The first slate of first night speeches included personal witnesses dealing with mental illness, addiction, immigration issues and gender issues.
Pam Livengood, a small-town New Hampshire resident, gave personal testimony of her family’s issues with addiction. Her daughter had given birth to a son. To deal with pain post-birth, her daughter was prescribed pain medication, but it quickly escalated into an addiction. Livengood said she received a call from social services. They were taking custody of her grandchild due to her daughter’s addiction issues, but Livengood stepped in and took custody instead. Livengood was part of a roundtable with Hillary Clinton. She said Clinton took notes and brought up possible solutions for the addiction crisis, then made it a plank i her campaign.
Demi Lovato, the pop singer, spoke of her battle with mental illness. She said she had struggled even as her career dreams took hold, and she often traveled with help to make it through performances. Lovato suffered from bulimia, bipolar disorder and depression.
Lovato followed her short speech with a song.
A video aired of Clinton meeting with a group of American-born children of immigrants featuring Karla Ortiz.
Located in Las Vegas, Ortiz – who is 10 years old – is afraid her mother will be deported. She gave a speech, speaking of the fear she lives with knowing her mom and dad may be deported. Karla said her dream was to be a lawyer and to help families with problems llike she faces. Francisca, Karla’s mom, gave a speech in Spanish.
A video aired after of the Clinton advertisement featuring Donald Trump’s statements
Astrid Silva, a college graduate, came to the United States at the age of 4. Her family often kept her hidden from extra curricular activities in fear they would be discovered and deported. Silva thanked Harry Reid, said his policies helped her graduate from Nevada State College. She spoke of fearing her parents might be deported and taken from her and her daughter.
Illinois U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez followed Silva. He said his parents were from Puerto Rico, and were American citizens, but often faced discrimination due to stereotypes of crime and disease.
He didn’t mention Trump by name, but talked about a “bully” putting up walls, or keeping you from working in Indiana because of who your parents are.
“Every generation of newcomers – Latin America, Europe, Middle East – they are met with skepticism and discrimination. But every generation proved critics wrong and contributed to this country. Some have died defending our democracy.”
He said most immigrants – legal or illegal – pay their taxes and contribute. He said Clinton taking the nomination will move the country forward.