Clarkstown Councilwoman Stephanie Hausner has a delegate’s view of the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC.
There’s no enthusiasm gap here!
Monday was Day 1 of the Democratic National Convention and what an exciting day it was! We started the morning with our NY delegation breakfast and heard from Senator Chuck Schumer, Speaker Shelly Silver and Lt. gov Duffy. Normally I’m not into 8a breakfasts, but let me tell you this was worth it. Each morning all 600 or so members of the delegation gather to hear from our state leaders. Every day has a theme related to our core democratic values: Monday was labor, Tuesday was healthcare, and this morning was LGBT equality. We also have received wake up calls each morning; Monday was from President Obama and this morning was from NY Giants Defensive End Justin Tuck.
After breakfast yesterday the Rockland delegation headed to the Uptown area where the convention center is located. Our hotel is about 30 minutes from downtown so bus rides give us an opportunity to meet fellow New Yorkers from around the state and catch up with old friends.
In Uptown we visited the Google convention hub, where I learned about their emergency preparedness program and spoke to a coordinator about how we can use these systems in Rockland. We also stopped by the MSNBC and Rock the Vote events. I attended a Gen44 reception for young elected officials with Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski which was hosted by a Clarkstown native David Burd.
After getting a little bit wet in yesterday’s rain storms, we headed to the convention center just in time to hear Newark Mayor Cory Booker speak about the platform. The NY delegation was seated in the center back, near Alabama, Arkansas, and Texas! Those Texas women have some fun hats!
We found our close proximity to Arkansas amusing and dubbed our section jokingly “Clinton Country.” Sen. Schumer made sure to visit all the NY delegates and noted we had the best seats in home run terrority, sitting with NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.
I visited some friends from Virginia who were enjoying seats right up front — most likely because of their swing state status (The New York delegation, solidly Democratic, is situated quite a bit farther away from the action). This is my third convention, but my first as a delegate and first time on the floor. It’s an amazing experience.
The excitement in the arena really started to grow after former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland’s hard hitting speech. For the first hour or so I was wondering why there weren’t any signs in the convention center but they appeared right before Governor O’Malley started speaking. O’Malley, with whom I had the pleasure of working for in college, gave a speech that had the NY delegation and especially our Rockland crew of Kristen Stavisky, Ken Zebrowski, Chris St.Lawrence and Joseph Coe- energized with our “forward” and “not back” signs. My favorite speaker on Day 1 was Mayor Castro from San Antonio. What a great young leader we have in him! The crowd LOVED him and that enthusiasm just kept rising through Michelle Obama’s speech. We left the convention hall excited, energized, and with lots of signs to bring back home!
Now I’m off to go speak at the DNC Youth Council meeting, where we except over 600 young democrats from across the country to attend. I will write more about that and tonight’s address from President Clinton later on.
Stephanie Hausner is a member of the Clarkstown, NY Town Council.