Yesterday my delegate tickets disappeared. The PA Dem Party scrambled to find a replacement. So I was unable to attend Tuesday morning’s events. This morning, the were able to get me a pass for today and they are working on tomorrow’s pass.
So my first event today is an SEIU “Low Waged and Engaged”panel discussion at Philadelphia City Hall.
Low Waged and Engaged Panel Discussion
Luis Figueroa was the 1st speaker. He talked about the 64 million low-wage workers. Many, but not all, work in the service sector. Much of SEIU’s work is focused on The Fight for 15 and unionizing. Several questions were asked.
How do you engage low-wage workers in politics?
Steve Rosenthal did a PowerPoint commentary.
Low-wage workers are disproportionately concentrated among women, blacks, and Latinos
Using North Carolina as an example, he noted that low-wage workers are less likely to vote. But when they do vote, they are more likely to vote Democratic. The problem is getting them to vote. Reducing their vote via things like voter Id is a Republican focus. Democrats need to place more focus on low-wage workers and not just on the people who donate money.
Shakira Stewart talked about the airport worker’s strike that was supposed to be held during the DNC Convention. As a result of the politicians coming into town, American Airlines agreed to negotiate and the airport workers called off the strike – a win.
Nelini Stamp talked about what other types of workers are low-wage workers and what are their issues. She talked about unfair work hours and lack of access to Workers Compensation. She then talked about how to assist low-wage workers to be politically engaged. She said you need to talk about raising the minimum wage and ways to fight for decent and fair hours. And you need to deal with the intersectionality of low wages and race; you need to work with the #BlackLivesMatter actions and look at how the criminal justice system impacts these workers.
Susan Ray was then asked, “How do you change people’s behavior?” Her response was accompanied by another PowerPoint. She said you need to speak to their emotions and…
General outlook on organizing
Where are they coming from? Common perspective. ..
So you need to say the personal is political…
And make sure the goal looks winnable. And make it fun, inspirational and rewarding .
Q and A followed.
What is the Fight for $15? SEIU says that in some states it requires state passage. In others it can be done at the town level. So it depends on where you live.
We can focus on the electorate. How do we deepen the struggle to head into the 2018 elections? Steve Rosenthal talked about investing resources in communities so that people are there (boots on the ground); we need to work with allied organizations and to be keep active within communities.
I’ll post this now and keep updating this throughout the day. Keep checking back…
My next session was a seminar on disability. The 1st speaker was Timothy Shriver . His main message was that we need to look at and speak out about how people with disabilities are talked about. There has been a lot of pushback when we ask people to take down offending material. You need to persist and eventually you can be successful . And that we need to recognize is that everyone has a gift and we need to let the public understand that people with disabilities have a lot to offer. The important fact is that we need to get people with disabilities registered and get them out to vote.
Zack Baldwin from AAPD spoke next. AAPD is a national cross-disability organization whose mission is to increase the political power of people with disabilities. Part of their work is to register people and to get media and politicians to talk openly with people with disabilities. To achieve this, they found it helpful to partner with local groups to make sure that access to voting registration and discussions are based on the idiosyncratic differences in each state. Also, it was helpful for AAPD to get local municipalities to honor and proclaim that National Disabilities Voter Registration Week is important; this event helps raise the issue that people with disabilities have a right and a need to register and vote. He noted that if people with disabilities voted at the same rate as the general public, then there would have been 12 million more voters in 2012. Check out their Rev Up program here.
The Americans for Democratic Action commemorate the 1948 civil rights flag with representative John Lewis and Representative Keith Ellison
I’ve been waiting for this event all week. It is so full. I ended up in a seat in the hallway outside of the auditorium.
Here’s what the program book says about the 1948 civil rights plank:
At the 1948 convention, the Civil Rights flag was adopted as a Minority Report to the party platform on a highly contested, late night though. The southern delegation strongly opposed to civil rights Plank and some Alabama and Mississippi delegates walked out when it was adopted. Two weeks after the convention, President Harry Truman, whose civil rights program was the basis of the Civil Rights Act, issued executive orders desegregating the military and providing equal opportunity in federal employment. Southern Democrats responded by replacing Truman on the ballot with Governor Strom Thurmond of the States Rights Democratic Party. These “Dixiecrats” carried four states and 39 electoral votes. None the less Truman won the four-way election with 49.55% of the popular vote and 303 electoral votes. The Dixiecrats continued to oppose and black civil rights and Congress through the 1960s.
In the contentious election year of 1948 comma many Democrats and liberals, including Truman’s orders, we’re concerned a strong position on civil rights in danger the Democratic party’s chances of election in the fall. Republicans had won control of the House and Senate in the 1946 midterm election. ADA Founder, Hubert H Humphrey, at the time the 37-year-old mayor of Minneapolis and candidate for US Senate, was convinced to make the case for the Civil Rights Act. Humphrey rose and delivered one of the great convention speeches of all time in support of the plant that affirmed his reputation as a great orator. Some of his most powerful words:
My friends, to those who say that we are rushing this issue of civil rights, I say to them we are one hundred seventy-two years late. To those who say that the civil rights program is an infringement on states rights, I say this: The time has arrived in America for the Democratic party to get out of the shadow of states rights and to walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights.”
After the late-night adoption of the Civil Rights Plank and the close of the convention in Blue Ball Pennsylvania, Humphrey and the other ADAers retreated to the North Philadelphia home of one of the ADA leaders to celebrate.”
It started about 50 minutes late.The two main speakers are Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) & Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN).
Keith Ellison rates 100% by the ADA, just like John Lewis
Kareem Abdul Jabar was a surprise speaker. He thanked the Dems & the for their fight for civil rights. He then focused on the need to provide education regardless of gender, color, or orientation. It is the equalizer from kindergarten through college. We have to reduce the 1.3 trillion dollar debt that students are bearing for higher education. He then thanked Rep. Lewis for his stance on civil rights.
Rep. Ellison then spoke.He summarized the passage of the 1948 Civil Rights plank and Hubert Humphrey’s involvement in this passage. Hubert Humphrey wasn’t concerned about splitting the country; instead, he was concerned about the uniting of the country. He believed this plank would do that. He showed how Donald Trump is a throwback to the Dixiecrats—touting hate and segregation. He then thanked Bernie Sanders for helping make the 2016 platform the most progressive Democratic platform “ever.” At that point, he then introduced John Lewis.
Lewis spoke about his history. About the public library refusing to give him a library card when he was a child; it was almost 40 years later that he got that library card from that same library.
He was proud to say that the segregation signs have been relegated to the history books. But now we are having efforts to bring those signs and behaviors back out on our streets, into our businesses, and homes. We have to be vigilant and make sure this doesn’t happen.
He then said that voting is the strongest tool for pushback. We must be the spark plug. We must be a pilot light for democracy – stay lit and continue to keep democracy alive.
There is no such thing as an illegal human being. We must respect the dignity and worth of every individual. Doesn’t matter if we are black, white, Asian, Muslim, gay or straight— we are all one people.
He then told the story of a rainstorm that occurred at the shotgun-style house he lived in when he was 4 or 5. They were fearful of the house blowing up because the storm was so strong. His grandmother then said, no matter what, never leave the House. Hold it down, even when the wind blows. And if you do it right, we can change the world.
THANK YOU, JOHN LEWIS for this call to action.
At the Convention
I have been blogging for the last hour. Unfortunately, everything since I arrived somehow disappeared when I started taking some pictures. Hoping this doesn’t happen again. So onward for the evening.
People from across the country came on stage to show the world our diversity.
People representing the diversity of America
Jessie Jackson then talked. He said we need to ban assault weapons now. The shootings of young black men must stop. Black Lives Matter. The shootings of police officers must stop. Ban assault weapons now.
The journey for civil rights started in 1948. When women win, women and children win. When Asians win, all races win. It’s healing time. It’s hope time. It’s Hillary time. It’s healing time. It’s hope time. It’s Hillary time. It’s healing time. It’s hope time. It’s Hillary time. Keep hope alive. Thank you.
Mayor Karen Weaver, Flint Michigan
Mayor Karen Weaver of Flint, Michigan spoke next. Flint is the city that lost control of their water, resulting in the lead poisoning of the water. They still can’t drink the water. They expect lifelong problems from this disaster. Many in Flint have joined Clinton because of her commitment to repairing the infrastructure in Flint and across the country.
The Congressional Black Caucus then stood on stage…
I’m going to have to skip a bit of blogging. My phone is running out of its charge. I’m going to temporarily log off and try to recharge for some of the later speakers…
…I’m now back.
At 7:30, Martin O’Malley spoke, saying that Trump thinks too much of himself.
Governor Martin O’Malley
Climate change was next on the agenda. Rising food prices. 10 million acres of land burned in wildfires last year. Floods. Drought. The thermometer isn’t Democratic. It isn’t Republican. There is climate change.
Renewable energy is the solution to climate change
Governor Jerry Brown
Ending Gun Violence is also important. Lee Daniels said 33K people die each year from gun violence. Enough is enough.
Christine Leinonem, mother of one of the 49 people who died in the Orlando gay bay mass shooting. She said the weapon that killed her son shoots 33 bullets a minute. “How is this common gun sense? This is why I support Hillary (and not Trump).”
Christine Leinonem leaving the stage with three of her son’s friends
Erica Smegielski, the daughter of the Sandy Hook principal who was killed on December 14, 2013. She said that there are too many legislators who stand behind the NRA. What we need are leaders who will stand up to the NRA. Someone like Hillary.
Then former Philadelphia Chief of Police Chuck Ramsey called for common-sense gun laws. To stop the murder of citizens. To end the killing of cops. We need good community policing, comprehensive background checks, and a ban on assault weapons. Vote for the person who will work with communities and police. Hillary will help build this bridge and not an [increasingly violent] wall [between the community and the police].
Former Philadelphia Chief of Police Chuck Ramsey
Felicia Sanders and Polly Sheppard are two of the mothers of shooting victims in Charleston, SC: In summary, they said, “We choose love. Together we can heal.”
Felicia Sanders and Polly Sheppard
Then we heard from Retired US Navy Captain Mark Kelly. He spoke about common gun sense. Hillary knows we can save lives by keeping guns out of the hands [of violent people]. Then his wife, former Representative Gabby Giffords joined him on stage…
Captain Mark Kelly
Representative Gabby Giffords
Broadway singers and actors then came on stage to sing “What the World Needs Now is Love Sweet Love” in honor of the victims of gun violence.
And another break to charge some more…
And now it’s Vice President Joe Biden’s turn…
Vice-President Joe Biden
He congratulated Michelle Obama for her work and her speech on Monday. He honored his son Bo Biden who died of cancer a couple of years ago. He then honored
- Teachers who use their hard-earned money to buy her kids pencils.
- Hillary for her passions – college education, health care, decent pay, elder care
We will all, especially our daughters, be so proud when she walks into the Oval Office.
And Donald Trump?
- He confuses bluster with defense
- He belittles everyone
- He’s dangerous
We have the strongest economy in the world. And if given a chance, we will endure. We don’t succumb to fear. The 21st century will be the American century because we will empower ourselves and the world for the better!”
Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg
Vice-Presidential Nominee Tim Kaine
I “humbly accepted” the nomination for the position of Vice President of the United States.
I was the 70th governor of Virginia. Even my father in law, former Republican VA governor Holton is voting Democratic more and more often because “the party of Lincoln has moved too far to the right.”
Issues of concern that he raised during his speech:
- Quality education
- Investments in transportation and communities
- Care for our veterans
We must love our neighbors as we love ourselves. So we need to do all that you can for others/
¡Si se puede! Yes! We can!
Why do I trust Hillary? She’s consistent.
- She’s consistently worked for kids and families.
- She delivers too. She battled the Republicans to get healthcare for 1st responders.
- She was not afraid to stand up to bullies like Osama Ben Laden
- I trust Hillary with my son’s life (who deployed overseas two weeks ago).
Even Barbara Bush is troubled about Trump. She said, “I don’t know how anyone could vote for Trump after his comments about women.”
Tim Kaine and his wife, Anne Holton
And finally, President Barack Obama… He was introduced by 80+-year-old Sharon Belkofer of Rossford, OH, a gold-star mom.
President Barack Obama
President Obama highlighted his accomplishments over the last 8 years
- Healthcare is a right. I got the ACA (Affordable Care Act) passed. [My personal opinion on this: The ACA was a decent start, but we need to go further so that everyone has healthcare and that means single-payer healthcare / Medicare for All]
- We are working to save this planet for our children.
- Marriage equality is now real across the land
- Education has improved
We need to make:
- Our streets safer
- Correct the criminal justice system
- Create equality for all
- There are pockets of the country that haven’t recovered. We must do better.
What’s right about America. We believe we are stronger together and we reach out to each other.
And it will continue with the next President — Hillary Clinton
And I agree with that hope for the future…
YES! WE CAN!
YES! WE CAN!