Delaware County DNC Delegate Charged With Indecent Assault

Stage and podium at the Democratic National Convention, with Philadelphia skyline and Liberty Bell

The stage at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. (Photo: Dan McQuade)

The District Attorney’s office has decided to press charges against a Democratic National Convention delegate from Delaware County who allegedly assaulted a fellow delegate during the DNC in July.

The office initially decided not to take action last month, prompting widespread attention and outrage from the accuser, Gwen Snyder, and others who claimed that the D.A.’s office had been dismissive and that the assault had not been properly investigated. Read more »

Did D.A.’s Office Refuse to Charge Alleged Sexual Assaulter Because He Was Drunk?

The Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. | Photo by John Locher/AP

The Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. | Photo by John Locher/AP

Gwen Snyder did exactly what the District Attorney Seth Williams‘ Office says on its website a victim of sexual assault should do: She called the Philadelphia Police Department Special Victims Unit, and was transported to the Philadelphia Sexual Assault Response Center to file a report.

Since the alleged incident — Snyder says a fellow Pennsylvania delegate for Bernie Sanders made sexual contact with her that she did not consent to — took place July 27th at the bar of a convention hotel during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, she also told her story to state Democratic Party members and DNC staffers, in the hopes that the alleged assaulter would be stripped of his convention credentials. She spoke to employees at the hotel and asked them to expel the man.

Snyder did everything we tell victims of indecent and sexual assault they need to do. And at every point, the institutions involved have seemingly failed her.  Read more »

Can Social Media Bring Young Voters Into the Fold?

Girls High Young Voters

Student reporters Amina Thomas and Jaylynn Green interview Bernie Sanders supporter Galen Bratton during the DNC in July | Photo by Saleem Ahmed

Editor’s Note: This report was created by a team of student reporters from Girls High School, working as part of a Youth News Team program during the DNC. The student reporters were Amina Thomas, Jaylynn Green, Xani Wise, Janet Pennington and Rashiyah Powell. They were advised by Louis Austin, a teacher at Girls High, and Saleem Ahmed, a media lab instructor at WHYY. Philadelphia magazine staff helped guide the reporting.

If the United States were to be graded on voter participation, it would get an F. In 2012, the national average for voter participation was 57.5 percent, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center. In the same election, voter turnout in Philadelphia hit 58.8 percent, according to an NBC 10 report.

The problem may lie in a disconnect between young voters and the available candidates. According to FairVote, a voting advocacy group, young people are much less likely to vote than older ones. “From 1972-2012, citizens 18-29 years old turned out at a rate 15 to 20 points lower than citizens 30 year and older.”

Why are young people more likely to be disengaged from politics?

“Younger people don’t vote,” said Annie Tan, a delegate from Illinois. “Hillary Clinton has a mixed history and Donald Trump is a racist. Why vote when you don’t have a vote that matters or a candidate that doesn’t matter to you?”  Read more »