Why One Wisconsin Delegate Is Still ‘Geeking Out’ About the Virtual DNC

Why One Wisconsin Delegate Is Still ‘Geeking Out’ About the Virtual DNC



By Jonathon Sadowski

August 20, 2020

The convention has resulted in some unique opportunities for delegates to get “face time” with big names.

Trevor Jung wasn’t supposed to be stuck at home this week.

The 24-year-old Racine alderman should have been in the Fiserv Forum in downtown Milwaukee to cast his vote to hand Joe Biden the Democratic presidential nomination. But instead he — like the almost 4,000 other Democratic delegates — voted over email. It was just one way plans for the Democratic National Convention were altered to protect public health during the coronavirus pandemic.

“As the pandemic hit, everything had to change,” Jung said.

When Jung was first elected to be a delegate, the DNC had already been pushed back a month from July to August. At that point events were still scheduled to happen at the Fiserv Forum, and Milwaukee was still expecting tens of thousands of visitors.

“At least from a delegate perspective, there was a glimmer of hope that something would happen in person,” Jung said.

However, the coronavirus pandemic never let up. Coronavirus cases in Wisconsin and nationwide were skyrocketing as states began to ease or outright lift restrictions meant to stop the spread of the virus.

On June 24, Wisconsin’s caseload had ballooned to nearly 26,000 confirmed COVID-19 patients, according to Department of Health Services data. There were 2.4 million confirmed cases in the U.S. on that day, according to data tracked by Johns Hopkins University.

It was that day the Democratic National Committee announced the DNC would be moved to the smaller Wisconsin Center, most of the events would be virtual, and state delegations would be staying at home. On Aug. 5, the event was further scaled-down as it was announced Biden and other major speakers would no longer travel to Milwaukee for the convention.

Jung said he was disappointed — both from the perspective of a delegate and of an alderman of a city that would have benefited greatly from the extra visitors — but was still able to find enjoyment in the proceedings.

“As a 24-year-old, it was a real honor to participate in such a foundational part of our democracy — of nominating someone to run for president of the United States,” he said.

Days this week have so far been filled with Zoom calls, online caucus gatherings, and training sessions, Jung said. The online setting provides its own benefits, he said, such as being able to join meetings he would never have been able to access if the convention was in-person.

“It has been, honestly, fun,” Jung said. “And I, quite frankly, did not expect that. It has been cool to be on a Zoom call with the governor, to be on Zoom calls with the likes of Cory Booker, even Vice President Biden. To say that you were in the same breakout room as the governor chatting about what this all should be, that wouldn’t even have happened in an in-person setting.”

“I definitely geek out about that,” he added with a laugh.


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