First-hand Accounts from Platform Meetings

OffTheBus, a citizen-produced news site through the Huffington Post, organized its members to report back on the DNC and Obama Platform Meetings. This post reports back on some of our findings.

Several of our Special Ops members wrote up their experiences at their local Platform Meetings. There are a lot of anecdotal reports out there already, but first-hand accounts straight from volunteers oftentimes provide greater detail and texture. As you read, keep in mind that all four of these Special Ops members are Obama supporters, and one of them hosted a Platform Meeting. Check these out:

Mary Kenez: “On July 19th when I first interviewed the host of the platform meeting, she expected about 40 or 50 people. By July 25th she had almost 100 people signed up to meet in a home in Mesa, AZ to discuss the Democratic platform for 2008.”

Chad Ernest: “Twenty people were huddled around the fire place in the living room of meeting organizer Sue Staehli. We were seated on chairs of various sizes and shapes, provided food and beverages, and allowed to control the destiny of the party platform for the Democrats.”

Chuck Lasker: “It was in my home in Westfield, Indiana that a couple of dozen Republicans for Obama met to socialize and discuss the issues on the Democratic platform in 2008. Yes, I said Republicans for Obama.”

Jonah Lalas: “In response to Obama’s launch of the “Listening to America” Campaign, delegate Tarsha Hardy decided to organize a platform meeting in Houston. Unlike some delegates who are focused mainly on fundraising for their expensive Denver trip, Hardy is on a different mission. ‘I’m trying to put in as much time as I can to making sure people in our community have a voice.'”

Updates – August 5, 2008

Natasha Chen: “The two men in charge, George Leddy and Scott Imler, were just married the day before by Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa himself. One attendee quipped, “So this is your honeymoon?” But instead of being in Palm Springs, Leddy and Imler led a three-hour discussion on what the group believed in and how those ideas could be implemented in government.”

Jonah Lalas (reporting on a second platform): “John Delloro, a Filipino union organizer and former president of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance in Los Angeles highlighted the significance of the Obama campaign’s effort to include the voices of everyday Americans and Asians: ‘Out of all the ethnic groups, the API community is the most economically polarized. You have really rich Asians on one end and really poor Asians on the other. Unfortunately, when politicians try and engage us on issues, they go to the wealthy Asian businessman or the Asian elected official. Consequently, the voices of the Asian American working class get left out. This is the first time a Democratic presidential candidate is asking for the opinions of the API non-profit and community organizations.’

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