DNC: Obama’s Speech

DENVER – History streamed into Denver’s Invesco Field last night in all shapes, sizes and colors. Nearly 84,000 people stood in line for hours to witness something many in this country thought they might never see – a Black man accept the nomination for the presidency of the United States.

But they also came to hear, finally, a call for leadership for a country weary of war and angry at economic and social imbalances that the current administration refuses to acknowledge, much less address.

And in his historic speech, Barack Obama did not disappoint.
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Obama’s Speech

DENVER – History streamed into Denver’s Invesco Field last night in all shapes, sizes and colors. Nearly 84,000 people stood in line for hours to witness something many in this country thought they might never see – a Black man accept the nomination for the presidency of the United States.

But they also came to hear, finally, a call for leadership for a country weary of war and angry at economic and social inbalances that the current administration refuses to acknowledge, much less address.

And in his historic speech, Barack Obama did not disappoint.

I watched as people around me alternately wept, shouted and stomped their feet as Obama pledged to be a voice for the millions of Americans who’ve been ignored these past eight years. Continue reading

DNC Day 2 – Morning Report: Hanging with the delegates

DENVER – New Mexico’s electoral importance in the race for the presidency has earned the New Mexico delegation some high-profile guests for breakfast at the Democratic National Convention.

High-profile Republican T. Boone Pickens surprised the New Mexico delegation early today by stopping by the official delegate breakfast at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Downtown Denver.

The visit follows Monday’s appearance at the New Mexico delegate breakfast by former Denver mayor and U.S. Transportation Secretary Federico Pena and CNN commentator and Democratic strategist Donna Brazile.

And New Mexico delegates were buzzing about a rumor that Hillary Clinton may pay them a visit Thursday.

Today the Texas oilman presented his much-publicized alternative energy plan to the New Mexicans, who listened politely, said delegate and New Mexico State Auditor Hector Balderas.

“I didn’t know he was going to be here,” said Balderas.

“He made a little joke about being a Republican.” Continue reading

Ali Says: Check out the NMYO VIDEO!

I am continually amazed by the talent around me and the energy that fuels the youth movement of today. As a “not so young person anymore,” I am excited that folks like Cyrus Gould and the crew at NMYo are shaking things up in New Mexico and providing a space for young people to engage and make a difference.

Cyrus blogged about the NMPowered Retreat this past weekend and the talented group of people who were brought together. Well he has taken the cool footage he shot from the weekend and produced a short video. check it out here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpU3F075gdI&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1]

Anarchists, Charlie Rangel and the Denver Cops

As you wander the sunny streets of Lower Downtown Denver among the crowds of conventioneers, you can’t help but notice that the police presence is daunting.

I’ve had no interaction with the police – except to ask them for directions – but New Mexico Common Cause Executive Director Steve Allen did last night. He’s in Denver for the convention, where the local chapter of his organization is hosting some events.

Allen told me he was just minding his own business last night, walking down the street, when he ducked into a LoDo hotel to use the restroom. He noticed a few young anarchists hanging around outside the hotel but thought nothing of it.

Then he ran into venerable New York congressman Charles Rangel, holding court in the hotel lobby with his entourage and forgot all about the anarchists.

It was all pretty cool, he thought, until he went to the bathroom and couldn’t get out.
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DNC: Tom Udall Interview

DENVER: Rep. Tom Udall told me he will talk about the sorry state of the Bush economy when he addresses the Democratic National Convention in Denver at about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

I ran into the congressman and candidate for U.S. Senate at the Sunport this morning while we were both waiting for Denver-bound flights.

Udall, a Democrat, said he will speak at the convention tomorrow at the request of New York Senator Charles Schumer, who chose Udall to speak as part of a slate of Schumer’s most promising Senate candidates. Others who will speak include New Hampshire’s Jeanne Shaheen, Maine’s Tom Allen and Colorado’s Mark Udall (Tom Udall’s cousin).

Tom Udall, who faces Steve Pearce for the senate seat left open by the retirement of Pete Domenici, said he was heartened by the opening-day speeches of Michelle Obama and Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts.

“I think it was a step toward healing and unifying the party,” he said. “I thought all of it was very moving.” Continue reading

Got College Tuition Blues? Enter the Video Contest!

Hey college students! Have you ever suspected that your hard-luck tuition story is so pathetic it could win some twisted kind of contest? Well, the National Education Association and the Huffington Post blog have launched the first-ever “Got Tuition?” video contest to solicit the most compelling and sad tuition-related story.

The producer of the winning two-minute video will win $1,000 in prize money and get the opportunity to blog on the front page of Huffington Post about their own rough road to college affordability.

Videos will be judged by a panel that will include Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington and other Huffington Post contributors, who will select five finalists on which the public can vote.

“Every year NEA members see talented students whose potential is not realized because they can’t afford to go to college, and our elected officials are not recognizing just how serious an issue this is for families,” said Shilpa Reddy, a spokeswoman for the NEA. “With almost 200 small lenders suspending their student loan programs this year, this has become a serious national economic issue. We’re providing a platform to the people who are bearing the brunt of this problem.” Continue reading

“It breaks my heart I can’t insure her.”

Dena Jaramillo – a college student, a mother and the assistant operations manager at Betty’s Bath and Day Spa – lost her health insurance last month.

Her offense? She turned 22… and was summarily dropped from her father’s policy.

The practice of removing children from their parent’s policy once they become adults is common among health insurance companies.

But like almost every young person it happens to, it left Jaramillo in a bind.

As a student at Central New Mexico Community College, Jaramillo qualified for some health benefits, but found they were too limited for her needs.

So she turned to her boss, Elissa Breitbard, who owns the North Valley spa where she has worked for the last eight years.

“I didn’t know what to do, so I asked Elissa if I could get on the plan at Betty’s,” she said. Continue reading