Thursday, July 29, 2004

Report from Boston

From our Correspondent Tanya Baker:
Hey Chicagoland!

Your IL delegates have finally managed to get to a computer over here in Boston. We're getting ready to head over to the convention center for JK's speech on this final big night.

We've got a ton of great pictures that we'll post upon our return (Asim with John Glenn, Tanya with Clark, Gary with Obama, Nora with Teresa, ...). The energy couldn't be higher in this city. We are so ready to win!

Here's a quick wrap up of what we've experienced so far.

Security is real tight, but they're treating us all very well. Walking around the hotels and on the convention floor has been so much fun meeting other great volunteers & Kerry supporters, exchanging stories and buttons. The Democrats are unifying -- it's really great.

LaRouche people have been hounding the Back Bay Hilton where the IL delegates are staying but no one is picking up their "democratic platform" packets. It's exciting to be around so many political bigwigs all of the time. It's quite an experience. The freebies are out of control -- bags, t-shirts, pens, stuffed animals, buttons, cameras, cookies, donkey shaped mac n' cheese, candy bars, hats, ... We're collecting things to bring back to the gang.

Every night they pass out a ton of signs to hype the crowds. We'll be bringing back some of those also to decorate our new office once Avis is able to secure one for us.

We're losing our voices from yelling so much. Our feet and knees are sore from this non-stop fun. This has all been about getting us on the same page, getting energized about our party's ideals and message, focusing on what steps we all need to take to cinch this election. We are way positive and super psyched to win big in November.

One thing is clear, though. Everyone is saying that this is the most important election of their lives. We have got a lot of work to do before November! We all need to deliver the message of John Kerry and John Edwards through our own networks and we have to grow our outreach to spread this message to all of the voters of Illinois one on one. We need to grow the Democratic party! We have to make more Illinois residents voters! We need to reach out to the young voters, to the single women, to the GLBT community, to the African American community, to the hispanic community, to EVERYONE!

People on the streets were already asking us about Obama -- his reputation was high even before the speech. There was a party for him at the Harvard Faculty center beforehand. Clinton's speech was amazing.

Tuesday was all about IL at the convention. Before the convention started there was a nice reception at the swanky (and expensive! Thanks to Asim's boss!) State Room with live jazz and political shmoozing.

Carol Mosely Braun, Durbin & of course our man Obama brought down the house with his keynote address. The energy truly peaked (madness!) with his amazing delivery. He made us proud. He also made those Obama buttons a hot commodity -- they're worth their weight in gold now. We've been swapping them for all sorts of other great convention memorabilia =) He had a packed hip hop party that night at Vinalia. It was
way crowded, especially around Obama. The buzz around Boston is that he's very presidential (woohoo! GO OBAMA!) Elaina, the kids for Kerry founder, gave an outstanding speech. We have to vote for the kids
because they can't vote but they are our future!

The convention pre-party was at Cheers. We got donkey stuffed animals =) Everyone was on their feet for Sharpton's speech the entire time -- he's the only
speaker so far that has done this. It was amazing. Elizabeth & John Edwards were awesome, too. We got to vote for nominee, too! Yay! Roll call!


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