Local Democratic women say Clinton nomination 'not just symbolic'

It might be an understatement to say local Democratic women are excited about the party making former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the first female presidential nominee from a major party.

It might be an understatement to say local Democratic women are excited about the party making former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the first female presidential nominee from a major party.

"I have been following Hillary Clinton's career for a long time," Susan Sandberg, a Bloomington City Council member, said Wednesday afternoon, calling Tuesday's roll call historic. "That is not just symbolic to me. That is going to mark, I think, some systemic change."

Specifically, Sandberg said, Clinton will inspire more collaboration based on the way she's always listened throughout her career.

Sandberg is optimistic that Clinton can win and lead in a presidency that brings awareness to women's equality, general social equality and the need for a respectful discourse, she said.

"I think a lot of us are looking for a change, and I do mean a change in how we speak to one another, how we listen to one another and how we roll up our sleeves and get things done, and I think she'll bring that," Sandberg said.

Cheryl Munson, a member of the Monroe County Council, is optimistic that a Clinton presidency would bring about another change: More political involvement among women.

"I hope it does (inspire more women to run), because girls can do anything," she said, echoing a phrase from her 6-year-old granddaughter, who also is excited about Clinton's candidacy.

That would have positive effects, she said, pointing to women's tendency to be more collaborative and "open to hearing a range of ideas that might be different than theirs because they've been listening for a long time."

And elected office is, in some ways, a logical step from women's traditional roles, Munson said.

"Women, especially, feel very comfortable nurturing and trying to take care of things," she said. "It's a natural extension to go beyond the family to a neighborhood to a community to a state to a nation."

Munson said she's excited to hear Clinton speak about how she would lead the country. She added she's probably watched more YouTube this week than she ever had before to keep up with the speeches at the Democratic National Convention.

Sandberg agreed it's been "a real thrill to watch everything" — and see how the speeches at the convention and Clinton's campaign in general are the polar opposite of the damage she says Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has done in his campaign.

Local Democrats will gather around 7 p.m. today in the Hoosier Room at Nick's English Hut, 423 E. Kirkwood Ave., to watch the convention and cheer on Clinton as she officially accepts the party's presidential nomination.