By Paul Nuñez
Editor’s Note: Paul Nuñez was a member of the Connecticut delegation to the 2012 Democratic National Convention. He is a lobbyist with DePino Associates and shares his observations of the convention and the Latino initiatives at the event with CTLatinonews.com.
This being my first Democratic National Convention ever, I didn’t know what to expect. My perception of a convention was the party loyal chanting and clapping and wearing funny hats–yes there was a lot of that. But it proved to be so much more.
Here are a few takeaways:
It takes a hell a lot of effort to put on a convention. Charlotte was a gracious host city. They certainly showed us some Southern hospitality. At any point you had a question or needed assistance there was someone there to help out. It was so amazing the amount of law enforcement personnel deployed on foot, bike and all sorts of motor vehicles. The DNC staff and our local party staff (a big thank you!) obviously spent many hours making sure no detail was overlooked.
There was a lot of star power whether of the political or the entertainment type. I attended a luncheon where I found myself sitting just a table away from Rosario Dawson, then went to a party DJ’d by Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas. I also had the opportunity to meet and hear from national party leaders like John Kerry, Julian Castro and others which left me re-energized to work on behalf of the party, and maybe even follow their footsteps someday.
A special memorable moment for me was having the chance to hear in person, someone I think is one of the greatest orators of our time, President Obama who was impressive given it was the largest venue in which I’ve ever seen a political speech. He delivered his speech with passion, wit and clarity.
Connecticut’s political prominence was on full display. I was proud and happy to see that our state’s Democratic officials where so highly recognized. Governor Malloy gave a great speech laying out the stark differences in what our President has done to move our country forward and what the Republicans would do. My Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro gave one of the most passionate speeches of the convention. And Congressman John Larson showed why so many of his congressional colleagues choose to make him one of their leaders. I also saw how some of our local mayors are recognized leaders. I attended an event with Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra where he was stopped multiple times by colleagues from across the country. He is definitely a rising leader. My own mayor, John DeStefano, also sat on a pad touting New Haven’s education reform efforts. For such a small state we sure pack quite a political punch.
I was glad and honored to serve as a delegate. Heck, if I’m lucky enough maybe I’ll get to do it again in four years. After luncheons, panel discussions and yes, the parties, I was glad to head home and be with my family.