Here is the long and short of it, Friday was a great day and Saturday morning completely sucked and the afternoon got worse.
The convention opened Thursday, credentials was in the Expo for every delegate and VIP, Press, Elected, and Guests were just outside of it.
There was a whole bunch of interesting vendors in the expo and free swag was everywhere!
There was fans, bumper stickers, shirts, bags, etc depending on the vendor.
The Texas Destination Resort Alliance (trying to bring gambling and big name resorts to Texas) had swag bags filled with stuff just to sign up on their contact list. They have these mini phone charger batteries and other stuff.
Friday was filled with caucuses.
So many that I wanted to attend were happening at the same time so I went to the Environmental Caucus, the Texas Democratic Women's Caucus, spied on the Cannabis Caucus but by the time I walked all the way from the Women's Caucus location to the Cannabis one it was half over.
Then it was business with the Texas Democratic County Chair Association Caucus, SD-18 Caucus, then the General Session.
I stayed until 8pm at the General Session then headed to Kim Olson's party.
Saturday was business all day. In the morning we thought things were going to go our way. Kim had the votes in nominations.
There was supposedly a deal between her and Robinson to team up and share votes if the other finished 3rd. But then after nominations results was announced he denied 'rumors' of him stepping down and gave a rousing speech about continuing to run for the seat and when he came up 3rd he then endorsed Hinojosa. And that was it.
Rumor is that he took a DNC position. But he's still President of the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats so who knows.
But there was a LOOOOONG amount of time between the roll call votes and there was no need for that as voting finished up soon and the math could be done quickly. There was no need to take HOURS to do 2 roll call votes except for the fact that deals were being made.
The rest of the convention stuff was a complete cockup.
In 2020 due to Covid everything was online so the format was completely different.
Day Two: 2020 Texas Democratic Convention (nearly 5 hours)
Day Three: 2020 Texas Democratic Convention (4 and a half hours)
Day Four: 2020 Texas Democratic Convention (4 and a half hours)
Day Five: 2020 Texas Democratic Convention (4 and a half hours)
Day Six: 2020 Texas Democratic Convention (nearly 4 hours)
Democratic National Committee Day 1 (over 2 hours)
Democratic National Committee Day 2 (2 and a half hours)
Democratic National Committee Day 3 (nearly 3 hours)
All I can find of 2018 is the video clips of the speeches (same for 2016). No livestreams or video of party business. But I recall us doing the party business first and then chair votes towards the end and fast. Was a voice acclamation like the other leadership positions on Saturday.
There needs to be changes. Maybe make the Saturday General Session into 2 days? So we definitely get the business done?
Officially, we have over 12k delegate positions, we had like 5k thousand that were supposed to be at the convention, and there was likely only 2k and change that actually showed up.
Covid and the costs of the trip and hotel scared off a lot of people. In 2020 we had record turnout due to it all being online but now we have record low turnout.
It's a shame that a hybrid convention is so cost prohibitive because that would be perfect.
But if I had to choose, I would choose online only. I would have a chance to see or participate in more caucuses. We could space it out further than just 2 or 3 days, we did that in 2020 and we broke records for attendance and viewers. We could streamline voting for the rules, resolutions, platform, etc.
Last week both days the General Session was running long by hours. Beto was supposed to be the keynote speaker on Friday, the ending one. But instead he went before Collier. And by the time Kim's party at the House of Blues was ending the General Session was still going at 10pm when it was supposed to end at 7pm.
On Saturday, instead of doing general business first and getting the Rules, Resolutions, and Platform done first they did some speeches first and then Chair vote. And the vast majority of the delegates left. Just streams of people going out the doors and not coming back. Bathrooms were within the hall and the majority of us snuck food and drink in.
There was no checklist to let people know how far into the program we were and how much was left. They just read off rules proposals and such instead of putting it on the screen or giving us handouts so we could read it ourselves. The rest was just a random stream of speakers intermixed with business. People had planes to catch and no one had any idea what would happen next. We were just left in the lurch and so people left especially those delegates who were at their first conference and thought things were done.
We broke quorum long (an hour or so?) before it was announced we did and it was announced after a VERY controversial vote on switching our entire organization from Senate Districts to Congressional Districts. For many years it has been been by SD and we have created relationships with other counties within our SD.
Now all of that is gone and we need to start reaching out to the counties within our CD. For some counties due to gerrymandering they could be split within 3 different CDs. People who were previously Committeemen and Committeewomen or SDEC may now be competing with other people for their positions.
It was declared that the convention was over at 5pm when we officially broke quorum and there was at least several hours of business left to do.
Rumor was that the convention HAD to end that day around 4pm or else TDP would owe the convention center a shitton of money.
So they may have deliberately done this. Put the chair thing first to make sure the leadership elections were done. And then bugger all if we never got to the other stuff as it could be taken up in the SDEC meeting in September, supposedly.
And that has in effect pissed off everyone.
I do believe that every single county chair and SDEC members in attendance are pissed off, confused, and demanding answers.
Lawyers are getting involved due to parliamentary questions about quorum and the SD to CD change vote.
For more information on what that vote was about watch this video by the author of that rule change.
On top of the shady shenanigans covid spread throughout. County chair after county chair and SDEC people are testing positive for Covid. The other delegates I am not sure of since I don't know them but I bet it's the same or worse. Only like 10% of those at the convention were wearing masks so...
I am still trying to heal from my covid infection from BA.5 that I got June 24th so I was wearing masks everywhere but my hotel room. I saw many staff workers wearing masks but not convention goers. Maybe they thought being vaxxed was enough but BA.5 doesn't care about that.
In the aftermath of Kim Olson losing those of us who backed her, because TDP does not give us the help they do other counties are organizing, were upset.
Kim had a plan to create a ton of infrastructure building in our counties and really invest. She had donors willing to pony up a million dollars to give to us rural counties to build up our chests to do GOTV stuff, get billboards up in EVERY SINGLE COUNTY, get offices for those who want them, etc.
But that's gone.
With Hinojosa 'winning' reelection we can expect none of that to happen. He focuses on certain areas, counties, SDs, CDs, and the rest of us don't even get scraps.
TDP should be giving us money, grants, aids in some way besides just information through our regional managers who probably have 50 other counties they are working with. We are being neglected in a massively important election in which we could be eating away at the Republican margins and flip this state and elect Democrats up and down the ballot. We can do that, but we NEED help.
We need volunteers to phone bank and canvass. We need money for campaign signs for people to put in their yards. We need money for billboards (even a simple 'Vote Democrat' sign). We need money for stamps to do mailouts. We need money for digital advertising.
We need help!
And TDP is not providing any of that to us or other rural counties. We are on our own.
This past Monday Howard County Dems hosted their monthly zoom meeting and invited a dozen chairs to talk about the convention, what happened, what it means, and what do we do now.
Overall, at least 13 county chairs were on the zoom and there is plans to continue discussions, to start a billboard program, to get donors (Aaron Arguijo who is running for Ted Cruz's seat in 2024 offered to help out the county chairs in raising money and so forth), to build up party infrastructure in our counties, and so forth.
It's a type of coalition and what it will end up as we don't know but we aren't sitting on the sidelines anymore and are trying to get things done.
As such, I am working on getting a billboard up. I will post the link to the actblue page to raise money for it as soon as I know more information about it.
If you want to donate to us for anything go to our actblue page. https://secure.actblue.com/donate/calhouncountytxdems
You can also email us at CalhounCoTexasDems@gmail.com to let us know if you are donating to a specific thing such as stamps, billboards, etc. We will earmark that money as specifically for that venture. In the meantime I will be setting up separate actblue donation pages for each project we are working on for our GOTV efforts.