The Convention Begins

Sunday night is the real beginning of the convention. On Monday afternoon, the chair of the convention will call the first session to order, but tonight the delegates were discussing issues, celebrating the City of New Orleans and breaking bread together.

Phil Angelides, former California State Treasurer, hosted a presentation of The Apollo Alliance Program and its strategy for bringing together clean energy and good jobs. The Democratic National Convention Committee sponsored an all-delegate celebration recognizing Katrina relief
organizations. Chairman Howard Dean welcomed the attendees that numbered in the thousands. He sounded more like a cheer leader tonight, not a screamer, as he reminded us all that the Democrats are one family. The issue of party unity remains a number one topic at the convention.

I am continually asked whether Clinton supporters will "get over it?" The effort by the Obama campaign to organize unity events throughout the country has worked to a degree but for many resolution has not yet occurred. I know very few who will actually vote for John McCain as he ardently opposes issues that Hillary supports. (McCain has a terrible record on women's rights such as reproductive choice and equal pay for equal work.) I believe the question really is whether Hillary's supporters will become actively engaged in Obama's campaign. Tuesday her name will be place on the ballot for a roll call. I, for one, am looking forward to casting my vote for her!

The evening ended with our own unity gathering. Twenty-two Hillary and Obama delegates from Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties ate dinner at Denver's most popular restaurant- Rioja. It was a chance to get to know one another. Rioja is owned by Chef Jennifer Jasinski who was born and raised in Santa Barbara. We celebrated a great meal, new friendships and the belief that November will bring a Democrat to the White House.

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