AYD is coordinating our delegation to go to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC 9/2/12 – 9/7/12. The Democratic National Convention is the premier way to rub elbows with the “rich and famous” in the Democratic party. Opportunities abound at the DNC; check out Charlottein2012.com to determine how you want to spend your time in Charlotte!
I’m not a Delegate – What Can I Do?
There is plenty to do at the Democratic National Convention – whether or not you are attending in an official capacity. Having been to the 2004 DNC in Boston, I can tell you firsthand the Convention is essentially one big rockin’ political party (no pun intended), with a potpourri of training opportunities to boot! Needless to say, it is all networking, all the time.
Yes, to get onto the Convention floor (what tv viewers see) and to attend certain events you will need credentials. But, when you are down there, you can find your way to credentials through networking, volunteering for the right gigs (think strategically, and volunteer to be where you want to spend your time), or simply showing up to regular delegation events where access passes to cool opportunities are distributed. AYD reps will keep an ear to the ground in an effort to find out about opportunities to pass along to our members in town with us during the week, but we encourage you to get a head start in getting yourself connected! Some of you have already signed up at Charlottein2012.com to volunteer with the Democratic National Convention Committee (which is great, because I hear volunteer interest has risen beyond need and volunteer sign ups are now closed), but if you didn’t sign up yet to volunteer with the DNCC, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to have your name passed along to the Democratic Party of Virginia for help with the Virginia delegation. And don’t forget to reach out to your personal network, too – you may find you know someone working with the Convention Committee who can score you a cool gig while you are down there. For those of you considering just coming down for a day or so, there will be plenty to do even if you are not “working” the event in some way (who are we kidding? You’ll still be “working it!”)
How Would I Get There, and Where Would I Stay?
Charlotte is just under 400 miles away, just north of the South Carolina border; an expected 7 hour car trip with no traffic. AYD will be organizing carpools, but as Charlotte is a quick flight from DC, you may want to consider that, especially if you are on a tight schedule. While flights from DCA were affordable, I hear they’ve since peaked and now folks should look at flying out of BWI or IAD in addition to DCA. Amtrak also runs to Charlotte from here.
The Virginia delegation has the run of one of the better hotels in Charlotte, which has an indoor and outdoor pool and has a recently renovated lobby w/free wifi. It is in the Airport district, about 6 miles from the Convention site. There is plenty of parking at the hotel for drivers, and there will be a coordinated pick up effort to greet those flying in and getting them to the hotel. Some Arlington folks allotted rooms with the State Delegation are sharing them to help ensure as many people as possible can experience the Convention.
We are committed to helping our members* get the chance to experience such a once-in-a-lifetime event by helping you to access affordable transportation and lodging by sharing with other AYD members who are staying at the VA Delegation hotel and at other locations should we be so connected. To that end, please review the below activities and take the survey by Tuesday, July 31 if you think you may want to partake. Please note that this survey does not commit you, but we will be using the results to follow up for commitments asap. We know that people are eager to solidify their plans for this trip, and we will be following up with people as responses come in with any questions, accordingly. *Please note that while anyone can express interest at this planning stage, we will follow up to ensure that all participants are paid-up in their membership.
Sunday Morning: First Departures from Arlington (may be as early as 5am)
Sunday Afternoon (2-4pm): National Women’s Political Caucus Welcome Party
Sunday Evening (5-8pm): Virginia Welcome Event @ NASCAR Hall of Fame Museum – with host delegation N. Carolina, and fellow other southern states S. Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee
Sunday Evening (7pm – 2am): LGBT & Allies Cocktail Party
Tuesday – Thursday: Time Warner Cable Arena: Convention Business, Trainings & Parties, Parties, Parties!
(also, from 4-6pm Tuesday – GWU at the DNC!)
Thursday Night (9-10pm): President’s Acceptance Speech from Bank of America Stadium