Connecticut delegates supporting Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said they are happy with what is being touted as the “most progressive” Democratic Party platform in history.
The platform, which the party adopted Monday, includes things like raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour and free community college. Unable to get the delegate support they needed as the primaries ended, the Sanders campaign turned to the platform as a way to push the Democratic Party further to the left.
“I am happy to tell you that at the Democratic Platform Committee there was a significant coming together between the two campaigns and we produced, by far, the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party,” Sanders told the delegates Monday in his convention speech. “. . . Our job now is to see that platform implemented by a Democratic Senate, a Democratic House, and a Hillary Clinton presidency — and I am going to do everything I can to make that happen.”
The call for unity was heard by Connecticut delegates.
“I thought that they made a real honest effort to bridge the gap between candidates,” Al Simon, a delegate for Sanders from Windsor, said.
Simon indicated that he believes the platform was moved by Sanders’ supporters in a positive direction.
He said he’s going to keep the approximately 40 percent of Sanders delegates, most of whom are new to the party, to keep fighting for what they believe as members of the Democratic Party.
“If you share the same values as Bernie Sanders, then you cannot, in any way, enable a victory by Donald Trump, who will do real harm to millions of Americans. You don’t choose to take 20 steps back because you weren’t strong enough to take 10 steps forward,” Simon wrote in a Facebook post.
The platform sought to bridge the gap between the two factions of the Democratic Party.
“There were some good compromises there,” Leo Canty, another Connecticut delegate for Sanders, said. According to Canty, the platform really lives up to the moniker of “most progressive” platform in party history.
He added that the platform simply existing isn’t enough. “Having words on paper isn’t as effective as having Democrats run on it,” he said.
The rest of the convention needs to focus on party unity because “we know where we are ending up Thursday night,” Canty said.
Leigh Appleby, a spokesman for the Connecticut Democratic Party, said he is proud of the organization for putting forth what he also sees as the most progressive platform in party history.
“Everyone seems excited and happy to elect Democrats up and down the ticket this year, including Hillary Clinton,” he said.
And the emails from DNC staffers that show them favoring Clinton over Sanders? Canty doesn’t think they will impact the ability of Democrats to unite in order to defeat Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Connecticut’s 71 delegates are split 28 for Hillary Clinton and 27 for Sanders. The remaining 16 superdelegates have all pledged their support for Clinton. The 4,765 delegates will vote tonight. In order to clinch the nomination, Clinton has to win 2,383 delegates.
In his speech Monday, Sanders said he looks forward to the roll call where he expects to receive the support of 1,846 delegates.
Erich Martin contributed to this report from Philadelphia.