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Arizona Edition: Yuma Delegate Reflects on First Virtual Democratic National Convention

Capitol Media Services file photo


State Representative Charlene Fernandez served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention that wrapped up last week in Delaware and was broadcast virtually for the first time. 

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris offer answers to the many problems facing the country, says the Arizona House Minority Leader, but the lasting message for Fernandez is hope. 

"I feel like we can breathe, he just offers so much hope for the future," said Charlene Fernandez after hearing Biden's acceptance speech for nomination. 

As a grandmother, Rep. Fernandez says she worries for her grandchildren and the next generation.  Issues like climate change, the economy, the availability of good jobs, the opportunity to attend good public schools, and the ability to obtain an affordable college degree are her top concerns. 

"He [Biden] offers that hope, and I think he said anything is possible. But we have to work toward it together, she said. 

Fernandez has attended the DNC as a delegate before but this election season's convention was a mostly on-line event. But Rep. Fernandez says she was able to choose which caucuses to join during each day of the convention. She took part in the Hispanic, rural, and women's caucus sessions. 

"The rural know I could just fit right into the work I do here for the community I live in," she said. "We heard from a lot of farmers, talked about the economies in the areas outside of metropolitan areas which are so important." 

"I really appreciated we were still able to go to those really important meetings and learn so much and if we had questions, we could drop it in the chat," Fernandez said. 

KAWC's Lou Gum Spoke with Fernandez on Arizona Edition just after Vice President Biden's speech on the final night of the convention.

Lou grew up in Tucson and has a long family history in the state of Arizona. He began his public radio career in 1988 at KNAU in Flagstaff as a classical music DJ and has been hooked on public radio since, transitioning to news after trying his hand at several other careers in publishing and commercial broadcasting. Lou has a degree in American Studies from Arizona State University and was KAWC's Morning Edition host for two and half years before becoming News and Operations Director.
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