UPDATE 6: PM
Senator Bernie Sanders will be the Democratic nominee for the 2020 presidential election, after a contested Washington and Lee University Mock Convention for the first time since 1968.
UPDATE 5:50 PM
No candidate reached the necessary 1,991 votes to constitute a two-thirds majority. The convention will go to a second vote, where all unpledged delegates were called to vote again. An additional 771 votes are up for grabs.
Senator Bernie Sanders won the first round of voting with 1,642 votes. The results from the second vote will be announced in the next 10 minutes.
UPDATE 5:30 PM
Several congressmen and women appeared in a video message to Mock Convention, including Representative Ayanna Pressley and Representative Deb Haaland.
UPDATE 5:20 PM
Virginia awarded 46 votes to Biden, 34 to Sanders and 13 to Bloomberg
UPDATE 5:16 PM
Texas awarded 99 votes to Sanders, 88 to Biden and 41 to Bloomberg.
UPDATE 5:12 PM
Puerto Rico awarded 1 honorary vote to Tulsi Gabbard “in the spirit of Valentine’s Day,” despite the fact that she was not nominated.
UPDATE 5:10 PM
Pennsylvania awarded 72 votes to Sanders, 68 to Biden and 33 to Bloomberg,
UPDATE 5:03 PM
New York awarded 108 votes to Sanders, 93 to Bloomberg and 61 to Biden.
UPDATE 4:48 PM
Illinois awarded 61 votes to Sanders, 46 to Biden and 36 to Bloomberg.
UPDATE 4:42 PM
Florida awarded 87 votes to Biden, 68 to Sanders.
UPDATE 4:38 PM
California awarded 188 votes to Sanders, 95 to Bloomberg and 68 to Biden.
UPDATE 4:26 PM
Massachusetts nominated Elizabeth Warren.
UPDATE 4:21 PM
California nominated Tom Steyer.
UPDATE 4:20 PM
Vermont nominated Bernie Sanders.
UPDATE 4:17 PM
Minnesota nominated Amy Klobuchar.
UPDATE 4:15 PM
Indiana nominated Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
UPDATE 4:13 PM
New York nominated Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
UPDATE: 4:11 PM
Delaware began the nomination process by nominating Vice President Joe Biden.
UPDATE 12:25 PM
Mahalia Hall, president of the Black Law Student Association gave a commencement address. “Mock Convention is twice as old as my right to vote,” she said.
UPDATE 11:40 AM
“America has so many choices on everything else, and then you only have two political parties,” Noah said. He added that only having two parties will continue to cause polarization. “Imagine playing an entire football season and only having two teams. People are going to kill each other by the end.”
UPDATE 11:25 AM
Trevor Noah discusses how he got into comedy and what it was like to grow up in South Africa with interracial parents, with Speakers Chair Victoria Morgan and National Political Analyst Kyle Perel.
UPDATE 11:06 AM
“I don’t think that gun control is number one on the list of issues to vote for this election,” Kasky said. “I think that gun violence is a problem with such a simple answer, but we’re not doing anything.”
UPDATE 10:58 AM
Kasky discusses the gender stigmatizations surrounding mental health. He said that while he was on the road as an activist for March for Our Lives, he dealt with mental health challenges. “You need to save yourself first,” he urged.
UPDATE 10:47 AM
“This event is more well coordinated than the Iowa Caucus,” Kasky said.
UPDATE: 10:45 AM
West Regional Chair Jack Fencl introduces the next speaker, Cameron Kasky, co-founder of March for Our Lives.
UPDATE 10:35 AM
Brazile closes her speech by saying that when we vote, America wins. She went on to say that not liking any of the candidates is not an excuse. She encouraged students to choose a candidate who everyone can rally behind. “We need a Democrat in the White House who has the values of all Americans, she said. “It’s up to you to give us a fresh, new start.”
UPDATE 10:30 AM
Students cheer as Brazile says that “climate change is real,” and that we all need to be on the front lines against it.
UPDATE 10:21 AM
“We have three ordinary people, three multimillionaires and two billionaires, but at least our billionaires have proven that they are billionaires,” Brazile said of the candidates running for the Democratic nomination, as students erupted in laughter.
UPDATE 10:14 AM
Mock Convention Press Secretary Emily Hershgordon introduces the third session’s first speaker, Donna Brazile, former interim National Chair of the Democratic National Committee.
UPDATE 10:12 AM
Jimmy Fleck, General Chair, calls to order the third session. He leads the pledge of allegiance and the Southern Comfort a capella group sings the national anthem. Then, Sawera Khan of the Muslin Student Organization leads an opening prayer.
UPDATE 7:42 PM
Jimmy Fleck, general chair, dismissed session two of Mock Convention until its adjournment at 10 AM on Sat., Feb. 15. Ian Bodenheimer, ‘22, said he had a positive impression of session two.
“I really enjoyed session two,” Bodenheimer said. “I liked how they kept it short and sweet, got to the point. I think we’re all ready for tomorrow and ready to get to the roll call.”
UPDATE 7:40 PM
Jamal Magoti, an international student and member of the Student Association for International Learning (SAIL), gave a commencement speech calling for people to come together to positively impact the world.
UPDATE 7:39 PM
Doyle finished her speech by concluding that immigrants are a gift, rather than a burden, to society. Students gave a standing ovation as she left the stage.
Robert Salita, ‘22, thought Doyle’s speech shared an important persepective.
“She clearly was reaching across the isle which was something we need in today’s politics,” Salita said. “I thought that was a really good idea.”
UPDATE 7:34 PM
Doyle said that Trump’s border wall was “stupid.” The crowd erupted into laughter and loud applause. Doyle then spoke directly to DREAMers, young people who came to the United States as children. After recognizing their contributions to the American economy and society, she encouraged them to stay in the United States. Attendees broke into another round of applause.
UPDATE 7:11 PM
Doyle advocated for young people to join in on politics and “get [their] asses out there on the campaign trail.”
The crowd erupted into cheers. This comment came after her advice for enjoying Mock Convention weekend, including catching up on sleep once it was over.
UPDATE 7:07 PM
Noah Gallagher, Southwest regional chair, introduced the next speaker, Patti Solis Doyle. Doyle was former senior advisor to President Obama and is a political operant.
UPDATE 7:03 PM
Director of Operations Kylie Piotte took the stage to acknowledge the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment that granted women’s suffrage. She called for people to “rebel against complacency” and “stand up for what is right.”
UPDATE 7:01 PM
Strossen closed her speech by quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and reminding audience members of the importance of the right “not to remain silent.” The crowd gave her a standing ovation as she exited the stage.
UPDATE 6:50 PM
Strossen noted that she owes her life to the United States military. Strossen explained that, during World War II, her father was enslaved at the Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald. She said the camp was liberated one day before he was supposed to be sterilized.
UPDATE 6:39 PM
Loud applause followed Strossen’s reading of a speech by Susan Bro, the mother of Heather Heyer, a counter-protester killed during the 2017 Charlottesville Unite the Right rally. The speech defended the right to freedom of speech and assembly.
UPDATE 6:20 PM
The crowd broke into applause and cheered as Strossen highlighted that she wore a blue suit and use a blue folder to represent the colors of Washington and Lee.
UPDATE 6:15 PM
Valerie Marshall, Northeast regional chair, welcomes Nadine Strossen, The Charles M. Snyder ‘99 Memorial Speaker. Strossen was the first female president of the American Civil Liberties Union and author of HATE: Why We Should Resist it With Free Speech, Not Censorship.
UPDATE 6:10 PM
Coleman Martinson, memorabilia and sales chair, took the stage to thank all of those involved in the morning parade and then announced the Delegates Parade Competition award winners. Alabama and Georgie tied for third place, South Dakota won second place, and Texas won first place.
UPDATE 6:00 PM
Jimmy Fleck, General Chair, calls to order the second session. He leads the pledge of allegiance and Jubilee the a capella group sings the national anthem. Then Laurie Jones of the Catholic Campus Ministry leads an opening prayer.
Joe Donnelly has finished his speech.
Pamela Steimel, from the Generals’ Unity group, gives the Commencement Address. Generals’ Unity is a student-run group that is dedicated to promoting the wellbeing and inclusivity of LGBTQ students on campus. She begins her speech by referencing the story of Matthew Shephard and asks the audience to become more unified and active in promoting the protection of all people on campus — regardless of what they identify as in terms of race, gender, orientation, etc. Steimel closes with the quote, “There will never be a magic day where we wake up and it will be okay to embrace ourselves publicly.”
Jimmy Fleck, General Chair, returns to the stage to thank the audience for coming and welcomes everyone back for Session Two, which will occur in a few hours at about 6pm.
Symone Sanders has finished her speech.
Immediately after, Katie Daly, the Events Chair, introduces Kirstin Gillibrand, who has been a senator for 10 years and is an icon of feminists everywhere.
Kirsten Gillibrand’s prerecorded speech airs and, within the speech, she discusses why she has been perseverant in running for President. Kirstin Gillibrand is “one of six women running for presidency” — a feat she credits to her grandmother serving as her role model because of the prominent position she held in her community for other women. Ms. Gillibrand fights for “women to have a seat at the decision-making table” and overall inclusivity in politics today. She says “there’s so much more that binds us than divides us” and ends her speech on the importance of the inclusion of women in politics and her determination to continue fighting for that goal.
Following Kirstin Gillibrand, John Harashinski returns to the podium to give the Political Team Address in which he thanks everyone on the Political Team for their roles in giving snapshots of the democratic presence in each state, as well as the complexities of those demographics. Then, Jimmy Fleck, General Chair, nominates Anna Renou for Platform Chair.
Anna Renou is unanimously elected Platform Chair for the 2020 Mock Convention. She gives a speech in which she speaks positively about what students can expect to experience in the 2020 Mock Convention and introduces the Platform Committee Report, as well as those who have contributed to its research and production. Anna Renou then oversees the adoption of the Democratic Party Platform.
After a quick presentation about the Mock Convention App and the goal of Mock Convention to promote sustainability, Drew Weinstock, Midwest Regional Chair, introduces and welcomes U.S. senator Joe Donnelly to the stage.
Joe Donnelly begins his speech by referencing the American Dream and the story of how his grandparents came to the country hopes of acquiring mobility. He continues by elaborating on how that dream has manifested in his life and the pursuits of his family members.
UPDATE 1:30 PM
Beginning with the pledge and a lovely rendition of the National Anthem by Washington and Lee’s highly-acclaimed acapella group General Admission, the 2020 Mock Convention officially begins.
Roll call commences immediately after opening remarks.
As each state chair presents their delegates, most states — sorry, Kansas — were met with roars of applause and enthusiasm.
Then, some of the key members from various departments of the Mock Convention committee introduces themselves. Kyle Perel, the National Political Analyst, oversees the voting in of the rules, before Jimmy Fleck, General Chair, and John Harashinski, Political Chair, gives speeches concerning the importance of Mock Convention and how it is a great example of Washington and Lee’s student self governance.
Afterwards, Southeast Regional Chair Maya Lora introduces Symone Sanders — the trailblazing woman known best for having been Bernie Sander’s Press Secretary in 2016 and for serving as a CNN commentator.
Symone Sanders wastes no time before launching into a speech about the importance of political participation and taking risks. She does not appear to be using a teleprompter or consulting any notes, which is yet another reason to be in awe of the wisdom and experiences she elaborately details.
She is still speaking on the necessity of inclusivity and diversity in politics, as well as the need for more strategic action being taken to encourage dialogue between people of different perspectives.