State Sen. Rosa Franklin, D-Tacoma, called last night’s selection of Barack Obama as the Democrat’s nominee for president “another step in really accomplishing what this country is all about – equality for everyone, regardless of color of skin.”
Important as it was, though, Franklin doesn’t want to revel in the moment for too long.
“This is a great accomplishment, but we won’t stop here,” Franklin said this morning as she waited to board a bus bound for Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium. “Democracy is evolving all the time. You never stop.”
Franklin, 81, attended her first Democratic National Convention in 1976. She was a delegate for U.S. Sen. Scoop Jackson in the year when the party chose Jimmy Carter as its candidate.
Since then, she’s attended five other national conventions including this year’s in Denver. This is her third convention as a delegate. She was a Jesse Jackson delegate in 1988.
Looking back, Franklin is struck by how far the country has come in the ensuing 32 years.
But she never doubted that she could see an African American in this position.
“I never lose hope,” Franklin said. “As long as there is life, there is hope, and if you keep working for the promise of this country, it will happen.”
Franklin said she’s wearing her Rosa Parks shirt today as a reminder of those who went before Obama and made his candidacy possible.
She cited John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. along with Parks, the mother of the civil rights movement.
“Tonight, Barack Obama is standing on the shoulders of every one of those people,” Franklin said. “I see all of those people in him.
“He has a lot of weight on his shoulders,” she added. “The torch has been passed.”
Her advice: Don’t forget about helping the poor, and children and the elderly.
And this: “Do not forget whose shoulders you’re standing on.”