News from the DNCC
Today I went to the DNCC community forum. The event was hosted to answer questions and provide information about the ongoing planning for the 2008 Democratic Convention.
The event was hosted by: DNCC CEO Leah Daughtry and senior staff: Sky Gallegos, Travis Dredd, and Cameron Mood. They showed a few short clip videos and then followed with a question and answer session. Here are some of the highlights:
Local participation at the convention
The convention will start off with an interfaith gathering Sunday, August 24 in the Wells Fargo Theater at the Colorado Convention Center. It will be open to the public.
The Pepsi Center will be opened for tours one week prior to the start of the Convention after the decorations are set up.
Caucuses will also be open to the public. The Caucuses will be held at the Colorado Convention Center, and will meet twice a week. The Black Caucus and Hispanic Caucus will both be held on Monday/Wednesday, the Women Caucus will be held on Tuesday/Thursday and the Military Caucus will be held on Tuesday/Thursday. Caucus times are from 10am to 4pm.
The entire convention will be streamed on the internet at http://www.demconvention.com/ , it will also be displayed at multiple kiosks "viewing areas" thoroughout the city. The stationary cameras are controlled however by Fox(!!), so I fully expect to see many shots of nose picking and other unflattering shots. Delegates, be on your best behavior ;)
Essay contests on leadership have been held in the Colorado area, and winners chosen. Many of these children will be participating at the convention as pages.
Day in the life of a delegate
Delegates will meet at their respective hotels for breakfast from 7-9am. If you are not at the breakfast, your credentials will be given away to someone else, so be sure to wake up and drag yourself in early. At 9:30, there will be shuttle buses that go downtown. The shuttles are fully handicap accessible. This is after rush hour traffic, so should not cause congestion issues. Most delegates then have a free day to view the city till 4:00pm, at which point the main event starts. The convention itself will be from 4-9pm, with shuttle buses running till one hour after the end.
Delegates will also have the opportunity to participate in community service. Curtis park was mentioned as a cleanup point for a delegate service day.
Most delegates aren't invited to parties, so local resturants and vendors were encouraged to attract delegates to their location with experiences that are authentically Denver.
If you aren't signed up already, you probably won't be. Normal volunteers have to be at 10,000 for a convention to successfully run. Denver has 26,000 volunteers already signed up. The only volunteer opportunities presently suggested are with the Downtown Initiatives. Interested parties should contact: 3035346161.
Best Quote of the Day
During the question and answer session, a 16 year old boy asked Leah Daughtry what advice she could give those people interested in the political process and the history being made at the convention this year. Her suggestion, "Get in the way. Change doesn't happen if you sit on the sidelines."
I spoke with Aaron Silverstein and Aaron Myers about the bloggers. He provided this information:
There will be computer kiosks throughout the floor that will allow wired internet access as well as in the lounging area.
Wifi will not be allowed as it interferes with the television signals of the broadcasters. This will be especially problematic this year, as many of the stations will be broadcasting in both digital and analog.
Credentialed bloggers will have lounge staff there to provide technical support. There are no limits on the operating systems/browsers that they will be supporting, so everyone install linux if you want to give the volunteers a workout ;)
Internet bandwidth will be provided by Qwest, with level 3 providing vivix fiber optic transport for video.
Every credentialed blogger will have floor access. The state bloggers will be with their delegates, the National bloggers will receive passes. Only bloggers compete for blogger passes. They will not be competing with journalists for their passes. Myers interated that he believes the number of passes will be enough that people will have the access they need.
Myers also indicated that he would be making a new announcements over the next few weeks pertinent to bloggers and additional access/features they will have, so keep your eyes open.