Steamboat delegate to Democratic Convention inspired to work for change
Steamboat Springs — Delegate to the Democratic National Convention Erin Biggs of Steamboat Springs has experienced profound emotional highs during her time in Philadelphia this week.
“This experience has been an emotional one in so many ways, and I absolutely lost it when I met Congressman John Lewis (Georgia) and (former Arizona congresswoman) Gabby Giffords. I started sobbing and cried for a good hour,” Biggs said July 27 in an e-mail interview. “We are all in it together and fighting as hard as we can to keep this a great country. What Trump doesn’t understand or doesn’t say, is that America already is a great country.
“I have talked to so many friendly and wonderful people in the city of Philadelphia, and I am inspired by the passion and strength of the people all around me,” Biggs added.
Biggs, who was chosen by Colorado Democrats to represent the state’s 3rd Congressional District, is one of two Routt County women chosen as national convention delegates. Steamboat Today reported on the experiences of Routt County Treasurer Brita Horn at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland July 19.
Biggs is an ardent supporter of Bernie Sanders, and his speech in front of the convention the night of July 25 brought back the emotions when she considered the implications of his movement to empower Americans struggling under difficult economic circumstances.
“I absolutely cried during Bernie’s speech on Monday night. There were many tears in our delegation,” Biggs said. “His speech was the culmination of months of blood, sweat and tears — and that is nothing compared to his 40 years of fighting. I was lucky enough to give Bernie a big hug during our delegate meeting. Bernie has changed the conversation in America, and I will forever be grateful to him for it.”
A passage in Sanders’ convention address in which he reiterated his belief that Americans should be able to acquire a college diploma without being saddled by crippling debt that delays their ultimate career ambitions, resonated for Biggs.
“College debt is huge,” Biggs said. “I graduated from college with $45,000 in student loan debt, and I was the lucky one. I had less than almost anyone I knew. We have got to make that better for the future of this country.”
Yet, the 34-year-old Biggs, who is the office manager for the Steamboat Springs Regional Office of the Colorado State Public Defender, confirmed Wednesday she will heed Sander’s urging and vote for Hillary Clinton.
“I may not like Hillary Clinton, and she may not have been my first choice, but we can never allow Donald Trump to become president of the United States,” Biggs said. “So yes, I will vote for Hillary Clinton.”
Biggs added that former president Bill Clinton, who is in line to become “first gentleman,” made an impression on her when she was first becoming politically aware. She thought his convention address July 26 did a good job of making the case for Hillary.
“Bill Clinton was the reason I first became interested in politics,” Biggs said. “He was elected president when I was 12 years old. He is the reason I decided to study political science in college. I know a lot of people aren’t fans of his, but he is a sentimental favorite of mine. I may not always agree with him, but I greatly respect and admire him.”
If anything, her experience in Philadelphia seems to have strengthened Biggs’ resolve to remain active in politics.
“Democracy is messy, and progress is often slow, but it is worth it and it is important, and I will dedicate the rest of my life to public service and to trying to be the change I want to see in the world,” she said. “The fact that children born today will grow up seeing that an African American or a woman can be president is huge, and we must keep moving forward to include everyone in that dream.”
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