14 lovely people and I shared a two-bedroom apartment... good thing they were all such cool types with good senses of humor. And discreet bathroom behavior.
We folded shirts and counted things in a warehouse and sold official DNC merchandise at different hotels across the city.
Me and my fiance's aunt worked together all week selling merch at a hotel... and by selling I mean fending off the ravenous crowds! When I look back, all I see is a cloud of shirts, pins and dollah dollah bills, ya'll.
I saw/met a bunch of cool people, most of whom were staying at the hotel I was working: Nancy Pelosi, Katie Couric, Stephen Spielberg, all kinds of senators, congress people and delegates, I think I saw Morgan Freeman but everyone said I was wrong (I still say I'm right!). I even got a picture with...
Last Wednesday night, my group and I trooped over to the Pepsi Center and it was quite a frustrating situation because they had over-ticketed the seats. I waited 40 minutes inside the hallway before someone left their seat and I was able to catch the last half of Bill Clinton's speech and John Kerry's. It was truly exciting to actually be "spoken to" by a politician! It's wonderful to feel included in the goings-on of politics, something most in my generation have probably never felt before.
Thursday, we went to the Invesco Center and waited 3 long hours in line, berated by heat and angry protesters of all types, mostly the evangelical type.
Here's just a portion of the line which at one point, was 6 miles long!
There were a few pesky line jumpers who were swiftly met with jeers, but all in all, people were really cool to eachother. One guy in front of us even bought us all bottles of water! Thanks dude!
Eventually we got in, but it was the same story again with the seats. Agh!! But when the drama cleared and I found a seat, I enjoyed hearing Al Gore, Stevie Wonder, Senator Biden and Barak Obama speak. It was so overwhelming I actually found myself in tears at a couple of points, especially when they had the "normal Americans" speak. I so admired their courage --- despite most of them losing nearly everything they had due to the economic fallout of the Bush administration's decisions, they still had courage and faith in the political system and were putting their weight behind a candidate they truly believed could change things.
Oprah was in a box-seat about 10 rows behind us... between speeches, people stood up and turned around to photograph her and Gayle King.
I wish everyone could see Barak Obama speak live, because seeing it on TV really does not compare. I most admired his angle; President as public servant rather than jingoistic fat cat. I get that some people think Obama makes empty Utopian promises, but at least he believes this country can improve, and that the health of the country is gauged by the health of its middle-class (you know, those that make under $5 million a year).
According to Obama, improvements -- education becomes a priority (no more "No Child Left Behind"! Raise teachers' salaries and lower tuition!), no more off-shoring of jobs, pursuit of alternative energy sources (although Obama's aim of ending reliance on foreign oil in 10 years is lofty, at least someone has a goal!), more rights for GLBT Americans and hands off the uteri!-- will be funded by taxes for corporations, especially those that take jobs overseas.
Other things we did: drink lots, see Eugene Mirman, tool around town on bikes and collect rocks, go to Casa Bonita, and met some of the nicest people...
And one last thing! -- Please, if you are not registered to vote, do so ASAP! The former administration may have shaken our faith (to use a Bush-ism) in the political system, but it's no reason to give up. A wave of (very positive-vibed) opposition is sweeping the country, and the past shows that when the opposition is strong enough, change does happen.