A Social Worker Reflects on the last day of the Democratic National Convention

Aug 29, 2008

It is difficult to put today into words. We witnessed history today and while intellectually I knew today was historic, I also know that the full impact and ramifications of today have only begun.

This morning, we attended the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s
Caucus meeting. A highlight was the visit of Michelle Obama. Our seats at the caucus included two postcards with Barack Obama on the front. There was an instruction sheet that asked us to write a suggested message on the cards. The cards would then be mailed to undecided women voters.

Next we attended The Creative Coalition event on health care reform. NASW was a gold sponsor of this event at the Hard Rock Cafe.

We quickly left this event to get a bus for Invesco Field. We were told we needed to be at the Field early in the afternoon, by 2:00pm, if possible. We were a bit concerned because we would be in the outdoors on a sunny day for quite a few hours. On previous nights, there was strict security at the Pepsi Center, with only water allowed at your seat, no food, and at times limited ability to leave the hall for hours at a time.

Our credentials were on the 300 level and we were allowed to sit anywhere in the nine sections. It turned out we were on a club level with lots of places to buy food and drinks; the ability to take food and drink to our seats. In addition, because we got there early, we were able to sit in the best section, close to the 50 yard line, right across from the stage. And we were in the shade. The weather was warm, but not too warm, and a touch of cool air from the mountains blew through the stadium.

We listened to many distinguished speakers, as well as, musical performers. Some of the best speakers were the people who told their own stories.

Another amazing thing was the technology and getting people in the stadium to connect to the campaign. Ray Rivera, Colorado State Director, came out at least 3 times to encourage us to get involved. There was a place in the stadium where you could go to make calls to voters. During some of the breaks in speakers and music, we were encouraged to text the campaign at 62262 (Obama) and provide our name, town and why we were involved in the campaign. These messages were then scrolled across the screens during the breaks. There were also times when we were asked questions about planks in Obama’s campaign with 3 possible answers. Once you sent a text with your answer, you received a prompt reply. What an incredible way to get people involved, connected and also gain some data and educate people about the campaign.

But Senator Obama’s speech was certainly the highlight of the day. Over 70,000 people in the stadium and people were clearly pulled in to the speech. The most incredible thing and poignant and moving was at the end. I had just thought about how The March on Washington had not yet been mentioned and then Senator Obama mentioned it. Everyone stood up…and the awe inspiring thing was that we never sat down for the rest of the speech. We stood and stayed standing pulled in to what was happening…pulled to our feet by the words and standing in honor of the history we knew was occurring right before our eyes.

There was quite a celebration with fireworks and music and as we walked out we purchased our last souvenirs and mementos. The security was still tight and we were not well directed to the buses, so we walked on the highway, across the bridge, back to town, pondering and talking about the history we witnessed, as well as what we needed to do in the days ahead to get Senator Barack Obama elected as President of the United States.

– Becky

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