tsal has been a commenter here at DCW for four years, and has been active in politics for much longer. He and I had only known each other via comments until last week when we exchanged emails. tsal is also Tony, a delegate from California.
We spoke for the first time Monday night after having texted one another all day, but were unable to physically be in the same place at the same time. As I've said, there is a TON of things to do here!
As you might expect, this was not a typical delegate interview. We started out finding out where our paths might have crossed in the past (we've both moved around a lot), and talking about the different events we were looking forward to at the convention.
I asked how he came to be a delegate, and he talked about his young twin children. He is involved not just as a delegate, but with California state and local politics because of the kind of world he wants to leave for his kids. Of note, in California, 2/3 of the delegates are chosen at local caucuses. He ran and won, after having been previously elected as an in- state delegate, and having been an OFA volunteer in 2008, and having attended the 2008 convention as a guest. Tony pointed out that there are strict rules in his state about the make-up of the delegation, not just 50/50 men:women, but also as relates to race, disability and other factors. This contrasts with some other states (it's all state-driven) where there are elections for delegates on the primary ballot, and the only requirement is the 50/50 male:female requirement.
In Charlotte, he's been heavily involved with the California delegation activities, starting with a daily breakfast with terrific speakers. He's signed up for a host of panel discussions, many of which relate to economic issues.
We met Tuesday for the first time, and we attended the Planned Parenthood rally. Info on the rally after the jump.
Prior to the rally, you couldn't walk anywhere in the convention area without seeing pink- shirted men and women spreading the word about the rally. Incongruously, it was held at the NASCARhall of fame. On my walk over, I passed a guy with a big anti-choice set up, complete with pictures. Because I couldn't help myself, I told him I hoped his wife and four concubines all ended up with ectopic pregnancies...but I don't think he heard me.
The rally itself was enthusiastic and, well, terrific. Aisha Taylor was the emcee, and it turns out that she is one of the famous people who works in support of Planned Parenthood. She made brief remarks about how important Planned Parenthood is not just about choice, but also for all of women's health. She then introduced Cory Booker.
Mayor Booker was remarkable. As always, he was mesmerizing, and in the interest of full disclosure, I'm a fan and often refer to him as Corybookersuperhero (all one word.) He kept pounding on the idea that women's health matters, getting health care matters, and Planned Parenthood matters for health, health care and "getting contraceptive care to prevent the abortions Republicans are so dead set against."
Then, Sandra Fluke spoke about the importance of electing Democrats to make sure that we can keep the health care options that we have now.
Gwen Moore, Comgresswoman from Wisconsin, spoke about how good it was to be a menopausal woman nowadays because of all the things that Republicans are trying to do to younger women. She pointed out that she serves with Paul Ryan on the House budget committee, and how it seems he only wants to talk economics. "So let's talk economics," she said. She then when through a whole list of things Republicans want to cut, in addition to the defunding of Planned Parenthood. Like WIC. And Head Start. And education funds. And everything else we all hold so dear.
All in all, a great rally.
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