NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

LIVE from Charlotte: What a week it’s been so far at the Democratic National Convention!

Hel­lo from Char­lotte! I have been think­ing about how to best sum­ma­rize my expe­ri­ences in the Queen City for some time.

What do I tell peo­ple back home in the Pacif­ic North­west about my expe­ri­ences here? Well, to put it suc­cinct­ly, I am all fired up and ready to go.

Char­lot­teans have been very hos­pitable to us. The city is clean and the gen­er­al atmos­phere is upbeat. Yes­ter­day morn­ing, I attend­ed the women’s cau­cus, which had a packed ball­room and went so far past its allot­ted time that my next cau­cus (Senior Coun­cil) was already filled to capac­i­ty. The RSVP sys­tem works on paper but in real­i­ty, with this many peo­ple, it is very dif­fi­cult to accom­mo­date everybody.

I have been here since Sat­ur­day which now seems so long ago…on Sun­day I attend­ed the host com­mit­tee wel­come recep­tion at the Levine Muse­um of the New South, which had mem­o­rable music, good food and the oppor­tu­ni­ty to speak to oth­er del­e­gates from Col­orado, Ore­gon, and Ari­zona. Again, very upbeat.

On Mon­day, I attend­ed the APIA (Asian Pacif­ic Islander) cau­cus, where we were treat­ed to a won­der­ful speech by Hawaii Gov­er­nor Aber­crom­bie and a thought­ful pan­el dis­cus­sion from elect­ed and prospec­tive can­di­dates. In the after­noon, I worked on the Heroes at Home NextGen Home Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vice Project — half the house was built at the Repub­li­can Con­ven­tion and today they will be putting both sides togeth­er and it will be giv­en to a vet­er­an at a loca­tion of about 20 miles from the con­ven­tion cen­ter. Very cool.

The Wash­ing­ton State Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty is doing an excel­lent job of keep­ing us all informed and mak­ing sure we are hav­ing a good time.

We’ve heard from many, many, many speak­ers already, but there’s been a com­mon thread run­ning through those speech­es. We’ve been urged to remind vot­ers of the Pres­i­den­t’s achieve­ments, which have moved the coun­try for­ward, and the impor­tance of down­bal­lot races at the local and state level.

For me, three of Pres­i­dent Oba­ma’s most impor­tant first term achieve­ments are:

Last night was incred­i­ble. Mal­colm and I attend­ed the Arkansas Cel­e­bra­tion, where we had the chance to hear Bill Clin­ton speak in a small­er set­ting, so we arrived a lit­tle late to the gen­er­al ses­sion — not long after I walked into the build­ing, the tears start­ed flow­ing and my eyes were moist most of the night.

I had made a edu­cat­ed deci­sion to wear Sar­i’s at the con­ven­tion — we live in such a visu­al world and I tru­ly feel it is my job here to encour­age and allow peo­ple to engage with me in con­ver­sa­tion. Mis­sion accom­plished… I have spo­ken to many Indi­ans and these past few days shar­ing my sto­ry… tonight, though, I will be back to wear­ing West­ern clothes.

Being a del­e­gate means there is lots of get­ting up and sit­ting down on the con­ven­tion floor — that makes it hard to con­trol six yards of material!

We have more cau­cus­es and con­ven­tions today, and then gen­er­al ses­sion again at 5 PM. Pres­i­dent Clin­ton and Eliz­a­beth War­ren are the major speak­ers tonight.

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