With a family who’s been involved in politics for generations, it is no surprise Katie Blume found herself involved in politics as well. The youngest member of the Centre County delegation, Blume finds herself on a learning curve but eager to experience the Democratic National Convention.
As the executive director for the Centre County Democratic Committee, Blume noted her journey to becoming a delegate “was a hope and a prayer.”
Blume is an at-large delegate and not elected like other delegates. Blume was included in the delegation to represent the female and youth demographic in the state.
Blume, 35, is the youngest delegate from Centre County, and said bonding with the other Centre County delegates has been easy.
“I’m friends with these people. (The age difference) doesn’t feel odd at all,” Blume said. “They’ve been really helpful in helping me in what I need to do, where I need to go. This is definitely a bucket list item I’m definitely hitting younger in life and it’s great.”
Blume has been a supporter of Hillary Clinton since the former first lady ran for Senate. Blume had the opportunity to see her speak in college, and said Clinton has not diverted from her message. “Sixteen years ago,” Blume said, “she said, ‘We can make college more affordable.’ ”
Blume said that the experience of being seated with the Pennsylvania delegation close to the stage at the Wells Fargo Center is surreal. “(Being at the convention center) was absolutely wonderful, being so close to people I have considered heroes,” Blume said. “I’m looking at Elizabeth Warren, Michelle Obama, Bernie Sanders — Paul Simon of all people.”
Gillian Kratzer, chair of the Blair County Democratic Committee, met Blume more than a year ago and has nothing but accolades for the young delegate. “She has been such a vocal advocate for Democrats in the center of the state. Sometimes it’s hard for us to get attention,” Kratzer said.
“I’m very proud,” Katzer continued. “She really knows her stuff. … She’s really willing to talk to people and be active in a place that sometimes is not easy.”
Though the convention has A-list entertainers in attendance, Blume has not lost sight of why she is there. “I recognize the fact that I am able to be here is a gift,” she said. “So I’m doing whatever I can, even on the floor, to talk to everybody from the Pennsylvania delegation.”
Louis William Finley is a journalism student at Temple. He is covering the Democratic National Convention for the CDT.