In Charlotte – before the convention
On Sunday, the heat and humidity really hit me when I left the hotel and ventured out into the city of Charlotte to just explore. As part of the California delegation, I quickly discovered that I was very fortunate to have been assigned to a hotel very near the center of the city.
I had the morning to explore the center of the city – figuring out where different events would be held. The security for the convention was being completed. Quite comprehensive and very well organized.
I had made reservations to attend a reception sponsored by the National Women’s Political Caucus. However, when I tried to walk to the event (cabs were not an option due to the security barricades and the peaceful protest march against “Wall Street South”), I couldn’t get there.
So I returned to my hotel in time to get on a bus to a reception for the CA delegation (over 600 delegates) and three other states. We were taken to the U.S. National Whitewater Center. http://usnwc.org. If you are ever in Charlotte, plan to visit this great Olympic Training Center that is open to the public.
On Monday, the heat and humidity cranked up. The California delegation started the day with the Delegation Breakfast, which was repeated each day. We enjoyed a great breakfast and listened to significant leaders in California and American politics.
On Labor Day, some of our delegates had tickets to see the American Presidential Experience, sponsored by C-Span, which was also open to the public. In a large tent, C-SPAN set up a museum of presidential history and it was fascinating. Johnson & Murphy showed the shoes of the presidents and Abraham Lincoln’s shoes won – largest! We also were able to walk-through a previous Air Force One.
After that we went to the Charlotte Fest, in honor of all of the people who work every day to make things work and fix things, which was held in downtown Charlotte – food, art, memorabilia – and culminating with a concert that included Jeff Bridges and his band and James Taylor. A huge deluge of rain interrupted Jeff Bridges’ performance. We had parkas so we waited for James Taylor, which was also interrupted by an even larger deluge. And that was the end of our pre-convention experience.
One more insight into the delegate experience: Delegates pay their way to the convention – flight, hotel, special events, and all meals. Some lower-income delegates hold fundraisers and their family and friends provide some financial support so that they can participate.