June 8, 2016
Celebrating at an election night party in downtown L.A., Hillary Clinton supporters marveled at the historic nature of her nomination.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who endorsed Clinton last fall, said in an interview that he was moved by her victory speech.
“It’s impossible not to feel the joy of this historical moment,” he said. “I got tears in my eyes thinking about my daughter, thinking about this country and realizing that’s going to be the president.”
Clinton’s director for California, Buffy Wicks, reiterated Clinton’s campaign message that her candidacy isn’t simply about being a woman, but about being the most qualified candidate. Still, Wicks said, “She recognizes the historic magnitude of where she is.”
Claudia Carrasco, 30, and two friends started campaigning for Clinton in the 2008 election. Carrasco said she liked Clinton from the beginning because she was a woman, but she also respected her experience and her work on behalf of women and children.
“I can’t believe it took so long for a woman to get this far,” she said.
Carrasco and her friends said they were unusual among their peers for their support of Clinton.
“All my friends were in Sanders booths,” said Glenys Bronfield, a first-time voter who became a citizen in 2015. But Bronfield labeled herself a “proud Latina for Hillary,” and planned to continue volunteering on Clinton’s behalf in the general election.
Former L.A. mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said a Clinton nomination “means a lot” to the immigrant community.
“People know her, they’ve worked with her, they trust her,” he said.
And any division among Latinos over the Democratic presidential nominee is insignificant in comparison to the threat posed by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, Villaraigosa said.
“Let’s be clear. People in this state know that no one in this race except for Trump is arguing for the forced deportation of 11 million people,” he said.
Villaraigosa and others emphasized the need for the Democratic party to come together against Trump.
“We have to unite the party and we will,” he said.
Some were disappointed that that unification didn’t start tonight. When Bernie Sanders announced to supporters in Santa Monica that he would continue to fight through the primary in Washington, D.C., and the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, some members of the crowd grunted, calling for him to move on.
Elena Ong, a member of the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Hillary Leadership Council, said she agreed with some of the principles Bernie Sanders stands for, but she had hoped he would start to take steps to support Clinton and unite Democrats under one platform.
“I think he has a responsibility to unify the party now,” Ong said.