Friday, September 14, 2012

Fired Up and Ready to Go!

Indiana Delegates Zach Adamson, Karen Horseman,
Lori Morris, and Regina Pilotte rock the convention hall.
Editor's Note:  City-County Councillor Zach Adamson sent me this excellent piece about his experiences at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.  

By Councillor Zach Adamson

Now that things have finally calmed down, I’ve gotten my email back to manageable numbers, the phone calls have all been returned, and all the laundry’s been washed and put away, I’ve got a moment to write a few lines about the amazing experience so many of us had at the Democratic National Convention last week.

The first thing I want to do is put a big thank you out to the Indiana Democratic Party. We saw several examples how stressful this could have been, but at least for me, the team from IDP was super organized and super accessible. Thanks to Jordan, Peter, and Jen for doing everything possible to make the very hectic event run as smoothly as possible.

And hectic is was!

As was written in the Indy Star, the Republicans had meetings. The Democrats had caucuses; and lots of them. The schedule was grueling, especially for us folks in Indiana who at the time, were not a swing state (but I hear after this amazing convention, it’s a mere 4 point spread for the President). I’m told we were lucky. Some states had their hotel as far away as South Carolina. The bus left the hotel every morning at 7:00 a.m., and the driver did not wait for anyone. Our morning briefing and pep rally and credential distribution went on while we ate.

There were so many great caucuses to attend it was often difficult to decide, but time became a bigger factor and we often had to skip some just to make it to other ones. Unfortunately, I had to skip more than I got to attend. Apparently, it helps if you schedule time to eat too.

After the caucuses were over, the convention would gavel to order. Most of these proceedings were on TV and have been talked about at great length, so I won’t talk about that, with one exception. As an LGBT Latino who is also Catholic, there were 3 things I’ll not soon forget. First, how amazing it was to witness the evolution of our party, and I believe, humanity, when we overwhelmingly affirmed our platform to include, not just support, marriage equality, but also unequivocal opposition to any attempts to circumvent the equal protection and application of the law by amending the US and/or any state constitution to enshrine marriage discrimination.

Next was the prominent role of Latinos in the leadership and events of the convention. One of the caucuses that I could make, because they usually started closer to 11 or 12, was the Latino Caucus. They were PACKED. Literally a bursting at the seams, filled to capacity caucus. The speakers they sent to address the full house were an all star cast, from the First Lady to several of President Obama’s Latino cabinet. I’m so proud, not just for my party for doing the right thing (not to mention the smart thing) but I’m also proud of the Latino community for having such a strong and vigorous presence.

Si, Se Peude!

And then there was Sister Simone Campbell. The executive director of Network. You’ll know her from the “Nuns on a Bus” tour. Being more involved in politics over time, more and more I’m finding Catholic Democrats are coming out of the closet. While Sister Simone never once says who she, or who you, should vote for. However, she does point out what I’ve waited to hear for years. She points out without saying it, you can’t say you are pro-life and have a disregard for the well being of your fellow man and “Together we understand that an immoral budget that hurts already struggling families does NOT reflect our nation’s values. We are BETTER than that!” Do yourself a favor and watch her here.

In closing, I’d also like to thank the city of Charlotte and the police officers who came in from all around the country to make sure the event was as safe as it was historic. Some of you who know me might have seen a post I did on my Facebook page when our bus broke down on the interstate. Two police officers, who were riding on the bus, got on their radios and within 20 minutes, we had a sheriff’s car, a fire truck and a new bus ready for us. While we waited, the officers repeatedly asked how we were doing and if we needed anything. The entire trip was an example of professionalism and the people of Charlotte should be very proud.

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