‘A long time coming’ as Bellingham delegate arrives in Philly

Dallas Roberts, 23, was running on about an hour of sleep when he arrived in Philadelphia on Sunday morning, July 24, for the Democratic National Convention.

His red-eye flight from Seattle to Newark, N.J., was less than ideal – Roberts was stuck in the emergency exit row behind a crying toddler.

The delegate from Bellingham landed around 5 a.m., but still had hours to go before he would pull in to Philadelphia via Amtrak train.

Roberts took his time. He enjoyed the sunrise over the New York skyline when he landed, then stopped by the Statue of Liberty just before his week of participation in the political process.

Roberts finally got to the City of Brotherly love around 10 a.m.

“It couldn’t come soon enough,” Roberts said. “This past week, it was a long time coming.”

He tried to nap in his hotel room, but he said he was too excited to sleep. Instead, he made his way to City Hall for the March for Bernie protest, which included a walk of more than three miles to FDR Park.

“I’m running on very little sleep, so I’m just trying not to crash,” he joked.

Roberts wasn’t the only Washington state resident at the March. One Seattle City Council member and three Washington delegates were asked to speak at the protest, including Sean Comfort, 29, of Spokane.

“I talked about the importance of integrity among politicians,” said Comfort, a Sanders delegate. “It’s completely humbling knowing there are so many supporters who believe the same thing as I believe.”

For Roberts, and the rest of Bellingham’s delegates, the DNC will begin Monday, July 25, at 7:30 a.m. with an official breakfast at their hotel. It will continue with a meeting with Sen. Bernie Sanders at 2 p.m.

“I’m really excited to hear from Bernie tomorrow,” Roberts said. “All of us delegates have a meeting with him tomorrow, and then he speaks tomorrow at the convention. I think that’s the biggest day for most of us.”

Michaela Winberg is a journalist and a student at Temple University in Philadelphia. This month she will be reporting on the Democratic National Convention from Philadelphia as part of a groundbreaking project allowing students to cover the event for local newspapers, TV stations and digital outlets. Follow her on Twitter: @mwinberg_.