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Activist 101: Diary of a Delegate to a Democratic Convention

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Activist 101: Diary of a Delegate to a Democratic Convention

I was elected in January 2007 to be a voting delegate for both the 2007 and 2008 California Democratic Party Conventions.

The 2007 convention my first as a delegate, and I blogged an online diary to be able to share the experience with About.com readers.

This I can tell you: I found the experience of being a convention delegate to be more rewarding and eye-opening than I ever imagined. And much more fun than anyone told me...

Day One of the California Democratic Party Convention - April 27, 2007

EXCERPT:
"Thousands of exuberant Democrats descended on the San Diego Convention Center today for Day One of the California 2007 Democratic Party Convention... much to the confusion of 12,000 eye doctors who are also convening here...

The time I enjoyed most today, registration... but not because of the long, friendly, unruly, joyous lines, or because of the delegate goodie bags... but because of the people I met, and the warm, challenging discussions that ensued...

Hospitality suites tonight feature several bashes & buffets, Funk Fest 07 hosted by 3 Sacramento lawmakers, a 007: Democrats Are Forever party co-hosted by California Young Democrats and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, and... I'm serious... a 1970s-style folk music hootenanny hosted by Dennis Kucinich."

Day Two of the California Democratic Party Convention - April 28, 2007

EXCERPT:
"Twenty-one speakers addressed the 2,000 delegates to the California Democratic Convention today. Among the speakers were 3 U.S. House members, all of California, as well as former Governor Jerry Brown, and five other state officials.

Oh... and did I mention Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Christopher Dodd and Dennis Kucinich?

Hillary Clinton looked tired, and her voice was raspy and hoarse. She's more attractive in person than I imagined from the horrid photos so often published of her...

Obama delivered a superbly inspiring speech that brought the delegates to their feet time and time again. But one disappointment about Senator Obama's speech was.. "

Final Day of the California Democratic Party Convention - April 29, 2007

EXCERPT:
"Starbucks in hand, delegates waded through swarming Edwards supporters to find our regions on the massive main floor. We settled into our too-familiar seats and relaxed for what we secretly hoped would be a slow morning. On the platform, the 21 regional chairs were awarding Democrat of the Year for hardworking activists in their district. The chatter was easy... peaceful... comfortable...

But we were dead wrong!

... John Edwards surprised me with his charisma and effectiveness at connecting intimately with the delegates.

He worked the convention floor brilliantly, pressing the flesh as he made an entrance worthy of a heavy-weight boxer, surrounded by exuberant, placard-waving supporters. "

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