Monday, August 25, 2008

Pace's DNC Post 8/24/08

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

Okay so I thought yesterday was amazing and then along came today! Our day started bright and early rising at 6:45 am and we were out and about by 9 am this morning. Our first stop was a brunch sponsored by the National Federation of Democratic Women. This was a great event with women from all over the country. There was a possibility that Michelle Obama might make an appearance but she was not able to attend. With the announcement of Joe Biden as the VP the campaign has been scrambling. We hope to see her along with Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday.

After brunch we were off to lunch (turns out there is a lot of free food here (good food too - you know, Kimberly friendly) which was sponsored by the AFT (the American Federation of Teachers). Yummy! We sat with a couple from New York. The woman is a 5th grade teacher and her husband is a Political Science Professor at Elmira College. Small world. Got even smaller when we learned that their son lives in Clifton Park, NY where my dad grew up. They are friends with the Clintons and Howard Dean. We were networking :-)

After brunch and lunch within 2 hours, we had an hour or so to fill so we enjoyed exploring downtown Denver. We saw protesters, street musicians, and vendors selling everything they possibly can with Obama's face on it. We've discovered that Denver is a great city in terms of disability access. I heard an interview with the mayor of Denver earlier today and he was talking about all of the effort that was put into improving accessibility for the city. It worked! There is no place that I have wanted/needed to get to that I have been able to.

We thought security was tight yesterday, today it was even more so. You couldn't go a block without seeing at least two SWAT teams, Denver Police, Colorado troopers, and or rent-a-cops etc. Check out the photo with one of the SWAT teams. I suspect tomorrow will be even more intense security wise.

Next stop an AFL-CIO rally meeting. It was filled with impressive people with incredible stories. The man from one of the Democratic debates who spoke at Soldiers Field about how he and his wife lost close to everything including nearly 1/2 of his pension and 1/2 of his health care benefits spoke. They had to make a decision about which one of them would keep the health insurance. In the end, they chose him and he felt/feels awful. He is a proud man who has worked all of his life to support his family and it all comes down to working hard his entire life with very little to show for it. He is here to support Obama's presidential bid as he believes that Obama will be able to do something not only for himself but also for families across this nation, some 40 million of whom are uninsured or underinsured. His story brought tears to my eyes.

At the same event Ted Kennedy's son Teddy spoke about the importance of America's working class and its significance to the Kennedy family. I was surprised but he was actually quite eloquent. There is a rumor Ted Kennedy might be well enough to attend some of the events in the next few days, I'm crossing my fingers.

Following the AFL-CIO meeting, we whisked ourselves into the next door ballroom for the tribute to Congressman John Conyers from Detroit, MI. I have been lecturing about Conyers and his impact on Civil Rights for years, needless to say it was a thrill to be able to listen to him and his passionate support for Barack Obama. Conyers is simply man who has dedicated his life to the pursuit of not just civil rights but to human rights. It was a treat to say the least.

It was a jam packed day, upon our return to our hotel we saw our first celebrity, Al Franken who is staying here with the Minnesota delegation. His wife told us that they would be leaving on Tuesday to get back to his Senate campaign, with Tuesday being the primary they can't be away too long.

Tomorrow is shaping up to be a very busy day. Our state delegation meets at 7 am (most of you know I am not a morning person so you can imagine how that will work out :-), and then we have several events planned including something called "Unconventional Women," the GLBT caucus and then the convention itself kicks off officially with Jimmy Carter giving the first Keynote speech. If time permits we may be able to make it to the Molly Brown House (of Titanic fame) and possibly the Downtown Aquarium which is supposed to be amazing.

Till next time, I hope you are all well and stay tuned for tomorrow night's post....