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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