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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Community ticket holders talk about canceled speech . . .DNC

People waited in long lines to get community tickets to see President Barack Obama last month. Today, the day Obama will accept the Democratic Party's nomination for president, those tickets are useless.
Obama's speech was moved from Bank of America Stadium to Time Warner Cable Arena. BofA Stadium holds nearly 70,000 people, TWC holds about 20,000.

Delegates, of course, get prime seating in the arena. Community ticket holders get turned around. But not all holders of these tickets are angry.

Portia Rice
Portia Rice, a Charlotte resident, had one of those tickets but she won't be allowed entry into the arena. However, she did take part in a conference call with the President.

Some of you earned your tickets through the 9-3-1 program -- nine hours of volunteer work over three days for a community credential ticket. You've registered to vote. You've talked to your neighbors. You're doing unbelievable work that's making a difference in this close race. And you've also shown that there's plenty of enthusiasm out there. The issue in this election is not going to be enthusiasm, because I think about you all on buses and in carpools and airplanes traveling here to Charlotte. I know it’s not just to see me, but it’s also to see each other and to share common stories and hopes for this country, which is ultimately what this convention is really about. (Remarks from President Obama)
So, what was Rice's reaction to the call?

           When you found out the president’s speech was being moved, how did you feel?

Rice: I initially was a little disappointed, but then I realized that there must have been a breach in security that caused the change.  I understand that you take a chance with the weather, but I believe the move was because of a much bigger reason.


How long did you wait to get your ticket to the Bank of America speech?

I had a short wait of about 3 hours.

What did you take away from the President’s conference call? 

I really believe that President Obama was deeply disappointed that he was not able to speak to the community credential holders that had taken time to stand in line and travelled to be a part of history.  He also seemed very concerned about the safety of everyone in attendance.  I guess it’s better safe than sorry.

When you heard he was reaching out to people who couldn’t make the speech, how did that make you feel?

I felt that it was a very kind gesture to reach out to those of us who would not be able to see him speak live.  It shows that he cares and is still in touch with the American people and how small things like this can change a person’s perspective.

How long was the call? 
10 minutes flat.

What has your Charlotte DNC experience been like? 

I have enjoyed the DNC experience in Charlotte since the kickoff on Monday the Labor Day parade, then service at Friendship Baptist Church.  I am thankful for the level of security and professionalism of everyone involved in the convention.  You can feel the positive vibes flowing throughout the city and excitement of the upcoming election.  I have been re-charged and even more motivated to make sure that everyone is registered to vote and understands the platforms of both candidates running in the election. 


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