Sunday, August 24, 2008

Day 1, Sunday, Democratic National Convention, Denver


Whew! It's just Day One of the Democratic National Convention in Denver, and I already have so much to report!

I flew into Denver this morning. On my flight was Laura McGee, candidate for House District 18 in Great Falls. We met my fellow representative Julie French in the airport and all took the shuttle to our hotel. We found a number of our fellow delegates there, and drove into downtown Denver, where all the convention events are taking place.

We walked the 16th Street Mall, a wonderful walking mall two blocks from the convention center, and found many Democrats, along with peaceful anti-war protesters and a strong police presence, just to keep everyone in line. I saw a delegate there, with his Democratic dog:



There are many images from the kick-off to the convention; check out my photos from day one at my facebook page, here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2006187&l=8422c&id=1002190929

From the 16th Street Mall, we proceeded over to the Denver Convention Center and listened in to a labor rally, then attended a discussion on civil rights between US Rep John Conyers, House Judiciary Chairman and the longest-serving African-American Congressman, and John Nichols, a writer for the Nation, the oldest weekly mag in the US. The event began with a musical performance by Steven Taylor, vocalist,
who sang operatic pieces of speeches by President John F Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Attorney General Robert F Kennedy. The pieces were written for and performed originally at the 1968 convention. That was followed by three pieces by the Colorado Children's Chorale, including a piece that used a traditional Lakota round dance melody. Very nice!

Congressman Conyers spoke about how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would appreciate the involvement of people in this year's election, and how civil rights must always be actively protected.

Next, to the Friends of New Orleans event at the Korbel Ballroom in the convention center, a reception for Katrina relief in the gulf and in New Orleans. The band was great, and the spirit of recovery for Louisiana and The Big Easy was, too.



Then the inimitable Randy Newman! Randy Newman, I couldn't believe it! Newman sang "Louisiana", which was so touching, especially with appeals earlier in the evening for help rebuilding New Orleans, the gulf coast, and Louisiana from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.



After Randy Newman, Democratic National Chairman Gov. Howard Dean took the stage for a brief address and welcome to the delegates.



Following Dean's welcome, the Friends of New Orleans ended the evening with a rousing round of "When the Saints Go Marching In".

And that was just the first day! Visit my blog, get the YouTube videos, and be sure to visit the photo albums on my facebook page (link above) to get the latest and greatest from the convention. I have to hurry up and sleep now so that I can be up and ready at 7 a.m. for the delegation meeting, where we get the schedule for the day, our credentials, security updates, etc.

More to come from the Democratic National Convention in Denver--stay tuned!

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