This will be my third CA State Convention as a delegate, following 2009's in self-same Sacto and 2010's in Los Angeles. I've also attended bits and pieces of prior meetings as a gadfly, as well as the 2007 Bloggers' Dinner at the convention in San Diego. This time no one has told me about the time and place of the Bloggers' Dinner.
This convention is special to me because I'll be attending with my 19- and 12-year-old daughters. The elder of them, who as the fourth of five children is sometimes write about here as "Fore," has been an intern for progressive political causes in the past year, and has reached the tentative conclusion that she doesn't particularly like politics or being an intern. (Unfortunately for her, she's good at interning. There is no escape!) She and her younger sister, Fife (whom the members of this site decided should play the trumpet in her school orchestra, which she now does) will be crashing the convention for one sole event: the Filipino Caucus. They know of a few Filipino Democrats, but in their extended family Democrats are the exception, so the chance to see so many of them in the same room, conducting their business, is a great and energizing opportunity.
I decided to bring them to Sacto at all because when Fife first arrived here and enrolled in public school, it was too late for her to be included in her elementary school's "blitzkrieg" visit from Orange County to the State Capitol building. She and a few other students sat in school reading and coloring or something. Now she is going to get a real tour on Sunday, as well as visiting Sutter's Fort, the Railroad Museum and Steam Train Ride, and the rest of the (admittedly somewhat limited) tourist attractions thereabouts. Fore is mostly attracted by the chance to drive her sister around in a new city and be an adult. (A non-drinking one, happily.) If she sees others who know her from her internship work, though, she's going to be fawned over like an adolescent facing a swarm of enthusiastic great aunts, but I have kept this knowledge from her thus far. Because Fife has school (including the all-important trumpeting lessons) on Friday afternoon and Fore has work; my exchange for indulging their accompanying me on the trip is that I'll leave Friday night (after sleeping during the day) and arrive in time for breakfast before their caucus.
This will also be a good chance to explain to them some of the facts of political life, such as "those loud people with the sign of Obama as the Joker are called LaRouchies, and if you ever join up with them you will be deprogrammed" and "those people are political consultants -- don't look directly into their eyes!"
Most of Orange County falls into one of two "regions" within the party. The elected Regional Directors are interesting in their different approaches to the convention. The Regional Director whose terrain includes North County coached us all on the procedures for getting resolutions approved and on party structure. The one for the rest of the county explained that the convention is all about networking. They make a nicely complementary pair. My own mission during my day and a half there is to find out how other local parties organize their affairs, so as to better inform my understanding of how we can improve our own county party.
We have great speakers there -- Bernie Sanders will keynote, and 'nuff said there! -- and a lot to celebrate this year over last year, when the convention was suffused with apprehension over the danger of Meg Whitman buying the Governorship and wondering whether Jerry Brown was up to the task of shutting her down. Last year we had brave talk; this year we'll have smiles.
So, see you all around -- I'll be wearing my Brown/Boxer/Bowen button from last fall. I didn't realize that it would come in handy so soon!