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Centre County delegate sees childhood dream realized

Nancy Chiswick, Centre County delegate to the Democratic National Convention, says she never dreamed of being president when she was a little girl because it just wasn’t an option.
Nancy Chiswick, Centre County delegate to the Democratic National Convention, says she never dreamed of being president when she was a little girl because it just wasn’t an option. Photo provided

Traveling to Philadelphia and witnessing Hillary Clinton accept the nomination to become the first female presidential candidate of a major party was a dream for Nancy Chiswick, of Centre County.

“I couldn’t imagine being president because as far as I knew, girls didn’t become president,” Chiswick said. “I might be secretary of state because as far as I knew, girls could be secretaries.”

Though Chiswick worked at the State Department, the lack of representation of women in government lead her to believe that a future in government wasn’t a viable career path. Instead, she became a psychologist.

Chiswick became politically active when elected as a delegate for Democrat Bill Bradley’s presidential campaign in 2000. Now, as a delegate for Clinton, she wants to do anything she can for her candidate.

“I hope to do my very best job,” Chiswick said.

Chiswick’s husband, Art Patterson, has seen her commitment firsthand.

“She’s taken on a great responsibility, not only for the 5th Congressional District, but to the country,” he said. “She’s worked tirelessly with friends and her community, because she believes in what she’s doing.”

Though women’s rights issues, such as equal pay, are extremely important to her, Chiswick finds environmental issues key.

“In the last five years, issues of climate change have become just as important, if not more important, to me,” she said. “If we continue to follow the climate change trajectory, none of the other issues are going to matter.”

Chiswick does not prioritize what is important in terms of environmental reform. Instead, she says energy source and usage must be addressed on all levels, from homes and businesses to government.

For Chiswick, a dream became reality at the DNC: witnessing a woman get one step closer to becoming president of the United States.

Louis William Finley is a journalism student at Temple. He is covering the Democratic National Convention for the CDT.

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