Sunday, July 31, 2016

DNC in review

I couldn't speak the words to the National Anthem, something I had recited millions of times before.
But this time I was standing with the other delegates of the DNC and at that moment on day 1 of the convention, the enormity of the situation struck me, and I was choked up.
It was then that I realized I was really there, really going to be a part of history, really there the night the glass ceiling was shattered. And it was then that I realized it would be a week full of emotions.

The Mothers of the Movement who have lost sons and daughters to police shootings, the Police Chiefs who have lost peace officers to assassinations like in Dallas but have seen the community rally to their side. My own Senator Chis Murphy and others, including Representative Gabrialle Giffords, call out for reasonable gun control measures so that 20 first grades and their teachers need never die again as they did in Newtown, CT.
The salute to veterans and active duty and to the victims of 911.
The rousing speech of Rev Barber, the inspirational speech by Doloras Huerta of the United Farm Workers, the quiet story of Bill Clinton and the pride of Chelsea.
The eloquence of Michelle Obama and the conviction of Barack.
Vermont passing during roll call so that they could go last and Bernie could move the nomination of Hillary, one of the classiest moves we will ever experience in or out of politics.

And there were other, quieter moments.
Like sitting with Representative Jim Himes and discussing what it is like to be in a union and what it is like to be a democratic legislator from a conservative district and later sitting with Mrs Himes, in the middle of the convention, and discussing not politics, but life, and my growing up in Connecticut and her Canada, much as any two people would do had they met elsewhere.
Sitting with my Congressman, Joe Courtney, at breakfast and discussing his reelection, the second district, and having him introduce me the Secretary of Labor, Tom Perez.
Having a friend back home send me a copy of a text from his daughter, excited about serving Lt.Governor Nancy Wyman lunch at a local restaurant and telling Nancy about it.

Late night conversations back at the hotel over a nightcap or two and hearing the passion of the other delegates.
Being there when the glass ceiling was shattered with the nomination and acceptance speech of the first female nominee for president by a major party.

It was an amazing week. Our political system is not perfect. But WE THE PEOPLE have the ability and the responsibility to be involved and that is what makes it better, not sitting on the sidelines and complaining that we have no voice.

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