A Manzanita resident will be a voice for Tillamook County at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, held next week.
Annie Naranjo-Rivera, children’s theatre director and teacher of the arts, was elected as one of five alternate delegates for Senator Bernie Sanders on June 18 during the Oregon state convention. She is currently fundraising to cover the expense of attending the DNC from July 25 through July 28.
“The value I bring forward to Philadelphia to represent all of these voters is a heavy responsibility, but a fun responsibility,” said Naranjo-Rivera.
As a delegate, she said not only will she have a voice to help shape the Democrat’s platform, but be able to network with like-minded individuals from areas similar to Tillamook County. “How do we work on issues that affect rural communities,” she asked. “Oftentimes, rural areas are overlooked. That doesn’t mean our issues are less important.”
For Naranjo-Rivera, she said modifying the Democrat’s platform is a top priority.
“The platform is the most important way to impact our community. The platform needs to reflect our needs,” she said, citing issues ranging from social security to affordable healthcare and education.
“This promises to be the most progressive platform ever passed by the party.”
According to Naranjo-Rivera, becoming a delegate does not have as many barriers as some may believe. Any registered Democrat who wishes to run, may. Candidates give speeches on their ideals at a district level, then the winners proceed to the state level.
“I was running against incredibly talented and qualified people,” she said. “I was chosen to go to state, where I competed against really amazing people who won their districts. It is truly, truly an honor to be chosen.”
One of the aspects of the DNC Naranjo-Rivera is most excited about is that it will be a contested convention.
“Neither candidate secured the ‘golden number’ of delegates needed for the nomination,” she said. “The last contested convention happened in 1968. It is not common.”
Naranjo-Rivera said she believes that real social and political change will not happen unless individuals become involved at a grassroots level.
“This is a moment in time with people having a voice, realizing they can be heard.”
For more information or to donate, visit Annie Naranjo-Rivera’s GoFundMe page at gofundme.com/287b2k4.