Heat, Networking, and Credential Lines: AAUW at the DNCSeptember 04, 2012
AAUW Director of Public Policy and Government Relations Lisa Maatz will report from the Democratic National Convention this week and reported from the Republican National Convention last week. Follow her updates at AAUW Dialog, on Facebook, and @LisaMaatz on Twitter.
It’s day one of the Democratic National Convention, and it’s a swamp-like 90 degrees in cloudy Charlotte, North Carolina. I’ll be representing AAUW at a variety of convention-related events this week, including a Political Parity event (I also attended one at the Republican National Convention) as well as parties hosted by Lifetime, EMILY’s List, and Planned Parenthood. The Women’s Caucus events are fab. I tweeted a bit from the caucus this morning, and there will be another meeting Thursday. I’ll also be blogging about the action and live-tweeting some of the major speeches, which begin tonight with first lady Michelle Obama and AAUW friend Lilly Ledbetter.
AAUW is a credentialed participant at the Democratic convention, just as we were at the Republican event in Tampa, in keeping with our nonpartisan policies. I had a great time meeting with AAUW members in Tampa and am looking forward to meeting more members at an event this Friday in Charlotte.
The differences between the two conventions have already started to make themselves known, at least logistically. Probably most frustrating for the convention-goer is the credentials situation. At the DNC you have to pick up credentials every single day, and you must check in before you can even get in line for your credentials. With the GOP, it was a one-stop deal for the whole week.
I can also tell I’m going to have to be in the arena early if I want a seat. At the GOP we were assigned seating sections, so it wasn’t too chaotic. Not so at the DNC, which means chaos and lots of folks sitting in the aisles, despite the fire marshal’s warning!
The differences in politics are stark, but so are the organizational differences. On a simplistic level, you get a good sense of which party the business majors flock to and where the social science folks congregate. These differences — some political, some not — always result in vastly different conventions.