PROSPECT, Conn. (WTNH) — A Prospect woman who lost her mother in the Sandy Hook shooting will be a featured speaker at next week’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Erica Smegielski has now made part of her life mission pushing for gun control reform and the election of Hilary Clinton.
Erica was just 27 and planning her wedding three-and-a-half years ago when her mother, 47-year-old Dawn Hochsprung, the principal at the Sandy Hook School, became one of the first victims of the tragedy.
Erica became involved in what was then called “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” as a volunteer. She now works full-time for the organization that his now known as “Every Town For Gun Safety.”
She has campaigned with Hillary Clinton at anti-gun violence forums and on a TV commercial and says the campaign first reached out to her after she had expressed support on Twitter. She says she is still working on her speech.
“The voice of someone whose family member was murdered is a really hard tone to write in,” said Smegielski.
But she feels she has an important message for the nation.
“Being able to put a face on an issue that for most politicians and most Americans, is a faceless issue, is a really important thing,” said Smegielski.
She says that she was attracted to Clinton because she was actively campaigning for gun control reform.
“This is not the course that I expected my life to be on so it’s been a very drastic change for both me and my husband. It’s been, you know, hard for the two of us to adjust and for my family to adjust really having the spotlight on all the time, but I know my mom would do it for me,” said Smegielski.
Erica says she’s still working on her speech. She’s scheduled to address the convention during the 7:00 hour on Wednesday.