Democrats Promise 'Most Open, Accessible' Convention in History

    First lady Michelle Obama looks over the podium during a sound check at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 3, 2012.First lady Michelle Obama looks over the podium during a sound check at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 3, 2012.
    x
    First lady Michelle Obama looks over the podium during a sound check at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 3, 2012.
    First lady Michelle Obama looks over the podium during a sound check at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 3, 2012.
    Sean Maroney
    CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — Thousands of Democratic Party delegates have gathered in the southern state of North Carolina for what top party officials are promising will be the “most open and accessible” political convention in history.

    Visiting Democratic Party delegates and North Carolina residents gathered Monday for a free festival open to the public near the convention center in Charlotte.

    Democratic National Convention organizers launched “CarolinaFest 2012” as a family friendly, Labor Day holiday celebration to kick off the week.

    At an opening news conference, chief organizer Steve Kerrigan said this is the first time a public event has heralded a convention. He promised even more access to the public once it officially starts on Tuesday.

    “This convention is the most open and accessible convention in history. We began our planning not just by looking at venue blueprints and different scenarios for logistics, but by reaching out to the American people,” said Kerrigan.

    Kerrigan said that about 2,000 people responded to first lady Michelle Obama's appeal more than a year ago on how to make this “their convention.” Now, caucuses and President Barack Obama's acceptance speech will be open to the public. And for those who could not travel to Charlotte, organizers are engaging people on eight online platforms, he said.

    • President Barack Obama waves after his speech at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 6, 2012.
    • Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama wave to the delegates at the conclusion of President Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention, September 6, 2012.
    • President Barack Obama and First lady Michelle Obama joined by their children Sasha, left, and Malia walks across the stage after President Obama's speech to the Democratic National Convention.
    • U.S. President Barack Obama (L) embraces former President Bill Clinton onstage after Clinton nominated Obama for re-election during the second session of Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 5, 2012
    • U.S. President Barack Obama (L) joins former President Bill Clinton onstage after Clinton nominated Obama for re-election during the second session of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 5, 2012.
    • Former President Bill Clinton addresses the Democratic National Convention, Charlotte, North Carolina, September 5, 2012
    • First Lady Michelle Obama waves after addressing the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 3, 2012.
    • Delegates cheer as First lady Michelle Obama addresses the Democratic National Convention, Charlotte, North Carolina, September 4, 2012. (J. Featherly/VOA)
    • Delegates recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the opening of the Democratic National Convention, Charlotte, North Carolina, September 4, 2012. (J. Featherly/VOA)
    • A woman records the invocation at the Democratic National Convention, Charlotte, North Carolina, September 4, 2012. (J. Featherly/VOA)
    • Delegates await the start of the first day of the convention, September 4, 2012.
    • A group of third grade students rehearse saying the Pledge of Allegiance ahead of the first day of the convention in Time Warner Cable Arena, September 4, 2012.
    • Advertisements for the DNC line the walls at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
    • Protesters block an intersection near the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina for several hours while surrounded by police who allow the demonstration to continue, September 4, 2012. (J. Featherly/VOA)
    • Delegates tour the floor ahead of the convention, September 3, 2012. (J. Featherly/VOA)
    • Programs laid out for guests inside the convention center. (J. Featherly/VOA)
    • The Charlotte, North Carolina skyline seen through the window of an airplane, September 2, 2012.
    • President Barack Obama's campaign manager Jim Messina tours the floor at the Democratic National Convention, September 3, 2012.
    • Delegates and Democratic National Convention visitors crowd one of the merchandise stores in Charlotte, September 3, 2012. (J. Featherly/VOA)
    • Delegates await the start of the first day of the Democratic National Convention, September 4, 2012.
    • A 15-ton sand sculpture of President Obama is on display outside the convention. The sand comes from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. (J. Featherly/VOA)
    Charlotte’s Democratic Mayor Anthony Foxx said his city is ready for the week, and that holding the convention in North Carolina could help the president win what is turning out to be a very close race in the state.

    “North Carolina was tight in 2008. It will be tight this year. I don't think that it's going to be an easy state to win, but it is a state the president absolutely can win,” said Foxx.

    Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt promised that improving the U.S. economy will be a prominent theme of the convention.

    “Every speaker chosen this week will address how we are going to build the economy from the middle class out. The president believes that his speech will be the opportunity not to just talk about where we've come from, but to lay out that vision, because that's the question on top of most Americans' minds.”

    Obama will give his nomination acceptance speech Thursday at an outdoor stadium, much like he did four years ago at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.
    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Neil from: San Jose, CA
    September 03, 2012 7:16 PM
    How do you get more accessable than previous conventions? They already have gavel to gavel coverage on CSpan and on multiple websites on the web, which has occurred at previous conventions. So how are you going to have more accessability than in the past? They have less seating than Mile High Stadium in Carolina and the networks are giving less coverage to the convention in previous years. So how is it more accessable? Is it from bussing to make the stadium full to avoid embarrassment?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roari
    X
    June 28, 2016 10:33 AM
    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora