This was the first DNC that I attended and I found out a lot of things. Most importantly, Democrats don’t know how to plan things very well logistically, which was bad because I wasn’t able to attend nearly everything that I wanted too. Just to give you an example. Breakfast for the NJ Delegates was from 8-10 (and that’s IF they started and ended on time which they rarely did) and then from 10-12, 12-2 and 2-4 were some caucuses that people could attend. The caucus times and days varied during the week. But if you see breakfast and the first caucus you’ll see there is no time for traveling. For delegates near the convention centre they didn’t have so much trouble but NJ was all the way in the boonies: 30 minutes away from the Pennsylvania Convention Centre.
If we were lucky (which we normally weren’t), but if the buses came on time maybe you could get to the second caucus that started at 12. But that was the joke of the week for NJ. It seemed like NJ was one of the forgotten states and I asked around why were we near the airport when there were people who came in by plane that would’ve had more use for our hotel. The way things work for both the delegates and the hotel arrangements is that swing states or states with a ton of delegates (like CA) get the hotels closer to the convention centres and better floor seats. States that are highly blue (like NJ) get the hotels that are a bit far because we don’t need to stay as “happy” in the eye of the DNC since we will vote for the candidate that is elected with no questions asked. So the bluer your state is the less your happiness was important to them and you just had to deal with the problems that occurred.
But…… that is a problem! The DNC isn’t just a place where delegates put in their vote and represent the many thousands of people they are there to represent. It’s also a time for people to network, go to events and learn some things from people all over the country. That can’t happen when things run as smoothly as a dragons back. [Meaning super duper bumpy and crappy]! And most of us delegates didn’t get to the DNC on our own dime, many if not most of us had to fundraise to make it there. Which wasn’t a cheap experience at all I might add. So I wanted to make everyone proud that helped me get there:
1. Vote for Our Man Bernie Sanders
2. Try to get issues onto the floor (which wasn’t possible I found out because there’s a whole long process) so I’ll have to do that for next time now that I know
3. Network with Berners from around the US to continue the revolution
4. Kick ass in the interviews that I had to do or would come my way.
To make NJ matters worse is that even if you wanted to leave breakfast early to get to the meetings you wouldn’t be able to because our credentials didn’t get in until around 9:30 AM and the next bus was at 10 AM again IF it came on time which rarely they ever did. But if I was lucky I’d get to the convention centre by around 11-11:30 and try to get to some of the events over there. All in all the timing of things was horrible and they gave no consideration in the schedule for traveling – this includes walking the 100s of miles in the centre itself, it was YUGE.
Another issue is buses didn’t run throughout the whole DNC timed events. They would stop running at a few hours before all the days events where over making traveling that much harder. For example if I stayed at my hotel for a reception/event and it ran past 1:30 that was it I couldn’t go to the afternoon caucuses :/ :'( And then I and everyone who stayed for the event would have to go straight to Wells Fargo by gavel time. Which ranged from the hours of 3PM-4PM (so yeah even if you wanted to do the caucuses from 2-4 you’d have to leave those early).
You’d think that catching a 1:30 bus you’d make it there super early but no buses were normally late and made traveling a bit stressful. A small group of us waited one day for almost 90 minutes for a bus to take us to Wells Fargo. So you make it to the floor and sit down by around 4:30. And are stuck there until like 10 or 11 PM if not later. If you are like me you gotta eat like a few times if not at least once, but that in itself was a problem too because the venue didn’t have enough food for all the people that were there. 2 out of the 4 nights they ran out of food and I mean RAN OUT! The stock rooms were cleaned out!
With every problem that occurred I kept asking myself, “How are there this many problems? They had not one not two but FOUR years to prepare for this and they suck!!”
You can’t run out of expensive food when you know you’ll have at least 6,000 people there if not more and they will all get hungry at one point! That will happen when you have people sit for over 6 hours.
I was able to get something to nosh on either because I took a hotdog with no bun, ate some sandwich I didn’t like or by getting food from some super nice NJ person who offered me some of their food. But I was able to somehow make it not fully awake though because I hit some low sugar points throughout the night and would doze off in my seat. Not my best moments but when you don’t have much to eat things like this happen.
As the week went by I asked people that have been to other DNC’s are they all run this poorly. And they all said, “No. This is by far the worse one they have been too.”
Thankfully for me this was the worst stuff that happened to me. We all when through tones of emotions when Bernie lost the nomination. But I was glad to not be mistreated by Hillary delegates like some of my fellow Bernie people were. Again for me the traveling and no food seemed to be the worst thing that could happen and that made me wonder if I wanted to try to go to another DNC – which if I’m honoured to be selected again I probably will. I’ll just have to try and work around crappy logistical issues. Food is a big thing. I need to eat to keep my energy levels up. But I know a lot more about how DNC conventions are run then I ever did before. Now time to get a Democratic into the oval office come 2020.
#FeeltheBern #PoliticalRevolution #OurRevolution