1.Don’t forget to look at the history of the city because Philadelphia is a very historic place. Who knew that the very place where the Founding FATHERS, who established democratic autonomy for tons of people, excluding anyone that wasn’t a white, male property owner, would be the same place where we would see the first woman elected as a candidate for the Presidency?
- Don’t expect the same climate as the RNC. After my own experience with the RNC, I had had enough with all the electoral politics. I was tired of talking about Trump and all the things he has done. I was bored with all the speculation that has been brought down on the Republican Party during this election. I figured that the DNC would not be much better in terms of over stating how much we should fear Trump. However, this wasn’t the case. While there, people were much more uplifting and encouraging. People talked about unifying the party. People laughed and chanted and cried. It felt like progress.
3.Don’t expect to not see outstanding amounts of diversity. Clean and simple. We all know People of color, LGBTQ folk, and other minorities tend to lean left, but what is even better is seeing them lead, mediate, and be active members of all the democratic wonderfulness that was happening.
- Don’t forget to grab as many signs, buttons, novelties and stickers as possible. They were everywhere.
- Don’t give into the hype completely because while it does seem like a celebration, there are many strategic things that the Democratic Party must do in order to fulfill the promises of their platform. So, expect some disappointments and remember that there are plenty of issues that Democrats need to be held accountable to fixing, even if it seems like the party is doing great things.
- Do all the different events that are open to the public. One of my favorite moments was getting to hear Eric Holder speak at the Black Caucus, which was completely free. There are so many opportunities for the public to become engaged, so it would be a shame to waste it.
- Do expect to see protestors. At this point, it is unclear to me whether or not “Bernie or Bust”-ers were that set on rallying for Bernie or simply expressing that they were not okay with the presumptive nominee, but in both cases, so what if they were? That’s how democracy works. You can lose fair and square, and you still have the right to take to the streets with signs and bullhorns (clearly, as long as you are not interrupting Michelle Obama).
- Do begin to reconcile that the Obama-era is closing. This is something I am still dealing with, honestly. I remember sitting there watching him speak that Wednesday night as I let out stifled tears. Here we were, almost 8 years later, and every time he speaks it still feels like the first time. But, time is running short, and it is time for the torch to be passed. Goodbye, President Obama, you will be in my heart forever.
9.Do take notice of what the Democratic party is becoming; it is becoming the incubator for leadership that is more reflective of the world itself. If it wasn’t the unanimous chanting of “Cory!” or the speech given by Sarah McBride or the chanting of “Black. Lives. Matter” that did it for you, then maybe it was the fact that this party had just elected the first woman to be in the running for the highest office in the US government. It’s about time.
- Do remember this particular convention because its vibrancy, excitement, and presence is unmatched. I hope this makes the Democratic Party sit down and see that moving forward it’s about bringing more people to the table, not turning anyone away when we have a discussion on the US’s governance. We truly can be “Stronger Together.”