Lunchtime and Evening 'Convention Conversations' Provide Detail on Convention Week Schedule, Opportunities to Engage in Historic Event
DENVER - After travelling more than 3,500 miles and visiting eight different cities throughout the Rocky Mountain West, the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) completed its series of "Convention Conversations" community forums with back-to-back events this week in downtown Denver. In a continued effort to make the 2008 Democratic National Convention the most inclusive and engaging in history, DNCC CEO Leah D. Daughtry and members of the DNCC's senior management team rolled out a series of official events open to Denver area residents and the general public around Convention week.
"Since we arrived in Denver more than a year ago, the community has welcomed us with open arms and been an incredibly generous host as our work got underway," said DNCC CEO Leah D. Daughtry. "Today, we want to say thank you and make Denver residents the first to learn about the many official events available to the community around the Convention. From a sneak peek of the Convention hall to an opportunity to observe Party strategy in the making - there is something for everyone as part of this historic experience."
The series - "Convention Conversations: A Traveling Forum Sponsored by the DNCC" - launched in Denver in September and traveled to Boulder, Colorado Springs, Grand Junction, Lakewood and Pueblo, Colo. in recent months. In addition to forums in Colorado, the series has also traveled to Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. The community forums were designed to provide residents throughout the region with opportunities for direct communication with top Convention organizers and a venue to ask questions, share ideas and find out how they can get involved in the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
The official Convention events available to the public announced today include an open house at the Pepsi Center, daily Democratic caucus and council meetings and an interfaith gathering to kick off the week. The Convention will also be streamed live in HD on www.DemConvention.com.
Details on each activity and event, together with an overview of the Convention schedule are provided below. While these events are open to the public, registration or advanced ticketing is required. This information will be released in August and posted on www.DemConvention.com.
Daily Convention Schedule and Transportation
Official Convention events will begin in the early morning for delegates, usually with a private meeting of their state or territorial delegation at their hotel. Many delegates will then travel downtown for meetings of one of the Democratic caucuses or councils beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the Colorado Convention Center. The Convention program will gavel open each day at the Pepsi Center beginning at 4:00 p.m. and conclude by 9:00 p.m.
To help minimize the number of vehicles on the road, the DNCC has established an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible transportation system, 250 buses strong, for delegates and other Convention guests who will be staying in more than 100 Denver area hotels. These shuttles will operate between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. and again in the late evening, minimizing any impact on rush hour traffic. Delegates will also be provided with passes for the RTD light rail and encouraged to use this efficient and environmentally sustainable transportation option.
Daily Caucus and Council Meetings
The Colorado Convention Center will be the center of daytime activities for delegates attending the Democratic caucuses and councils. These planning and business meetings of many of the different constituent groups within the Party will be open for the public to observe, however seating is limited and advanced registration will be required.
The African American, Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA), Hispanic, LGBT, and Women's caucuses along with the Disability and Rural councils will each host two meetings during Convention week. For the first time ever, a People of Faith Council will also meet regularly throughout the week. The caucus and council meetings serve as an opportunity for delegates and Party leaders to meet, share information on important issues and discuss voter outreach and future organizing strategy for the Party. These events often feature national Party leaders and other high-profile guests.
Community Open House at the Pepsi Center
For one day during the week prior to the start of the Convention, local residents will be invited to tour the Pepsi Center and see first-hand where history will be made within the Convention hall. Beginning in July, the Pepsi Center will undergo a significant transformation from sports arena to Convention hall and will be equipped with the latest technology, seating for delegates from around the country and infrastructure for media from around the world.
The focal point of the Convention hall is the podium, which will serve as the platform from which the presumptive nominee will accept the nomination and will play host to an impressive list of Party leaders throughout the Convention. Given direction to "break the mold" this cycle, the DNCC production team designed the podium to anchor this technically savvy Convention and reflect throughout the week the energy, historic significance and enthusiasm of the Party and its nominee.
During the open house, local residents will be the first to get a glimpse of the innovative podium design before thousands of delegates and other special guests arrive in Denver. The date of the open house and ticketing information will be released in August.
To kick-off Convention week in a spirit of unity, the DNCC, in conjunction with the Democratic Party's Faith in Action (FIA) Initiative, will host an interfaith gathering on Sunday, August 24th, beginning at 2:00 PM at the Wells Fargo Theater located in the Colorado Convention Center. This is the first time a celebration of this nature has been part of a Democratic National Convention and is symbolic of the Party's desire to bring multiple communities together under its "big tent." The gathering will include clergy of different faiths, Party leaders, elected officials and local community leaders. Speakers and musical guests will be announced later this summer. The event will be open to the public.
The FIA initiative, founded in 2005 by Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Governor Howard Dean and Convention CEO Daughtry, focuses on ways for the Democratic Party to work with communities of faith to work together to promote the common good.
The DNCC also announced plans today for the following offerings:
Delegate Service Day
In conjunction with Democrats Work, Metro Volunteers and Volunteers of America, the DNCC is coordinating a Delegate Service Day at sites throughout the Denver metro area on Wednesday, August 27th. Projects will range from canned food sorting to neighborhood and park cleanup and tree care. These events will allow delegates to both contribute to and celebrate the people and organizations making positive change and strengthening communities in the city hosting this historic Convention.
This event will serve as the capstone to a much broader service effort for the DNCC. In an effort to give back to the local community, Convention leaders and staff have participated in nine "DNCC Service Days," contributing more than 560 hours to a variety of local efforts centered on youth, the environment and combined issues of hunger and homelessness.
Online Streaming of Convention
In an effort to engage as many people as possible in the Convention experience, the DNCC is using cutting-edge technology to "bring down the walls" of the Pepsi Center and make this year's Convention the most accessible and tech-savvy event of its kind. The DNCC's website, DemConvention.com, will stream live, gavel-to-gavel, HD coverage of the highest quality to a worldwide audience. Among the many features of this feed will be the ability for viewers to select their preferred camera angle, essentially allowing them to direct their own Convention coverage.
Continue to visit the DNCC's website, www.DemConvention.com throughout the summer for more information on ticketing for the events mentioned above, schedules of events, speaker information and other details on any of the official public events.
The Democratic National Convention, held from August 25-28, 2008, is expected to pump an estimated $160 million into the Denver area's economy and draw as many as 50,000 visitors to the region.
About the DNCC:
The 2008 Democratic National Convention Committee is the official arm of the Democratic National Committee responsible for planning and organizing the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.