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Seattle Times Political Caucus

The Seattle Times Political Caucus is an online community aimed at adding diverse voices to our coverage of politics. How we'll use the Caucus will evolve over time. But the idea is to create a conversation with people of various backgrounds and political beliefs. As the election season unfolds, we'll ask participants to weigh in on key political questions and then post their comments here.

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August 24, 2008 3:08 PM

A warm welcome to Denver

Posted by Richard Wagoner

This post is by Carey Christensen of Stanwood, who is volunteering at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Christensen is a member of The Seattle Times Political Caucus. She'll file occasional dispatches about her experiences at the convention.

By Carey Christensen
Airline passengers arriving in Denver Friday night were greeted by dozens of smiling volunteers in Broncos-orange T-shirts emblazoned with "DNCC Denver '08"; 12 hours later I was wearing one too, decked out in official gear for my tenure as a Transportation Special Services volunteer at the Democratic National Convention.

My daughter and I are in Denver for our annual summer vacation with my parents and extended family, timed this year to coincide with the Democrat's big meet-up. Elizabeth, a sophomore at the University of Washington, and I are the black sheep Dems in a large family of bedrock Republicans (a lot of love, a little understanding), and we're excited to soak up a week of progressive politics in the Mile High City.

Saturday morning I took Denver's efficient light rail train from suburban Littleton; 22 minutes and 11 miles later I was at the Colorado Convention Center, queuing up with hundreds of others to receive our volunteer assignments. I was given the orange shirt of the Transportation Division (yellow for Human Resources, green for Recycling, red for Access Control, etc), and joined my fellow workers for a rousing welcome and pep talk from Leah Daughtry, CEO of the 2008 Democratic National Convention, and Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. Party strife was not evident in this group of partisans who whooped and cheered at the mention of the Obama-Biden ticket and the historic nature of this convention that will nominate the first African American contender for president of the United States.

My credential allows me access to the Pepsi Center security perimeter, but no further. I'll be working as general concierge, meeting, greeting and assisting delegates and media up to, but not through, the doors to the convention floor. Close, but not close enough - I'll still have to watch the proceedings on one of the televisions provided for volunteers.

This week I'll file reports from the Pepsi Center on Monday and Wednesday. Tuesday, the 88th anniversary of the women's right to vote, I'll be at the Emily's List event featuring Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, and Nancy Pelosi. On Thursday, Elizabeth and I will join the 75,000 filling Invesco Field for Barack Obama's acceptance speech.

In between I'll be taking in the sights and sounds of the convention at large, paying special attention to the nomination drama featuring the Clintons, Hillary's disgruntled followers, and signs of meaningful party unification. Can't wait!

Carey Christensen, 50, has worked on several political campaigns and has served six years as the Washington state representative for the Parkinson's Action Network, traveling yearly to Washington, D.C., to learn and lobby. "I grew up a Republican, and cast my first vote for Gerald Ford in 1976, then for Reagan in 1980. That was the last time I pulled the lever for a Republican."

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