All That Jazz - Skydiver8's Democratic National Convention adventure!

ICYMI, last month I was elected to be a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in August, in Chicago. Gonna start this blog/TR to share with y’all the experience, how I got here, and any craziness that happens.

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I grew up in Cincinnati, a mere 5 hours from Chicago, and yet, I have only been there once, over 30 years ago. I don’t recall anything, so it will be like visiting a brand new place! Apparently this bean thing is popular. :woman_shrugging:

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They also seem to have confused lasagna with pizza.

Anyway, where it is doesn’t matter as much as what it is, and that it’s still going to be a good time. Like Comic Con for politics nerds!

Anyway, I’m starting this now because just getting to this point was a whole process and I figured y’all might be interested in seeing how it all works, at least in California (and maybe Ohio, more on that later).

per aspera ad astra!

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sounds neat! congrats

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Do you have a Ferris Bueller activity checklist?

You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?

Delegates to the DNC are chosen by Congressional district. Each district is allocated a number of delegates based on how many registered democrats there are in that district. I live in CA-48 (Issa), which means I was already starting with a huge disadvantage. Where many districts in CA were allocated 9-10 delegates, CA-48, being the ruby red hellhole that it is, only has 5, 3 of which have to be women and 2 have to be other than women (male and/or non-binary)

In January, the CA Democratic Party put out a call for delegate candidates. Once that deadline closed (mid-March), the list was sent to the Biden campaign, who had the final say of who would be allowed on the ballot. Do not ask me their decision process, I don’t know it. I do know a few people who were excluded from the ballot by the campaign, though. I doubt I’ll ever know what their criteria were, but I made the cut.

The next step was getting Democrats in my district to request a ballot. In the old days, all of this was done in-person on a caucus day in April, but we’re in the digital age, so none of that archaic crap goes anymore. I had approximately 3 weeks to whip friends and other democrats in my district to get off their asses, go to a website, and sign up to receive a ballot…which wouldn’t come until 2 weeks AFTER that.

As you can imagine, it’s like begging for crumbs on the internet streets, not only to first get people to request a ballot, then two weeks later, get them to actually check their email and vote.

One little wrinkle: the Wednesday before the ballots were sent out, stupid Gavin fucking Newsom’s team sent out an email to all the ballot recipients giving his “recommendation,” which was ONE person from Temecula (where I have almost zero connections). There are many problems with this:

  1. Most political endorsements are arrived at via a process where the candidates fill out a questionnaire, talk to the endorsing organization, etc. This did not happen.
  2. The person chosen was from the red-headed stepchild area of the district. only about 20% of CA-48 is in Riverside County, and yet, that’s the person he chose.
  3. How the fuck did his team have the entire list of voters, when that info was NOT available to the candidates. We had no chance to whip votes. Instead, I just had to hope and pray that my social media posting in as many facebook groups as I could find would get me over the line.

As expected, Newsom’s person ended up getting the most votes. I got 3rd, but it was enough to get me there.

So I managed to avoid not one but TWO thumbs on the scale and still get one of the delegate seats. As you can expect, I’m super excited!

Well, if they are things that happen to be located within the ~7 square block Secret Service perimeter they are reportedly setting up, then sure.

We are required to stay at the hotel designated for our delegation (for CA it’s the Hyatt Regency), and from what I’ve heard, getting in and out of the secured area is going to be a PITA. Hopefully that won’t be true and I’ll be able to venture out, but I won’t know more for a while.

A non-political friend asked me who I wanted to meet, and since us politics nerds treat this as a celebrity culture, I’ll list a few of my hopefuls here (in no particular order). Warning: some of these are extremely wonky!

  1. Aftab Pureval, rockstar mayor of Cincinnati

  2. Danica Roem, Virginia State Senator
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  3. Mallory McMorrow, Michigan State Senator

  4. Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL)
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  5. Malcom Kenyatta, PA State Rep and candidate for PA State Auditor General
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  6. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
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  7. Big Gretch (MI Gov)
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  8. Tina Kotek (OR Gov)
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  9. Michele Lujan Grisham (NM Gov)
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  10. Julie Su, Acting Labor Secretary
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Also looking forward to seeing many of the friends I made on the Pete campaign.

Looks like you get the less exciting Hyatt Regency McCormick Place inside the perimeter instead of the Hyatt Regency Chicago on the river? (For those who don’t know, McCormick Place will host the boring daytime meetings where they take care of party business while the primetime televised stuff will be at the United Center.) There’s a train from McCormick Place to Millennium Park, where the bean is, but sounds like it might be hard to do even that.

For people who know Chicago, this looks like the area sky has to work with.

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Yep. No idea how we’re getting from McCormick Place to the arena, not sure if they’ll have busses or we just have to get there on our own. I assume busses, since they seem to be tightly controlling entry, but who knows.

This is really neat!

Congrats, I’ll be following along

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It’s definitely going to be buses/shuttles.

Wow this is really neat!

Just FYI the plaza around “the bean” was fenced off because of renovations when I was there a few weeks ago, so there probably won’t be any good photo opps there. Still lots of interesting things to do in Chicago, though, and cool that you’re going to the convention.

The Field Museum is great, I also like jsut walking around area near Soldier Field.

Buckled in for the ride.

Park/waterfront awesome walks as well.

McCormick center was whipped when I last went there 25 years ago. Hopefully they’ve updated it.

You have to pay your own way or does your local party send you?

hahahaha, we pay.

However, I the party (can only speak for CA, not sure about other states) has funds to help disadvantaged folks, but it’s not a lot, and you have to apply/prove it.

Some fun things have happened since I got elected.

First, the “Congrats” email that we got from the party on April 23rd briefly mentioned a statewide delegate meeting on May 18th. No details.

A week after that (April 30th ish), we got an email asking us to RSVP for the state delegate meeting on May 18th in San Diego. whew, yay for me, but damn, that’s not a lot of notice for people who might have to fly here from like, fucking Shasta county or something.

Why May 18th? Well, it coincides with CADEM’s executive board meetings/conference, which basically elects our permanent DNC members (20 people from across the state), but those people have known about it for months.

Annoyingly, it’s at one of the few big hotels not served well by the trolley (Harbor Island), and I will need to plan a combined trolley/bus trip if I want to avoid the $49 parking fee. I HATE not taking transit when I go downtown. I’m annoyed.

Anyway, I got an email yesterday saying…be there by 8, you have to get credentialed, oh and by the way, the actual time/place of the meeting won’t be sent out until 24 hours prior. wtf?!

The purpose of this meeting is to finalize our delegation by choosing the at-large and elected officials who will also serve as delegates, then voting to ratify the delegation. I also get an observer pass for the E-board activities, so I might wander around to some of the committee meetings, who knows. The agenda isn’t public yet, so I don’t even know what that will entail.

CADEM seems way behind the curve on this whole deal, and I’m not sure why.

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More or less than $400 a night for the hotel in Chicago?

Don’t know yet. Probably less, they’ve got rooms blocked off that are guaranteed to be used on weeknights, which is a good thing for them.

They have you by the short hairs. You have to stay there. Hoping for the best but expecting a hose job.

How many nights, 4?