If you’re excited about the Democratic National Convention coming to Philadelphia, but resigned to the fact that events will be restricted to political and media elites, think again.
Convention CEO Leah Daughtry said you won’t be able to waltz out onto the convention floor, but there will be ways to connect to the historic event.
Daytime caucuses of party regulars, held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Center City, will be open to the public, she said.
“So people can come and hear our Democratic leadership, talk about issues that they care about and be able to interact and ask questions,” Daughtry said at a news conference Friday.
There will also be a set of exhibits at the convention center called Politi-Fest you can visit.
And Mayor Jim Kenney said Philadelphians will have plenty of random encounters with visitors, and they’ll have a lot to do with the impression the city makes on delegates and visiting media. He wants them to experience a friendly Philly embrace.
“I think interaction of our folks on the street with delegates goes a long, long, way in showing how wonderful the city is,” Kenney said.
“When I see someone with a map, I find myself drawn to going over and saying, ‘Can I give you some directions? Do you need some help?'” Kenney said. “Kind of having that Philly attitude about meeting people and being up front and nice to them.”
Daughtry was asked if there any way — maybe through a lottery — that ordinary citizens could get credentials to visit the convention floor for an evening.
“That’s a very good idea,” she said. “We’re going to think about that.”
Finally, organizers are looking for volunteers willing to work day or evening shifts that last week of July to help make the big event a success. Contact Philadelphia 2016 if you’re interested.