We’re checking in with Charleston County Democratic Party Chairman Brady Quirk-Garvan throughout the week as he’s in Philadelphia for the DNC.

The 2016 Democratic Convention has come to end and what a week it was. On the final night of the convention, we heard from a slew of lesser known, but arguably more personal speakers than those of the previous three days, all of whom laid out the case for why they felt Hillary Clinton should be the next President of the United States.

[image-1]On Wednesday night, the arena was so full they had to shut down access to floor where the delegates sit. Because of this, we all left early and made sure to be in our seats from the get-go so we wouldn’t miss the main speeches later in the evening.

Much of the discussion from delegates afterwards was how diverse the speakers were. We heard from a Muslim family whose son had been killed in combat. They expressed their deep sense of patriotism. We heard from Rev. Barber, a far left minister who is responsible for the Moral Monday protests in North Carolina and looms large in the progressive community.

I don’t think anyone in America would disagree that this has been a weird political season and as such the convention was no different. Normally the convention would only feature Democratic speakers, but not this year. In part to highlight the radical nature of a potential Donald Trump presidency, but also to send a message to faithful Republicans that now is not a time to be silent, we heard from multiple Republicans. It was fascinating to watch an arena of Democrats cheer for a man who spent years working for Ronald Reagan and was a lifetime Republican. For me, this highlighted how unique this election year is — not just that he would speak but that the crowd would cheer someone from ‘the other team.’

Last night, Chelsea Clinton introduced her mother for the keynote and was impressive. Much like Hillary Clinton, I think Chelsea rose to the occasion and surpassed my expectations for her delivery.

As I watched and listened to Hillary accept the nomination, I thought about how much our country has changed. In 2008, I cried tears of joy as we elected President Barack Obama. Eight years later, watching our party nominate the first woman for president from a major party was breathtaking. Lest progressives feel like we aren’t
moving quickly enough,  I think it’s noteworthy that in her acceptance speech, Hillary mentioned both choice issues and common sense gun control. I don’t recall hearing those so prominently mentioned before.

Last night was the kind of night I’ll be proud to tell my children about one day — how I helped elect the first African-American president, and eight years later the first female president.

Brady Quirk-Garvan is the Chairman of the Charleston County Democratic Party. He is pledged delegate for Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Committee Convention in Philadelphia. He can be reached at @bradyqg or BradyQG.com.