September 10, 2012

DNC 2012: The LDS Dem's Edition

After a ridiculous bunch of ridiculousness, I finally made it to Charlotte for the Democratic National Convention last week! 





I drove up with these fine folks (fellow LDS Dem's). They SAAAAVED me! I wouldn't have made it down without them!


The streets of Charlotte were CROWDED with all sorts of political peeps, and we were all excited to be there.



I count as a political peep, right? :)
Since none of us were delegates to the convention, we didn't actually get to go in. (One day! Like, in four years.) But we DID attend the first-EVER national event for LDS Democrats! I was SO excited when I found out that A- The State Democratic Party in Utah had created an official LDS Dems caucus, because, hello! Professional support system! When I was faced with a particular career decision earlier this year, I would have loved to have known other LDS Democrats! I'm grateful for my good bishop who put me in touch with an LDS Dem who was an incredible friend and mentor. But the prospect of being at an event with other people like me was worth the roundtrip 14 hour drive!

I wish more Americans would look past the labels of "Democrat" and "Republican" and look at the heart of candidates and issues when deciding how to cast their votes. And I really wish more members of my faith would open their minds to "look past" the stigma associated with the label of "Democrat." They might find they have more in common with Democrats than they might think.

But regardless of party, I wish more people would EDUCATE THEMSELVES and would actually VOTE! For those of you who are registered to vote in Utah, please visit this website I created about the Utah 2012 federal elections. You'll even find information on how to register to vote and how to vote by absentee ballot!

OK, back to the event:


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was the keynote speaker.

How adorable is his wife??!
Scott Howell, an LDS Dem who is running for U.S. Senate against Orrin Hatch, also spoke. (I'm a BIG fan of Scott, and I fully recommend all y'all voting for him!)

When I first met Scott at his office in Utah earlier this summer.
#Vote4Scott!



My cheesy attempt at getting a picture with the Senator. :)

Scott, with some young LDS Dem's
The event was not as well-attended as I had hoped it would be, but I'm still glad I went. It's sometimes hard for me to reconcile my politics with my faith (which ends up with me being a fence-sitter... which I hate), and I appreciated mingling and talking with others who have had the same  dilemmas. Honestly, though, sometimes -- especially now as things get more heated with the presidential elections -- I think fondly of the Second Coming, when Christ will be the head of government and will reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords and we will no longer have political parties, division, or strife. In the meantime, I strive to do the best that I can to live my religion fully both personally and politically, always trying my darndest to do what is right.


After the meeting, we went to get some good ol' southern BBQ at a place called Mert's.






Even their bathroom decor was inspirational.
The food was delicious! Since I had already ordered BBQ at a seafood place earlier that week, it only seemed fitting to order seafood at a BBQ place. Steph and I greatly enjoyed our blackened catfish! :)


After dinner, we went to MSNBC to watch the first night's speeches. We even got to see Chris Matthews as he filmed live. Mr. Matthews is the host of a nightly political show called Hardball With Chris Matthews. We also saw David Gregory from Meet the Press (which plays on Sunday mornings). He walked right past us, and I was the only one of our group who even noticed! (I did not take a photo. Also, he's apparently 6'5"!)

(Speaking of Meet the Press, David Gregory did an exclusive interview with Mitt Romney on Sunday morning. HERE is the full program (48 minutes total. The first half hour is the interview. The rest is analysis.). I know it's long, but feel free to play it in the background if you're having a slow day at work, because, you know. It's important to know what's goin' on out there.. (I would now like to point out the "Juntos con Romney" sticker behind Gov. Romney's head in the first 16 minutes. Yeah for Spanish marketing!)

I'm siiiiittin' in the rain!
Hello, Chris Matthews!
It was POURING rain when we were out and about, so we, along with the entire population of Charlotte, donned these fashionable ponchos. (At $5 each, the poncho street vendors of Charlotte must have made a load of $$ that night!)


The weather was low, but our spirits were high!

Here's a video of what it was like:


Then, Alan got his flirt on during the train ride back to our car.

He wanted me to post this. Heh heh. :)

We watched the rest of the night's speeches from the comfort of our hotel room. There has been a lot of buzz about Bill Clinton's speech on Wednesday night. I haven't heard the whole thing yet (It's 49 minutes long!), but in my opinion, the BEST speech of the whole convention was the one by San Antonio Mayor Juliรกn Castro. It was significant because of the content, the effectiveness and dynamic-ness (is that a word?) of the speaker, and the fact that Mayor Castro was the first Latino to EVER give a keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention. (I know... It's 2012, and this hadn't happened before now... Mind-blowing.) The speech is about 19 minutes long, but it's SO WORTH LISTENING TO. Click HERE to watch it on YouTube. (And in this clip, you even get to see his twin introducing him. :) How fun!) The media loved him and the headlines were all to the tune of, "A Star is Born" and comparing him to 2004 Barack Obama (who also keynoted at the DNC that year). In my humble opinion, he already WAS a star, but who's askin' me? :) I got to help plan an event for my former boss, during which our organization honored Mayor Castro two summers ago, and I think he is a fine leader (Plus his wife and 6-year old daughter are adorable. Not that that's politically relevant.). Plus, wouldn't it be cool if he were ever to become the first Latino president? :) His twin brother Joaquin is running for Congress in Texas.



Even though the increasing partisanship in our country drives me absolutely BONKERS, I feel grateful to live in a place where we ALL have the freedom to express ourselves and to fight for our beliefs.

In conclusion:

1. Mayor Castro rocks!

2. I'm glad I got to go to Charlotte.

3. Register to vote! (If you don't know how, leave me a comment or send me an e-mail. Tell me where you live/where you plan to vote, and I'll figure it out for you. That's how strongly I feel about the fact that YOU. SHOULD. VOTE.

4. Be educated. You know, glance at a newspaper, watch a debate, listen to the news reports, that sort of thing.

5. VOTE! (November 6th. Coming to a polling place near you. :) )

2 comments:

  1. Aww I'm glad you like my mayor! :) I was at Panera with those twins a couple weeks ago. And when I say "with" I mean I sat a table away and stared at them like a creeper while they worked on Julian's speech. So, I'd like to think I saw it before everyone else.

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    1. Yes!! He is YOUR MAYOR!! Ah! And you saw them at Panera? Jealous! :) PS I DO realize I sound like the biggest nerd right now. Then again, I didn't go to space camp. ;) Actually, I sort of did. But that's beside the point... Ha ha. ;)

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