The Visit Myrtle Beach folks and the Congressional Black Caucus are kindly sponsoring a hospitality area here at Blackfinn's. There's WiFi and a buffet. THANK YOU!!!
The WiFi thing is interesting - lots of groups have media "recharge" areas with WiFi. The city of Charlotte has free WiFi everywhere outside. The convention center? Not so much. They say they do, but no one I've spoken with has been able to get it to work. A minor distraction.
The kick-off press conference was interesting. I tweeted out some photos and hope to get a photo up to this post showing the five speakers. They were:
Steve Kerrigan, DNCC CEO who spoke about the unprecedented access all Americans will have to this convention, whether or not they are in Charlotte. Live streaming through multiple outlets, as we've mentioned before, makes it very easy to watch as much of the events as you like.
Anthony Foxx, Mayor of Charlotte point out in his welcoming remarks that this is the first time in 150 years a political convention has been held in the Carolinas. He also talked about the 9-3-1 program. People who were willing to volunteer for 9 hours over 3 days would receive one ticket to the acceptance speech. You honestly cannot walk 10 feet withou seeing a volunteer who says "Welcome to Charlotte" and is very helpful!
Anthony Villaraigosa, Mayor of LA and convention chair thanked the 1000's of volunteers and hundreds of staff, but pointed out he was in charge if something went wrong. He played up how diverse this convention truly is.
Alice Germond, Secretary of the convention, followed Villaraigosa's remarks with interesting facts and figures. There are 5,556 delegates in Charlotte, and 407 alternates. There are 644 young voters as delegates, of whom 284 are students. The oldest delegate is Elzena Johnson of MS, born in 1914. The youngest is Samuel Ray of Iowa, who will be turning 18 between now and election day.
She also noted that when the delegates walk in tomorrow, each will have copy of our platform waiting for them. If you're a long term reader, you know what that means to me.