocacy.
“We are not going to make the policies and laws that affect our families, but we are the fiercest fighters,” Watts said.
After the Sandyhook Elementary mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, Watts felt like she had to do something about gun violence, she said. With only 75 Facebook friends to share it with, she began the group Moms Demand Action.
“I realized my nation was broken and I knew I had to either leave or stay and fight,” she said.
The group took off immediately, gaining national attention after being featured on USA Today’s cover within a week of its start. It now has chapters in all 50 states.
Lobbyist told Watts they had been waiting for a group with their perspective, she said. Watts, who has five children— two of which attend IU— said this is a testament to how influential mothers are.
“If lobbyists can talk about it, then moms can talk about it,” Watts said.
This week at the DNC the group had 300 MDA delegates and 200 volunteers, supporting the group’s endorsement of Clinton.