DNC Wrap-Up: A Vote for Life

One of the most inspiring moments for me at the Democratic National Convention – a moment that set the tone for the entire event — happened the very first morning. I mentioned it briefly in my first post from the DNC, but it made such an impression on me that I wanted to share more below (and on Sarasota Patch):

Rod Smith, Chair of the Florida Democratic Party stood up in front of the Florida delegation and told us that his 25-year-old son, Dillon, was recently diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that usually strikes children. He has undergone his first round of chemotherapy, and the family is optimistic.

The inspiration came when Rod described how the health care reform passed by President Obama may end up saving Dillon’s life. Continue reading

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DNC Dispatch – Day Two

As we anticipate the President’s speech yet tonight, here are the highlights I took away from all of yesterday’s excitement:

Rita and Sister Simone Campbell

Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund (and daughter of the late, legendary Texas governor Ann Richards) gave an emotional speech.  We listened with tears in our eyes, as she had tears in hers: “President Obama understands women. He trusts women. And on every issue that matters to us, he has stood with women… We’ve come way too far to ever turn back. And we won’t.”

Elizabeth Warren, running for Senate in Massachusetts, also gave a rousing speech: “I believe in President Obama and his vision for the future. Not just for folks who call themselves Democrats — but for everyone who believes that when you work hard and play by the rules, you deserve a chance to succeed. For decades now, the dreams of millions of kids have moved further out of reach. Middle-class families have gotten hammered, while the rich and powerful have gotten richer and more powerful. This election truly is the fork in the road. It will decide who we are as a people and what kind of country we want to be.” Continue reading

DNC Dispatch – Night One

The energy here at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte is so incredible, and Michelle Obama’s speech Tuesday night just electrified the crowd. Here one of the many gems from her speech:

“I have seen firsthand that being president doesn’t change who you are. No, it reveals who you are… And as president, you are going to get all kinds of advice from all kinds of people. But at the end of the day, when it comes time to make that decision, as president, all you have to guide you are your values, and your vision, and the life experiences that make you who you are.”

That is something to think about when we know so little about who Mitt Romney really is – the man who hides his past and whose values and positions seem to change with the wind. But about Barack Obama’s values and experiences, Michelle Obama said:

“Barack knows the American Dream because he’s lived it, and he wants everyone in this country to have that same opportunity, no matter who we are, or where we’re from, or what we look like, or who we love. He believes that when you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back, and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.”

And: “For Barack, success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the differences you make in people’s lives.”

This makes me proud to be a Democrat and proud to support President Obama! It expresses in personal terms our values of hard work, inclusiveness, fairness, opportunity, and giving others a hand up. A great opening night for this exciting gathering – and I’ll be sharing more as I can!

DNC Dispatch – Day One

Greetings from Charlotte! There’s so much going on now that the Democratic National Convention is underway, and I’ll be sharing the highlights as quickly as I can. On Day One, I attended the Florida Delegation breakfast (with more than 575 delegates and their guests) and heard from an impressive array of Democratic leaders about how President Obama’s policies over the last four years have put us in a much better position today than we were in four years ago. Here are some of the highlights:

Rod Smith, Chair of the Florida Democratic Party, shared a personal story about the recent cancer diagnosis of his son, 24, just three weeks ago. Because of the Affordable Healthcare Act (AHA), he was able to still insure his son and make sure he gets the critical care needed. So far his treatment has totaled more than $1 million, but it has all been covered. Furthermore, thanks to AHA, his son cannot be denied healthcare after his recovery as a person with a pre-existing condition.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA)

Senator Mark Warner, the former governor of Virginia, spoke of his 20 years of business experience and how the stock market is far stronger today than four years ago, when our financial system was basically in a complete free-fall. Continue reading