Sunday, August 24, 2008

From the DNC - A Busy Couple of Days - Matt Shelton

So as the title suggests it truly has been a busy couple of days. Thursday is where I last left off. It was an interesting set of morning lectures. We had the President/ Chair of the Denver Host Committee, Elbra Wedgeworth. She talked about her involvement in getting the Democratic National Convention Committee to choose Denver as the next host of the convention. The part of the lecture that stood out the most for me was a disappointing one. When asked about the rumor that the city was paying to transport their cities homeless Councilwoman Wedgeworth talked about the cities homeless initiative, which she claimed was the best in the nation. Students, including myself, were obviously not satisfied. She was asked two more questions about the cities homeless but were only given dodgy answers.
On a quick note, as I'm sitting outside of Tokyo Joes, there is a walking protest coming down the street. It's an anti-war protest. "No justice, no peace. US out of the middle east". Signs that say "Prisoners for profit is a crime". We have been here for a week before the opening ceremonies took place last night and the changes that are underway are clearly evident all over.
Back to the lectures. After Councilwoman Wedgeworth stepped down Agent David O'Connor of the Secret Services Dignitary Protective Division, took the podium. It may not have been the most informative of lectures as we all have a pretty good idea of what the Secret Service does but it was still one of the more interesting lectures.
More protest signs are making their way down the 16th street mall. "Funk the war". It's going to be a very interesting week.
Anyways, later Thursday night a reception in the VIP section of Invesco field, home of the Denver Broncos and site of Obama's upcoming acceptance speech, was held for all the students and teachers of The Washington Centers program. Afterwards Peter and I made our way downtown but not for long. We then returned to the dorms. I didn't get any sleep that night because I had a lot of work that I knew would keep me up for a while. I also had to be at the Pepsi Center, location of the upcoming Convention, at 7am because I was to be access control for public school group tours and VIP access. I was able to get a sneak peak of the convention hall. The one picture of the DNC screen was taken with my cell phone. It was an impressive setup. I finished that up around 10am. From there I attempted to take the bus back to Regis University but got a little turned around. I eventually made it back. By then it was time to get ready for a concert I had planned to go to myself. It was an adventure to get to the venue, Red Rocks Amphitheater. Unfortunately the buses don't go out that far and taking a cab from Regis would have cost 50$. The plan was to take the bus as far as I could and then I would come up with a game plan after that. Well there was some confusion with the bus system. But I eventually made it to where I needed to go and then hiked my way through part of the Rocky Mountains and made it to the show. It was truly a memorable experience to see these bands, The Bouncing Souls, The Might Mighty Bosstones, and NOFX at the infamous Red Rocks Amphitheater. After the show I took a taxi back to Regis and fell asleep.
Saturday morning I made my way downtown to the Convention Center for my housing fieldwork training. Later that day I was scheduled for my first fieldwork assignment but apparently it was cancelled. It was incredibly lucky because The Washington Center presented us with media credentials to get into the media party that was taking place at the cities amusement park located two blocks from the main city street.
Soon after we arrived at the park we were directed to the stage area where a group of Native American tribal leaders along with Governor Bill Ritter, Councilwoman Elbra Wedgeworth, and Mayor Hickenlooper began the official opening ceremonies very much like the way Denver did 100 years ago when the Democratic National Convention came in 1908. After a short welcoming speech Mayor Hickenlooper opened the stage for The Flobots. It was an amazing show! I had heard of them before but hadn't heard their music. They just put on an excellent show. After that Peter and I rode one of the roller coasters and watched an amazing firework show. We played some games until the park was starting to close down. After that we headed back to the dorms.
It was a great couple of days. The music shows were so exciting. I have to admit that after the opening ceremony last night I am looking forward to the coming week even more than before.

1 comment:

UTSA Students said...

This was Matt Shelton, by the way.