Yesterday the 7th Congressional District, along with every district in the state, picked delegates to the Democratic National Convention. As I mentioned on Thursday, I was trying to be a delegate to that convention. So I was there. Here’s a little bit of what happened that day.
Sign in was 9:00. AM. Sunday. Nine fucking O goddamn Clock. On a weekend day. But because the bus only came once every half hour, and I’m paranoid about being late for these things, I was there by 8:50. I just grabbed some coffee before getting on the bus and will grab some food there.
So I got there and was told not to sign in yet. So I looked around and it turns out there’s no food. This is going to be a long day. I found some friends including HA’s own N in Seattle who wasn’t trying to be a delegate, but was thinking about becoming an elector. I also got to meet Vashon Dogboy.
As I mentioned, I had originally hoped to go to the convention to push for a marriage equality plank in the platform. But now that President Obama supports it, it doesn’t seem like it needs my push. So I didn’t bring any material, but I still wanted to see this thing through, so I made my pitch as to why I’d be a good delegate to people individually for a while. Then I found a seat.
Soon enough they announced that there were 140 delegates and 35 alternates. Since a fair number of people hadn’t shown up, most of the alternates were seated. In the time it took to make sure the alternates got their proper credentials, we had speeches from a representative from any presidential candidate who got over 15% of the vote, Jim McDermott, and Kathleen Drew.
I believe Obama had all 140 delegates, but in any case, he was the only candidate to get 15%. Someone from the Obama Neighborhood team (I’m sorry, I didn’t write the name down) encouraged us to all go onto barackobama.com and get involved. A plea for time more than money is always appreciated from me.
Then McDermott gave a speech similar to the one he gave at my LD and at the King County convention. The main addition was that that he mentioned that there was no coffee at the event. He said at the legislative district caucuses they had expected about 10% of the delegates to come and instead only 2% came, so they didn’t know what to expect at this one. He used that to say if we want to do good we have to show up.
Kathleen Drew spoke next. She talked about how she won in the 5th district supporting Democratic values. She was the only Democrat to win that seat in 50 years and the first Democratic woman to defeat Dino Rossi. She is the only Democratic woman running for statewide executive office, and that Sec of State is important because it’s where we stop efforts to block legitimate voters from practicing democracy.
Then we got to delegate selection. The men and the women went back and forth one each giving one minute speeches. We picked 6 each. I was incredibly nervous and didn’t say my line about the most swear words and according to N in Seattle, I said that “I moved out here when my family was 11,” so that’s something.
I didn’t know that many people running for delegate but my criteria for who to vote for was as follows:
- People I knew
- People who rode the same bus as me
- Based on the speeches
- Based on people trying to convince me one-on-one or in small groups
- Minus points for the one person who called me after 8:00.
While they were tallying up the votes for delegate, we voted for elector. N in Seattle decided to put his name in, and he gave a speech with a little history of the Electoral College and saying he’d write about the process here and on Daily Kos to shed some light on it. I voted for him basically with the same criteria as above.
Then when they tallied the votes for elector, we found out who won the delegate elections. While I won’t be going on, I think we have a pretty strong delegation from the 7th district.
Then the results for elector came in. Because nobody got a majority and because the elector and the alternate had to be one each, a man and a women we had a second round with the man and the woman who got the most votes. N in Seattle was the man who got the most votes in the first round, so we knew he’d be a delegate or an alternate. We had another round of voting and he’ll be the alternate elector from the 7th district. I look forward to him writing about the process.
It was a long day and I was hungry by the time I got home. But I’m glad I went. It’s farthest in the process that I’ve ever been.