Sunday, August 24, 2008


When I was asked to be a whip for the Democratic Convention as a delegate for Hillary Clinton I knew that come Hell or high water I had to ignore my total lack of funds and get there.

I only had one thing to sell and that was me (and I don't mean in a short shorts Freemont and 8th sort of way. I needed more than the $6.00 I was going to be able to raise that way. LOL). I felt if I just took a deep breath and told the truth I might just be able to pull it off.

So, here is the unvarnished, sometimes ugly, occasionally funny truth. Must have been a two hankie 'cause, I'M GOING TO DENVER!

Everybody give me a WOO HOO!

Hi I am Derek Washington.

I was elected at the State of Nevada Democratic Convention in Reno, Nevada to be an alternate delegate pledged to Senator Hillary Clinton.

Many of you who were there asked me point blank if I would be there for Senator Clinton until "the very end" at the convention? I said yes to you then and I say yes to you now. I gained your confidence and votes with my promise and I fully intend to honor that pledge.

More than wanting to be elected I have a very personal reason for my undying support for Senator Clinton. I feel it's important for me to throw aside my pride and personal vanity to tell you exactly why I am supporting Senator Clinton "all the way".

I came to Las Vegas almost three years ago to be a bigwig in the entertainment community. I figured with my impressive resume I was a shoe-in to get right into the mix of things here. Well, slow your roll missy, things didn't turn out quite that way. The stress of my dashed dreams led to my getting shingles. Let me tell you, if you've never had shingles you don't know death walking! As my grandmother would say , "honeychile.......".

After recovering from that I had a minor stroke (I was 44 at the time). Due to my continued health problems a doctor took it upon himself to perform an HIV test. I had told him not to but, thank god, he ignored me. He came to me and informed me I had 54 T-cells. In other words, I had full blown AIDS. My entire world changed at that moment.

Having no health insurance but the love of my family I entered into a world of government run healthcare services. No matter what you hear about our healthcare system, the people who implement the various programs are the most amazing group of people you would ever want to meet. They all could be doing something else with their college degrees but , like school teachers, they have decided to help people who don't have lots of cash and fancy insurance to throw at them. In my mind they saved my life. I honor and salute them.

Don't worry, I'm getting to the point.

During my convalescence I laid on my mothers couch for months not able to get up to change the channel for hours on end. I can tell you how to make fried Macaroni and Cheese wrapped in bacon courtesy of Paula Deen, I know how long it takes a termite to destroy a house, who were Hitlers top command and I've seen every movie made before 1969. In addition I became fascinated by politics. For days on end I watched the process play itself out and became a huge fan of Hillary Clinton.

Senator Clinton has dedicated her entire life to being of service to the American people. Some people look at that as the same old same old. I look at her service as the height of what it means to be an American. She embodied to me what an American can and should be.

When the Nevada Caucuses came around I forced myself off that couch. I packed a lunch and grabbed a book and boarded a bus to make sure I voted for Hillary Clinton.

The caucus process is the most ridiculous system I have ever seen in my life. The fighting amongst people was horrible. But, the process somehow energized me. I felt myself arguing with people about the differences between the candidates. When I asked the Clinton supporters why I should vote for Senator Clinton they had reasoned and well thought out points touching on healthcare, LGBT issues and then followed up with economic policy. They then asked who wanted to be a delegate.

Suddenly, I was no longer a weak HIV suffering basketcase. I raised my hand and said why I wanted to support Hillary Clinton. I was elected! From that moment on I have not felt weak and I have done everything I can to remake my life. I then went to our state convention in Reno, Nevada. I was energized more so than even years before I was diagnosed. I screamed, yelled, cheered and slept under a table until the bitter end to make sure my vote was counted for Senator Clinton.

Life had returned to Derek Washington.

I have been on disability for awhile now due to the fact that no matter how much I want things to be different I am still on the weak side. However, I am not the type to sit around and wait on a check. I have signed up to begin studying at CSN to become a family therapist specializing in non-traditional families ( single parents, LGBT,seniors raising grandchildren, etc.) and I have an internship with Clear Channel communications which will help me hone my media skills to help the people who need the help the most and to help the Democratic Party.

Ok, now the point of this admittedly long email.

I have been asked to be the whip for the Hillary Clinton delegation from Nevada! Can I just say YIPPEE! I have never in my life been so honored. To be involved in such a historic event would be the highest point in my life which will be followed by many more high points.

Honestly, I can't afford to go to Denver. I had given up on the idea. But having been given such an incredible chance at being a part of history I have decided that I can't give up without a fight. Senator Clinton said that Americans don't give up in the final seconds of a football game because we're losing. Nor shall I!

I am asking for donations to get to Denver. I have never done such a thing so, honestly, I'm completely out of my league here. I will say this, I will take the cheapest possible way (which I believe is a bus to Reno then the train to Denver) and I will gladly post all donations online and account for all money spent the same way. Any money left over will be donated openly. I assume anyone donating would want that money to go the Democratic party somehow though I am inclined to donate directly to homeless people on the streets of Nevada (I'm thinking of buying lots of those freeze dried dinners and actually handing them to people.). Either way we can have a vote to see what the best way to dispose of extra money, which I hope there will be. If anyone has done this before maybe you can email me with suggestions. If I don't raise enough money then I will return the money that has been donated.

Obviously, time is short. Can you please help me help Senator Clinton? Btw, I will support the Democratic nominee. I am not a "bitter" etc, person, I do feel until the process is over I must honor my promise to the people who elected me and I must thank Hillary Clinton for getting me off my moms couch.

Thank you for reading this (very long! LOL!) email,

Derek Washington


RJ said...

Way to go...We are behind you 100% can't wait to read your daily blogs from the convention. Stay safe~RJ

RJ said...

I was your article in The Las Vegas Review Journal...Way to go, give us an update on your goings and comings. ~RJ

Anonymous said...


I hope your stay in Denver was wonderful. You approached me and my four-year old on the light rail and she gave you her comments on why she wanted Barack for President. Though we appreciate the interest, her father and I would prefer she not be mentioned or picture posted on your blog.

Thank you for introducing your blog to us though.


K. and D. Lee (Kiera's parents)