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8 Gates to the Convention

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How do you get those treasured convention credentials – Guest, Honored Guest, Alternate, Floor, Delegate, VIP, Podium?   This will be my fifth Democratic Party National Convention, but my first as an actual voting delegate.  Here are 8 ways to get into the Democratic National Convention:

1.    Get elected as a member of the delegation – as a delegate or alternate from your CD or statewide, or as a member of the Rules, Platform, or Credentials Committees, or as a Page.  We have completed that selection process for 2012.  (See Delegate Selection Page, which has been providing information on that process.)

2.    Ask someone you know for an extra credential – this includes delegation members, party staff, party leaders, and elected officials.   They will do their best to help good Virginia Democrats.  At times, we have distributed extra credentials through a daily lottery.   But please be aware that there are only so many credentials available, and this year we have more delegates, but a smaller convention venue that four years ago.  The DPVA contact is Ashley Roseboro.

3.    Volunteer in advance with the Democratic National Convention Committee, the Charlotte Convention Committee, DPVA, and/or OFA.  ALSO: The Convention Committee just issued information on how to volunteer for the Thursday night nomination at the stadium – go to this site, asap.

4.    Go with an organization – the media, a union, or a progressive organization, as part of a job, internship, or just for the convention.   Work your contacts.  I attended the 1980 convention as an intern with Americans for Democratic Action and it was a great experience.

5.    Get a stadium seat – in Charlotte in 2012, as in Denver in 2008, the final night of the Convention will take place in a football stadium.  You can sign up a this site to try to  get tickets –, and also contact DPVA and OFA-Virginia, as those organizations should have some passes.   (See also # 3 above.)

6.    Just show up and volunteer – The best time I had at a Convention was in 1992 – I just showed as a Clinton volunteer.   I think because I was wearing a suit, I was given a responsible position and got on the floor.  And was invited to a party at the Hamptons. 

7.    Ask someone you don’t know.  My Uncle Bill did that in 1980.  He just hung out in the lobby across from Madison Squate Garden and asked people if they had extra passes.  This also works for ACC Basketball tournaments.  It also got me into the 1998 Stanley Cup finals (in which the Caps lost to the Red Wings, but it was still cool having The Cup in DC).

8.    Don’t worry about the credentials – just make the scene.  There will be a lot going on in Charlotte, and even if you don’t make it into the Convention Hall, it is a great opportunity to meet Democrats from around the country, show your support for President Obama, and have a great time.

We will sharing more information on obtaining credentials as we get it.  Please let me know if you have questions.