Ok, I know it’s a little early to be slacking off the blog and handing the reins over to someone else, but my awesome parents went to Charlotte, N.C. to participate in our democracy and wrote a bit about their adventures in politics. Their words below touch on some of the highlights of their experience.
Their hard work and dedication, combined with that of tens of thousands of others brought about the results we have seen this week. Many glass ceilings broken through, some hope restored and our fine President able to get back to work.
Notes from the 2012 Democratic convention
By Susan & Martin Heyman (delegate & alternate)
It was, without a doubt, one of the most hectic and exhausting weeks of our lives. John Walsh did a terrific job organizing, to the minute, both the program and the coordination of our delegation. We awoke every morning at 7am for our Massachusetts Delegation breakfast meetings with a terrific group of speakers such as Governor Michael Dukakis, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and Senator John Kerry, who gave us a real inside scoop on his role as chairman of the Senate budget committee during negotiations on the debt ceiling impasse. After breakfast we would head immediately to the convention center about 3 blocks away to attend our choice of 3 to 5 caucus meetings from 10am to noon. We then had a second and third round of caucuses from noon to 2 and 2 to 4, all while trying to squeeze in some lunch. Here is a sample of the caucus meetings: African Americans; Hispanics; Ethnic Council, Native American Council; Women’s Caucus; Youth Council; Disability; Veterans & military families; LGBT caucus; Senior council; Small Business; Rural Council, just to name a few.
From 4pm to closing around 11pm we were on the floor for the official program, the events you might have seen on TV. And it was a wonderful show…we especially loved President Clinton’s brilliant speech and the performance by the Foo Fighters, much to our daughter’s delight.
Then the receptions and partying began around midnight, carried on until the wee hours, were followed by a few hours sleep and we were on to the next day.
Charlotte was very receptive and the people very kind and helpful, they seemed to enjoy having this tumult in their city, where 40% of the downtown streets were blocked off and police and firefighters from all over the state patrolled all day and night. Traffic was rerouted and often at a standstill but they seemed to take all in stride.
We discovered the whole country loves Massachusetts. They admire our politics and our politicians, past and present (including our current governor), and they loved Elizabeth Warren and committed donations to her campaign. . During the screening of a film about Ted Kennedy eyes were wet all over the arena. They also admire our health care program, and our education system. Everyone seemed to be saying that the seat formerly held by Kennedy should continue to be a high profile progressive seat and not be held by a follower like Scott Brown.
We celebrated the role of women all week and they were fabulous: Debbie Wasserman-Scultz, Elizabeth Warren, Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden, Jennifer Granholm, Sandra Fluke, the women of the U.S. Senate, the women of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nuns on the Bus, Gabby Giffords, Donna Brazill, and the list goes on and on.
It was a great opportunity for us to be able to sit and converse informally with important political figures, to whom we(one)could(can) not usually get (gain) toaccess. and that certainly gave us a sense of some importance, but our real take away from the whole week was one of great inclusion, participation and warmth; everyone seemed to be hugging each other. We asked an MSNBC columnist to compare the two conventions. He said we could not quote him, but the Democrats were having much more fun and so was he.