One week home for the DNC- 49 days to election day!

Well, it’s been an exciting week back from the DNC. A lot has happened.   I was contacted to post this blog on Patch.com in Santa Monica.  I’m formulating my thoughts on what is important to cover over these next 49 days before the election.

As I mentioned in my last entry, I was still flying high upon my return but soon after landing in Los Angeles, the mom hat came on and the delegate hat was put on the back burner.  I arrived at 12:00 noon and was ready for pick up at 2:30pm, after a great lunch with my friends Lyle and Cynthia.  I was glad they were still speaking to me after having two of my three girls all week. When I walked onto my girl’s school for pick up, some of their classmates yelled out that they saw me on the news or on TV at the convention.  It was great to know that many people were tuned in AND the kids were watching.

The excitement and recap of the DNC events with family and  friends has been spectacular. But…the challenge is to keep the energy going when carpool, work, homework, story time, bedtime and let’s not forget… laundry, leave me exhausted at the end of the day.

Again, I’m not complaining that I have to do any of those things, well, except maybe laundry, but I want to keep the election in the forefront of my mind because the outcome is too important for me and my family.  I look at my photos and remember the faces that continue to inspire me.  To know that I got to see Lilly Ledbetter in person and say thank you!! To have met so many woman that are in public office, as well as the thousands of volunteers for the campaign. They are juggling family and public life. If they can keep this election going, I am going to be certain that my voice counts and my time away from my family was worth every minute.

With that in mind, I want to share a GREAT video that was shown during the Woman’s Caucus, that I attended, and again on the final night of the convention, before the President came out to accept his nomination.  The discussion was about how one voice can make a difference.  The woman was Edith S. Childs and she was a city councilwoman in Greenwood, SC.  I am going to attach the segment because it helps me everyday to get “Fired up, Ready to go” and know that my voice does matter and I have 49 days to campaign for this election and for my beliefs.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhWDFgRfi1Q

Coming Back to Reality and determined to make a difference.

I got back from the DNC three days ago but truly haven’t left in my heart.  This is such an important election that I don’t want to come down from the excitement felt that week.  I would, however, like to get more sleep. Boy, it may take me a month to recover from a week of little sleep. That’s not right.

After some sleep, it is my hope that I can share my thoughts and point out the issues that are important to me as a woman, a mom, an employee, and an American in the year 2012.

I’m taking this one step at a time. It’s been interesting to talk to friends and find out that  many of us, myself included, are intimidated by politics or quite frankly, overwhelmed at the prospect of tackling all the issues.  Sometimes it seems like too much to think about getting involved in a campaign or worrying about even one more thing in our lives, but I challenge all who are reading this to do just one thing for this election.  If it’s only to get five people to register to vote, that is fantastic.  If its for you to vote, that too is fantastic! We all can take action one step at a time and one person does make a difference.  I have felt it first hand last week and all leading up to that exceptional experience in North Carolina.

Stay tuned…

 

Electric!!!!

That’s what it was, exciting, motivating, rejuvenating and down right electric!!! The line up of speeches, again, was exceptional.  Marc Anthony sang the national Anthem, they had performances by James Taylor (nice to be inside this time), Foo Fighters  and speeches in between. I couldn’t believe I was in there and down on the main floor.

Joe Biden was great.  I have to admit, I was more with the perception that he was not as strong a speaker, until tonight.  He was warm, charming, genuine and captivating in person.  I suppose, I am  swayed by the editors of TV.  When I got to hear him completely, I’m in. Joe Biden demonstrates such strength and conviction in his roll as husband, father, and  VP to the United States and to our President, I am a fan.

Everything leading up to the POTUS entering the room was amped. Just when you don’t think you can be any more excited, in walks the President, Barack Obama, and you think the roof is going to blow off the arena. I can’t help thinking about the pressure this man is under every single day in this position, the mean spirit in which comments are directed at him, personally, in an effort to affect him professionally but then, in he walks, with warmth, strength and a command of the audience that is awe inspiring. That’s why he is President.  Whether you agree with his policies or not, it is remarkable that any person is capable of such composure. Personally, I always am reminded of my youngest daughters (the twins with his same birthday), when they first heard about him running for president, they called him Orock Obama. and I agree, Barrack Obama does ROCK!!  He accepted the nomination and took command of the room with authority, warmth  and confidence. You will have heard the speech by the time this is being published but I can tell you, being in the room was better than any HD presentation.  I was sad at that moment that we weren’t in a huge stadium for everyone who wanted to see him could. But on a personal level, I was happy because, he too, had the ability to make us feel like we were in a high school auditorium having a much smaller group meeting.  How he looked at this family and how Michelle looked back at him, warmed my heart.  I don’t know if I could share Randy with the entire world all the time, so I think they both are pretty remarkable people. When his speech concluded and both his and the Biden family came up on the stage,  It was hard to believe that I had been in that building -stuck to my seat because I was afraid someone would figure out that I wasn’t in the alternate section – for nearly 9 hours straight. WOW. The even more remarkable point is that , I didn’t want to leave.  I wondered around finding people, taking photos and just still trying to take it all in.  The excitement, the enthusiasm, the spirit that I wanted to take home and convey to everyone was sinking in, I hoped, by just being in the arena for a few more minutes.

My sister Kim called so I talked to her while I was walking around in a daze.  She was commenting on the people she saw on the TV and loved the delegates with the beautiful bright yellow turbans.  I was excited to proclaim that they were from California and though my opportunity to take a photo with them may have passed, it was exciting to know that California had such a diverse delegation and was noticed on national TV.  We hung up and I continued to walk the floor and who should I find, but our delegation and I’m telling you it was amazing, i asked the group to get together for a photo that I wanted to send it to my sister and there we were muslim, indian, hindu, jewish and white, methodist me, gathering for a photo.  A bunch of cameras were picked up at that point so we’re all looking in different directions but it was a fun photo and thanks kim for inspiring me to make it happen.

Moment of truth…

I go back to my room to straighten up and hope to hear from the organizers that I have a seat on the main floor.  Remember, the event has been moved from the outdoor stadium back into the arena, due to weather.  They are scrambling to get seats for the important people they had promised seats to, all the while, they have 50,000 fewer seats of which to promise.

I have no info so I text one more time and the reply is “if you haven’t received a notice by now, there is no change in the seating”.  so… with that in mind, i decide to head on over. Mind you, it’s 2:30pm and the evening doesn’t start until 4:30pm.   My wonderful Hope is holding a spot for me, just in case.  I’m not too confident but I’m eternally hopeful.  I told Hope to hold that seat just in case!! And I head over all by myself.

Me, outside the convention. Hopeful that the person at the door doesn’t pay attention to the writing, just the color of the credential and lets me in.

I walk into the convention center.  Go the the tunnel to the floor, show may badge and… I’M IN!!!!!!!!! I don’t pass go, I don’t collect $200, I just make a bee line to my seat from the night before and I think Hope is as excited as I am that I’m there.  Needless to say, i was staying put for the night, so they couldn’t change their minds.  I get to be on the main floor for this night of great speeches and the acceptance speeches of Joe Biden and President Barrack Obama.

 

 

Day 3 of the convention

Wow, it’s Thursday already. Actually, it was Thursday before I left the convention center last night, but who’s keeping track and certainly who needs sleep???  The week has gone so quickly.  There has been so much excitement. So many people around in the streets, some for and some against but all part of the process as well ,and part of a system that will allow them to protest and complain about the system all the while the police are protecting them on their route, so they are safe during their protest.  It has been amazing.

I’m still floating from last night’s speeches but I need to get up to get my credential and get over to the Woman’s Caucus.  I walk down to the Blake Hotel and there are a LOT of empty seats.  I’m telling you, if I didn’t have to get my credential, i certainly would have skipped breakfast.  About my credential, I wanted to see if my pal Doug could hook me up again.  He said that he’s try but he didn’t seem as optimistic as the day before.  He did indicate that the color for the tags are the same on the floor and in the alternate’s area, so he said I could just try. I told him that I’m a bit of a stickler for the rules but we’ll see what happens.  I preceded to text the woman who gave me the credential the day before, just to have her keep me on her mind.

Mind you, they have the President of the United States arriving today, I don’t think the credential of an alternate delegate from Westchester, California is top priority. Oh well, I will go upon my way.  I’m going to the woman’s caucus and then going to have lunch with my delegate friend Diane and then see if my credential change comes in.

Off I walk to the convention center. Security is very tight, metal detectors, bag searches and no liquids or umbrellas allowed.  They have an amazing line up of speakers but – did I mention that I’m tired? –  This certainly an empowering session with all these exceptional woman doing amazing things and want to inspire excellence in our day to day as well as, they want you to run for office!! We need more woman in office.  President Obama has appointed and hired fantastic woman since he took office. He has fought for our issues.  A great example is Lilly Ledbetter. She was adorable and humble.  She was clear that we can’t go back on woman’s rights and while she lost her fight with the Supreme court, it was President Obama who signed her case into law. She said that he didn’t see it as a stranger’s case, he made it personal, imagining his mother and down the road, his own daughters. He knew it isn’t right for a woman to be paid less for doing the same work, so he did something about it. There was a whole line up of amazing woman but the main reason for the security was that we were introduced to  Jill Biden and Michelle Obama.

Jill did a great job introducing Michelle and Michelle talked about Jill and how exceptional she is in her teaching and her roll as the VP’s wife AND that there was nothing second about her – (They were introduced as the first and second ladies of the US.)  Michelle talked about the work we have cut out for us and we have to get out, get the issues heard and get people to VOTE.  If each of us just has 5 people vote that normally wouldn’t, that number can make the difference.  She pointed out that even though the President won Florida, it was only by about 140,000 votes and if you break that down into districts it was only about  35 votes per district.  She hoped that would bring it home that every vote counts and for each of us to get more people to vote.

Hard to tell but that is Jill Biden and Michelle Obama

Lilly Ledbetter talking with Congresswoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz from Florida’s 20th district. (I don’t know the young girl they are talk with)

 

After this session, I meet Diane for lunch and then I return to my room and hope for the best on my credential.

More photos from Day 2

Sandra Fluke, after her speech came over and sat behind me next to Gloria Allred.  My fine stealth photography at work again.

Eric McCormick, just 5 seat away actually, upon returning from whatever had made him really mad.

Bill Clinton, of course

The nomination was stated and seconded. then the roll call started and amazingly carried on until nearly 3am the next morning.

 

Up close and personal

Well, entering the stadium tonight was amazing!!!! My dear friend Hope Aguilar saved me a seat right up front and center of the California delegation, once she heard I would be on the main floor.  It was fantastic. (I was even on TV-see below). The speeches were so moving. Everything about it was wonderful.  The speakers were spot on and to cap the evening with Bill Clinton was genius.  The poor teleprompter person had a tough job because the speech touched on the written text but much of what he said (about 25 minutes worth or the 48 minutes speech) was not written on the page.  He somehow transformed that 25,000 plus seat arena into an intimate town hall meeting in a high school auditorium. That truly doesn’t happen every day.  The roll call for the nomination started once he did finish so it made for a long night for the secretary and the delegations from states at the end of the alphabet.

We had the California Delegation party so we left after our State was called.

The California Delegation Party was at the Nascar Hall of Fame Building.  It was a nice affair.  I walked with Hope and we met a couple of local woman.  Hope convinced them both to volunteer for the campaign.  Eric McCormack gave a speech to the delegation.  He was born in Canada but is now a US citizen.  he was fun at the party but in the convention, he has a poor attitude and really turned some people off.  No one expected him to be snippy but i truly would have charged him a snippy tax if i had been brave enough to walk up to him.  I think he got happier later but I didn’t stick around to find out.  It was nice of him to come to our party and if I hadn’t been sitting 10 seats away, I wouldn’t have even know he had been snippy.

View from the delegation area. The gentleman in the bright vest, Sean was his name, he is responsible for keeping the crowd lively. He passed out the signs. Pointed to people to smile if he saw a camera around etc. He was quite fun to watch. Needless to say, he never had to tell me to smile, I was giddy all night.

I had about 5 people text this photo to me after it hit the local air waves. My friend, Hope, is under my arm pit. I’m so glad I shaved.

Gloria Allred was sitting one seat over in the row behind me. I was stealth in my photography. I know she would have posed because she was posing for people all night but there was something fun in sneaking the shot.

John Kerry entering the house. He was great in his speech. He might have won his election 8 years ago if he was a relaxed and been energetic and as funny as he was tonight.

Yes, that’s Gray Davis and behind him is Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein sitting in for the nomination.

Day two of the convention

A lot less sleep last night but I’m up and going to the breakfast at the Blake.  Boy the horror stories of people’s stay at the Blake Hotel.  I don’t want to rub in that I’m closer to the action, at the Hampton Inn, Uptown,  and that  I have a large jacuzzi tub in my room. But, I do :-) .  Actually, it has been weird because I don’t remember the last time I had a hotel room to myself.  It’s not a complaint that I want to have happen more, it’s just a realization that I’m either with Randy or Randy and the girls.  Even my high school reunion in Palm Springs, when Randy stayed home with the girls, my sisters were with me.  This week I am using every drawer and hanger in the place. Not to mention, I spread out in the bathroom with my stuff on every inch of the counter.  Nothing was on top of the other. Easy access to everything and I didn’t have to wait to take a shower or bath, my room what my castle.  Too bad, I’m finding that I won’t be in it much. Oh well, you can’t have it all I guess. Again, none of this is a complaint, just observations.

The breakfast was great, Alfre Woodard, Antonio Villaraigosa, Dianne Feinstein all spoke.  I even got to sign the sheet for the official Nomination for the President of the United States of America. At the end, many of us walked around and talked to various individuals.  I even spoke to my sign in pal, Doug, to see about getting on the Main Floor tonight.  He took my name, let’s see what happens.

Alfre Woodard

US Senator Dianne Feinstein

Mayor, Antonia Villaraigosa

Official nomination sheet that we got to sign for our President’s nomination.

KCRW reporter.

My great friends and fellow CA delegates: Hope Aguilar, Kevin Brown, me, TyRon Turner.