Saturday’s Democratic caucuses split Paola Rosario Ferreira’s Lynnwood family along generational lines.
Paola Rosario Ferreira saw Saturday’s Washington state caucuses divide her family — and as with many other families, the split was generational.
The 26-year-old and her 19-year-old brother arrived at Edmonds Woodway High School burning with enthusiasm for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
But their mother and grandmother showed up with a “Women for Hillary” sign, eager to support former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Before heading into the school’s cafeteria, Rosario Ferreira and her mother teased each other. Later on, with their caucus under way, they each spoke forcefully.
“My mother and I are very passionate people, with strong personalities. We care about voting and using our citizenship to the full,” said Rosario Ferreira, a Seattle University graduate, mentioning that she, her mother and her grandmother were born in the Dominican Republic.
Every Sunday after church, the Lynnwood family spends time together. Lately, political debates have broken out.
Rosario Ferreira prefers Sanders “because we need radical change” for Wall Street and beyond. The underdog candidate calling for “political revolution” appeals to her.
“We need someone who won’t just pander to people with money — who cares about people laden with student debt,” said Rosario Ferreira, who has student debt herself.
Her mother, Paula Ferreira-Smith, a 52-year-old right-of-way agent, says Sanders backers strike her as naive.
“The younger generation, like my daughter and my son, they hear him say, ‘I will do this. I will do that. I will raise the minimum wage. I will make college free,’ ” she said.
“Bernie is attracting a lot of younger people,” the mother added. “But how are the teachers going to get paid? The money is going to have to come from somewhere.”
Ferreira-Smith says it matters to her that Clinton would be the first female president.
“Hillary is an experienced person who’s been flexible enough to teach women we need to achieve our goals in life no matter how much drama we have in our families. She’s going to transform the White House. Men are going to respect us a little more.”
The family’s precinct wound up electing three delegates for Sanders and one for Clinton — a ratio similar to that of the statewide caucus results. Rosario Ferreira’s brother said he enjoyed his first caucus.
“It was very tense but energetic,” Jean-Paul Smith said, laughing about his sister and mother butting heads. “That was funny. But at the end of the day, we still love each other. Nothing is going to overcome that.”