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ND sophomore acts as 2012 DNC delegate

Ann Marie Jakubowski | Friday, September 7, 2012

Last night, the nation’s eyes turned to Charlotte, N.C., as the Democratic National Convention (DNC) wrapped up, but Notre Dame sophomore Emily Voorde was there in person to watch President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden accept the Democratic nominations for president and vice president this fall.

Voorde, a political science and business economics major, is a South Bend native with a long-standing interest in politics and campaigning. She was contacted by her county Democratic Chairman in May, who asked if she would be interested in running to become a delegate for the 2012 DNC.     

“My family has always been involved in local politics,” Voorde said. “My grandpa was Mayor of South Bend and my dad is the City Clerk. I was involved in my dad’s campaigns for my entire life, as well as the campaign for South Bend’s current mayor, Pete Buttigieg.”

 Voorde said she filed the necessary paperwork to run for the delegate position, and then sent a letter to everyone in her district who would be attending the Convention, stating why she wanted to attend the DNC.    

“Delegates for the National Convention are chosen by each District at the Indiana Democratic Convention,” Voorde said. “I attended the State Democratic Convention held in Fort Wayne in mid-June. I gave a speech at the convention to members of my District, and then a paper vote was taken.”    

After the voting results came in, Voorde was invited to make the trip to Charlotte to attend the 2012 Democratic National Convention.    

“I was fortunate and honored enough to be chosen, along with eight other members of the 2ndDistrict, to represent Indiana at the DNC this year,” Voorde said.

Voorde is one of nearly 6,000 delegates attending this year’s convention, including 105 from Indiana. As a delegate, Voorde listened to speeches from government officials such as Julian Castro, mayor of San Antonio, and First Lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday night. She also attended a caucus meeting for the Youth Council.

The biggest responsibility she has, however, is to cast her official vote to re-nominate President Obama as the 2012 Democratic presidential candidate.    

“[The speakers] did a fantastic job, energizing the crowd and even touching on some of the big issues,” Voorde said. “In addition to all of the notable speakers, they had videos and live speeches from Americans directly affected by the work President Obama has done.”

Voorde said she found these unofficial speeches movin, and motivating as she continuen her passion for politics.    

“While I understand that not everything President Obama has done is universally agreeable, it was really eye-opening to see these everyday Americans whose lives had literally been saved by things like the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Healthcare Reform,” Voorde said. “It’s easy to get caught up in the big business of these hot-button issues, but it really makes the issues personal when individuals share their stories.”    

Voorde described Thursday evening’s program as full of energy and excitement, especially the acceptance speeches by Obama and Biden.    

“It was like one big American pep rally,” she said. “President Obama stressed the American dreamer, the middle class, everyday Americans – how we can only accomplish things together, pulling each other up along the way.”