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Democratic Convention Day 1: Part One

Stateside With Rosalea Barker

Democratic Convention Day 1: Part One

I started the day by attending the Black Caucus meeting at the Colorado Convention Center. The meeting was held in a large theater, so it wasn’t particularly full. I’d expected some business to be done—committee reports, that kind of thing—but the Black Caucus Chair, Virgie Rollins, announced that will happen Wednesday instead. Twice during the early part of the speechmaking from the stage, white male protestors leapt to their feet and called out that Obama supports black genocide. Security officers took them out of the auditorium still yelling but their words were drowned out by chants of Obama! Obama!


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Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean is introduced by Black Caucus Chair Virgie Rollins.

Howard Dean urged delegates to go back to their communities and begin a neighbor-to-neighbor drive to get people registered and out to vote. “Knock on doors and ask ‘What are you worried about?’” Dean said, “Establish a personal relationship with voters.” He also asked them to encourage voters to take advantage of early voting and mail-in ballots. Dean said that many black voters fought so hard for the right to walk into a polling place on election day and cast their ballot that they don’t consider voting any other way. Getting people to the polling booth early would also lessen the chances that they’ll be dissuaded by the tactics used in the two days prior to election day, of distributing disinformation about where people’s polling places are and whether they’re eligible to vote.


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Wellington E. Webb, former mayor of Denver, and the driving force behind the construction of the airport, convention center, and Mile High stadium, which were crucial factors in the Democratic Party’s decision to hold the convention here.


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L to R: Leah Daughtry, Convention CEO; Alice Germond, DNC Secretary, and Lottie Shackelford, DNC Vice Chair.

Rev. Leah Daughtry received a standing ovation for her speech before the meeting was turned over to a Town Hall Meeting on Urban Renewal. “Nothing happens in our community until all of us decide to get up from where we are and do something to make a change,” She said. “My great great grandparents were slaves. I am an American citizen and I pay my taxes and I want my share.” Daughtry added that she wasn’t talking about reparations, but about being able to partake of the American Dream.

Then she referred to the item that will be uppermost in most people’s minds by the time it gets to election day. “This next president will have the opportunity to appoint four, maybe five, Supreme Court Judges. We have got to understand the importance of this election.” The opportunity those appointments afford are seen differently by the black community than they are by the pro-life group that so far has disrupted the convention two days in a row and plan to disrupt it even further tomorrow.

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rosalea.barker@gmail.com

--PEACE--

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