Henrietta Ivey — a native Michigan healthcare worker —will speak at the Democratic National Convention next Thursday in Philadelphia.
Ivey is one of 20 “everyday Americans” who will address the crowds in the Wells-Fargo Arena to share with delegates and attendees both their experiences and reasons to believe Hillary Clinton will unite and strengthen the nation.
Ivey, who works two minimum wage jobs to provide for her family, has been an active member of the Home Care Fight for $15 National Organizing Committee and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Michigan. She said she joined the Fight for $15 because she believes strongly in raising the minimum wage to a livable amount.
Ivey had the opportunity to meet with Clinton in May when she came to Detroit to address the SEIU convention held in the Cobo Center downtown. Ivey supported Clinton prior to this meeting but said seeing the candidate in person only strengthened her support.
“Meeting her face-to-face and telling her my story and my struggle as a low wage worker was just a very emotional and heartfelt meeting,” she said. “I just feel in my heart that this is the person who needs to run the United States of America.”
Ivey is one of four scheduled DNC speakers from Michigan, joined by Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and former governor Jennifer Granholm — a contrast from last week’s Republican National Convention, which Gov. Rick Snyder did not attend.
The choice of Weaver follows a speech by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette at the RNC, in which he stated justice will be brought to the city of Flint. Clinton has long stated her support for the city, but the issue has largely sunk under the radar since President Barack Obama’s visit in May.
Clinton has recently been under fire for the FBI’s decision over her private e-mail server. At the RNC, the crowd consistently chanted “lock her up” and speakers issued attacks on her character. Donald Trump has also stated that Clinton does not truly believe in any of her stances and merely takes opinions based on their popularity among voters.
In response to these criticisms, Ivey said people should not pass judgement on her character unless they’ve met her.
“I would say that if you haven’t met her, you can’t speak on that,” she said. “I got the opportunity to see her face-to-face, and I got nothing but honest out of her.”
Looking forward to next Thursday, Ivey said she is still finalizing her remarks but plans to discuss her personal struggles and how she believes Clinton will help her and the country.
She added that she is nervous about speaking in front of such a large audience but is mostly still in shock over being chosen.
“I’m still trying to let it all sink in,” she said. “I’m so happy and excited about being a part of it. I’m still smiling everyday like I won the lottery … I’m a little nervous, but I think I will be okay.”