Thursday, August 30, 2012

Come Out! The DNC Wants to See You! Part I

[Description: Words reading "The Democratic National Convention chose us. And you should too!"]
Unless you have been under a rock, you know the DNC (Democratic National Convention) will convene in Charlotte, NC. While the RNC (Republican National Convention) started with a little concern over Hurricane Isaac's approach near the Gulf region, the opening speeches went well with much respect being given to Ann Romney. The RNC runs through August 30th. I wish I could have traveled to this as I would love to be able to compare notes and observations as well as hear the many speakers.

I do not use F4A as a political platform, but as an advocacy and awareness arena. In that arena, I cover disability issues along with my love affair with food, eateries, restaurants and local culture. So, with that said, there is no way I could allow the DNC, an event of humongous magnitude for the local area, to come so close to home (Yay! I don't have to travel!) and not be a part of it! I will try to cover some of the major items here, but this is so much going on that it would take several blog posts to cover it all in depth.

First up, there were volunteer opportunities for voter registration. I attended one in my community near Home Healthy Market on Independence Boulevard, HHM is a homegrown health food store with staff who are always friendly and accommodating. There has never been a time that someone has not been willing to help me with anything I need. I will be on hand for another registration drive during CarolinaFest (more about this in the next paragraph). There were also volunteer activities centered around meeting the neighbors-going door-to-door, calling from phone banks and personal homes, and filling goodie bags for the delegates.

Logo for CarolinaFest 20102 [Description: A ray of stars at the top of a flame of a flag with the words CarolinaFest - An American Celebration 2012 underneath]
An event of large magnitude during the DNC will be CarolinaFest. Get ready to party like Charlotte loves to party with guest stars like Jeff Bridges, James Taylor and Janelle Monae! Janelle is one cool, eclectic singer who I know would fit in perfectly in Noda or Plaza Midwood, while I can't wait to hear Jeff Bridges strum that guitar. Check here for a list of entertainers and here for security, if you are traveling into town. I will be there most of the day. And, for an ever-expanding list of event near the DNC and around town, click here. But, be prepared. This list is almost overwhelming in scope, diversity and interest. There is everything from Nuns on the Bus, a discussion from Catholic Sisters about budget cuts to DNC etiquette classes, brought to you by a very dear colleague, LaShaune Tisdale, owner of The Academy of Etiquette and Charm.

Don't forget to look in at Legacy Village, a representation of Mayor Foxx's Legacy Project that hopes to leave a lasting impression in many ways after the DNC has left town. The Village involves our youth and many local organizations and agencies, so take a tour to see what people are doing here in Charlotte, always with an eye on the future of this booming town.

Convention Center [Description: Outside image of the Convention Center with fountains out front]
Determined to see how the DNC included the community of pwds (persons/people with disabilities), I signed up to be an ADA escort for the Convention Center on September 5th and 6th. An ADA escort is a person whose primary goal is to make anyone dealing with a disabling condition feel at home, respected and excited to be at the Convention. Now, that is not the official definition. It's mine, and I have every intention to make it happen! I am also touring the podium and stadium on August 31st in order to see how everyone will arrive at the Stadium and where pwds will be seated. This will be a first public viewing and is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Will post a follow up over the weekend, but with Becky Ogle on-board as Senior Advisor on Disability and Access, I look forward to more thought being given to accessibility in this convention than any convention before it in history.

DNC2012 Android app screen shot
Also, even though I have posted these links on the Foodie4Access Facebook page, here are links for the official DNC iPad and Android app. There will be various Caucuses and Councils meeting during the DNC. If you want to attend any of these, you will need to sign up and receive ticket acknowledgment. Hope to meet several of the online participants in the People with Disabilities for Obama site when I attend the September 5th Disability Caucus. I will do my best to get personal stories for you.

The New York Times paid homage to our food scene with a great article, though our local paper, the Charlotte Observer, covered the mobile food attractions coming to uptown. In addition, pay especially close attention to the restaurants listed in the Experience and See Charlotte menu tab on the apps, as they give greater detail of our diverse palette of culinary offerings beyond what the news articles could cover.

Wow! I am going to have to do a Part II of this blog post, because I still want to talk about the Charlotte Stories videos, the many bloggers and new media sources, who have their own media/press space uptown right in the zone, and of course, the before-, during-, and after-parties!

Stay tuned for some more news. And, if you are coming to Charlotte as a delegate, a visitor or just a curious Democrat, let me welcome you to our town! Please let me know if you will be here!


  1. Amazing and so overdue! We need more conscious Bloggers such as JudiElise!

  2. Thank you, Susan! It is an honor to partner with you and SFTV to bring F4A to a larger audience. Your conscientious approach to media coverage is refreshing and timely! love it!