Tuesday, September 4, 2012

DNC News - Volunteering and ADA Support

DNC 2012 logo [Description: Circle with blue arch over red-silhouetted group of people with waves and stars behind it]
Well! There was supposed to be a blog post yesterday, but after attending the CarolinaFest for nearly seven hours, I was completely beat, and spent the night stretched out, trying to feel my feet and calve muscles again. If you haven't had enough from the news, here are some pictures and videos I captured in between standing at the Delegate Park area and Voter Registration with OFA. With more than 30,000 attendees, it was as thick as pea soup, but a lot of fun. I got to meet the fun folks, like Laura from Eventbrite, who let me know all about their non-profit discounts, and a cameraman from The Economist. I listened to Janelle Monae and James Taylor, but left before Jeff Bridges and the rest of CarolinaFest got rained out.

Light Rail/Lynx train pulling into Stonewall Street Station [Description: Lynx train arriving at station with people standing on platform]
By Willamor Media 
This photo was taken on April 21, 2012 in Second Ward, Charlotte, NC, US, using a Nikon D90
Some transportation advice for my readers. Take the Light Rail/Lynx train into town. The last stop is Stonewall, which literally puts you a block away from the Convention Center. Look for blue shirted or even yellow shirted volunteers with lanyards around their necks. Blue shirts are Volunteers and Yellow shirts are Security. For my visually impaired friends, just ask anyone to direct you to the Volunteers or the many Police Officers standing around, many who are from as far away as Virginia, Canada and other parts of North Carolina. Volunteers have maps that can direct you to the main Convention locations. If anyone needs mobility assistance, again please let someone know. The ADA escorts from the Convention Center are there with more than 30 wheelchairs to get people to their Council and Caucus meetings. Cabs are hard to come by, but if you need one, check the hotels first. There are buses along Stonewall that have up to 10 routes to return people to local hotels, but I know that service was interrupted this evening due to protestors and new security measures.

Outside Convention Center [Description: Double row of bicycle police in front of Convention Center]
Today, I was at the Convention Center. Now, I am not going to say everything went perfectly. The logistics on having this many people come in from out of town to volunteer is tremendous. So, I was not surprised they lost my itinerary. Unperturbed, I waited, because I was determined to be a part of volunteer efforts that day. Sure enough, here came a Team Leader asking for four volunteers to relieve the morning crew. We stood at the front, meeting delegates, visitors and the press. I learned more in two hours about the surrounding area than I knew for the past two years!

Will be out there again tomorrow, meeting and greeting as well as attending the 2nd Disability Caucus. I am eager to hear what the topics of the day will be, and I am also will bring the Mission and Goals of Celebrate Connections, the non-profit some local friends and I will start this month (more on this later).

The DNC is a fabulous event for Charlotte. Despite the crowds, high security presence and slow traffic, people are in high spirits and there is a feeling of community and helpfulness I hope will continue long after the speeches are done.

Next up: The Disability Caucus at the DNC!

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