Monday, March 19, 2007

Boston: Denver planning "incredibly advanced"

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

Denver is hoping to learn from the past:

Organizers of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver discussed transportation, the homeless, communications and other issues Monday with organizers of the 2004 Democratic convention in Boston. Denver is "incredibly advanced" in its planning, Steve Kerrigan of the Boston committee said afterward.

About 150 people met with Kerrigan and four other Boston representatives who helped plan the 2004 convention, said Katherine Archuleta, senior policy adviser to Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper.

Traffic was one of the Boston event's major issues. While organizers had to shut down a highway and relocate commuter train service for their convention, Denver's Pepsi Center -- surrounded by parking lots -- will not face the same issues, Kerrigan said. "We're jealous," Kerrigan said.
Denver just has to worry about an amusement park. Not a bad tradeoff.

Update: From the Colorado Democratic Party's new blog, Voices of the Colorado Dems:
Committee chairs met last Friday. A larger meeting took place yesterday. It started with a welcome by Mike Dino, CEO. Then Katherine Archuleta discussed the values that are being placed on the convention planning and execution. 1) They want it to be a “wow” experience; 2) Inclusiveness is really important - delegates will be taken care of, others want to be involved; 3) It will be a “green” convention; 4) It is possible that the nominee for President or Vice-President will be a woman, an African-American or a Hispanic and this provides for great educational opportunities.

There was a presentation on having a green and sustainable convention with a guest speaker who is working on the Olympics to do the same. Beth Conover introduced this section. She is working on sustainability in Mayor Hickenlooper’s office. (She is also married to my former assistant, Ken Snyder).
After the breakout sessions, my committee on organizational outreach met. Co-chairing this commitee are Ramona Martinez and myself. Our major goal is “to communicate with all national, state and local organizational stakeholders to seek input into the 2008 convention planning.” We will be taking information to the upcoming Association for State Democratic Chairs meeting and the Western Regional Caucus. I am also contacting other state chairs for input. In addition, we will begin putting out regular information to county chairs so that we can get volunteers involved locally until the convention is ready for them. There is much work to be done.
What I find most interesting is that all this organizing is being done by the Host Committee, and not by the Democratic National Committee, who is actually in charge of the official convention activities. I haven't even seen a mention of whether any representatives of the DNC are even attending these meetings.