Sunday, August 07, 2005

Mission Accomplished (for real)

On Saturday 8/6, I was over at the convention site by 10 AM at the request of OYD President Jonathan Varner (JV for short). The Platform committee the night before had requested an extenstion of the deadline to submit their report from 11 PM Friday to 2 AM Saturday, and JV wanted us to be around in case a vote needed to be taken. However, there was apparently no such drama as the Platform committee report was adopted without further controversy. We heard a speech from the President of the Los Angeles City Council about what it was like to be acting mayor of LA on 9/11 at the ripe old age of 28. After that there was some free time so myself and a couple other members of the Ohio delegation took the opportunity to go down to Fisherman's Wharf for some fun before the general session for elections began at 2 PM.

This was YDA's first contested elections in a decade. The Gallaway slate (which included Ohio's own Lauren B. Goode) inlcuded the incumbent president and a couple other incumbent officers. The opposition Unity slate was headed by the former President of the California Young Dems, Alex DeOcampo. During one of their many outbursts of chanting "Unity! Unity!" on the floor, the delegation chair from North Carolina was over conferring with us from Ohio and began chanting "We bailed you out! We bailed you out!" When I asked what he meant, he stated that the CYD under Alex's leadership had been unable to raise enough funds to cover the cost of the convention, forcing YDA to step in with $100,000 in national funds as well as arranging for the $50,000 pledge from UNITE HERE! The delegation chair (named Newman) colorfully stated that "It's ridiculous that they couldn't raise that money. You can't chuck a stick in this town without hitting five Democrats with Titanium cards. But they couldn't raise a hundred grand? What does that say about Alex DeOcampo's leadership?"

With a strong showing of our own Unity, the states of Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, North Carolina, Massacheusetts, Virginia and Texas, stuck together to get 7 of the 8 members of the Gallaway slate elected, including Ohio's own Lauren B. Goode to the post of Democratic National Committeewoman. The opposition Unity slate was supported by Washington, Oregon, California, New York and Pennsylvania amongst others. Unity's lone victory was the election of Rob Dolin to the post of Secretary on a razor thin vote of 1006-992. The defeat for Georgia's Flora Brooke Hesse was hardfought and included a challenge from California that the Ohio delegation did not have all its delegates on the floor for the vote. After the sergeant-at-Arms confirmed that we did, we began chanting O-H I-O in excitement and definace, and to my unending pleasure, the Michigan delegation quickly began chanting O-H I-O as well. It might be the proudest moment of the conference for me.

In any case the closing banquet is over and it is time now to have one day of relaxation in San Fran before heading back east. More updates as they become available

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