Wow! Day 1 at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte surpassed even my craziest of expectations. It was quite a busy day here, from meeting and greeting with top DNC members and sitting in on a training about how to relate to military families to the speech by First Lady Michelle Obama that brought the convention floor to our feet and tears to our eyes.
I started the morning at the California delegation breakfast, sitting with my fellow elected delegates from the North Bay: Paul Cohen, Blake Hooper, Jessica Jackson, Jan O'Brien, and Andy Hyman. Attorney General Kamala Harris could not have been more heartfelt, bringing talk for the rest of the day of when she'll run for...Governor? Senator? ...President? 2016 or...? In any case, everone agreed that California has a lot to be proud of in it's newest attorney general.
After breakfast, I found my way through security check points to a reception honoring Democratic National Party Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz at the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) at the Levine Museum for the New South. It was fun catching up with our own state Senator Mark Leno along with progressive Jewish leaders from throughout the country. After hearing from our party chair and Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, fellow Bay Area delegate Igor Tregub and I attended a training on how and why progressive Democrats should understand and relate to military service members and their families put on by the Truman Project.
The highlight of my day came as I escaped the rain and headed into the Westin Hotel to volunteer for the main Arkansas Democratic Party event, honoring the 20 years of service since Bill Clinton was nominated for President. Given I was not yet a full year old at the time of nomination, it was amazing being able to look back and see both the struggles and the successes of the Democratic Party during his 8 years of service as President. President Clinton spoke of how all our party has to do to win is to state the facts as they stand: More than 2 million more jobs created under Obama than under Bush. When Clinton ended his speech and the crowd started rushing over in an attempt to have a handshake or a photo, I walked back out into the rain and down to the convention center.
As everyone who got a chance to catch convention speeches on the TV or online got to see, Tuesday was nothing short of an amazing line up of inspiring, compassionate leaders. Keynote Speaker Julian Castro of Texas brought us all to our feet numerous times with his call to reignite the American middle class through opportunity, education and investment.
First Lady Michelle Obama, though, was the most inspirational as she brought tears to my eyes and those around us as she told both her and Barack's story and translated those values to how he has acted since being sworn in almost four years ago.
Now it's time to log off, button the cuff of my shirt, and head back out for Day 2!