Thanks to our Featured Presenter Clay Bennett, our Keynote Speaker Georgia Congresswoman Lucy McBath, our candidates, party leaders, and fellow Democrats for helping make Blue Wave 2022 such a successful and wonderful event!
Check out photos from the event below:
Read the full speech from Hamilton County Chair Rachel Campbell:
Good evening Hamilton County Democrats, Distinguished Guests, and visitors! Thank you all for coming out tonight and joining us at the 2022 Blue Wave Dinner. It feels wonderful to be out in the world again and fellowshipping with Democrats. Or, frankly anyone, for that matter. It’s been a long two years, but it feels like we might finally be on the other side of things!
Many of you know, but for those who may not, let me introduce myself. My name is Rachel Campbell, and I am the Chairwoman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party. I was elected in December of 2021, and it has been quite the whirlwind! I am honored to have been elected to this position, and I am partnered with a wonderful Executive Committee and General Assembly who dedicate themselves to our mission of supporting and electing Democratic candidates up and down the ballot. I am also extremely proud to let all of y’all know that we have a record number of Democrats running in the Primary right now! Your generosity will go directly towards that mission. As we know, Hamilton County is close, so close, to turning blue, and it will take all of us to make that a reality. This very idea is something I believe deeply in.
If you’ll indulge me for a moment, I’ll share with you why it matters so much to me, and how I made my way to this podium tonight. Now, while I don’t want to depress anyone with thoughts of the past, I guess I have to start a few years ago. You know the year. 2016? When we all watched with rising levels of horror and disgust at Trumps rise to the top of the Republican ticket. Man, we were all so naive. And arrogant, frankly. We thought surely our collective American consciousness would never allow such an unfit man to be President. Then Nov 6, 2016 arrived and I woke up and thought “Finally. Finally. It will be over.” And y’all know how this part of the story ends. After a few weeks of waiting for someone to say WAIT! IT WAS ALL A MISTAKE! I realized that we would all need to chart a new course. And that if I wanted to make this country, this COUNTY, a better place for my amazing daughters, (which are here tonight I might add!) I’d have to find a way to help. That’s when something on FB caught my eye. An event for the Ham Cty Dem Party’s reorganization. Something tangible I could do. I went to an informational session. Then I went to the reorganization, became a member of what was the Board, and then promptly left there for my first taste of activism. Knocking doors for a stranger named…. City Councilman Chris Anderson. A few months later, as luck and hard work would have it, I was elected Vice-Chair to Chair Khristy Wilkinson and was proud to be a part of an election cycle that flipped a county commission seat and elected David Sharpe to district 6. I was elected to the TN Democratic Party that same year. And now, I am so excited to be Chair. Of course, a lot has happened in between!! BUT the reasons I do this remain the same. I want my daughters to have a better, stronger, more functioning community! And that can only happen by electing people who will create the change we need! And those people are Democrats! Frankly, we have better, more progressive ideas. We believe that everyone deserves a living wage and affordable healthcare. We believe in criminal justice reform and that women should have the right to make decisions about their own health, their own bodies. And we seek to make our community stronger. A community that works for everyone, that makes life better for everyone. For our.children, for our allies, for our neighbors.
We do that by electing Democrats to every seat in government. But especially our local government, to County Commission, County Mayor, District Attorney, and now School Board. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “all politics is local”? I believe that. And that is why I’m motivated to do this. With you. Because selfishly, I DON’T want my daughters to leave this community. I want them to stay. It’s that simple.
So, on that note. Thank you for coming out tonight to support the Hamilton CountyDemocratic Party’s mission. To help elect all these candidates running for local offices this spring, and state and federal offices this fall!
Before I hand the evening over to our Master of Ceremonies, Chris Anderson, I’d like to acknowledge all the members of our Fundraising Committee without who’s tireless work this event would not have been possible. Particularly, Committee Chairs Annie Hall and Chris Anderson, Lynn Newton who worked so hard on our beautiful program.
Thank you again, and I hope you enjoy this evening!