We're checking in with Charleston County Democratic Party Chairman Brady Quirk-Garvan throughout the week as he's in Philadelphia for the DNC.
The Democratic National Convention is now officially underway and so far it's been something of a welcome party.
As we arrived on the shuttle busses on Sunday I could see an obvious increase in security. This has been the case in past conventions as well, including Charlotte in 2012, but everyone seems to be on heightened alert. As I walked around Philadelphia yesterday, I saw several people bring law enforcement workers water and food, or just thank them for being here. I think everyone here as a delegate appreciates the extra work required for such a massive event and the important role they are playing.
Last night was the official welcome party at the Kimmel Center. As we entered, there were lines of volunteers cheering us on, it was almost like a pep rally. The City of Philadelphia has really gone out of it’s way to make people feel welcome as was illustrated at the train station and the airport where teams of volunteers were on hand to direct people to the proper areas and make sure everyone got on the right shuttle.
The welcoming feel continued with entertainment including gospel singers, ballet and modern dance, and food from a ton of restaurants around Philadelphia. So far, it's almost like a college reunion or homecoming weekend — lots of people from South Carolina who work in D.C. connecting with family and old friends.
As a delegate, I attended mandatory meetings this morning. The speeches included a few words from Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Senator Cory Booker, and Congressman Keith Ellison. Cory Booker was hands down the crowd favorite. He’s a dynamic speaker and there was a lot of intrigue since he had been considered as a potential Vice-Presidential candidate.
The official convention begins tonight.
Brady Quirk-Garvan is the Chairman of the Charleston County Democratic Party. He is pledged delegate for Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Committee Convention in Philadelphia. He can be reached at @bradyqg or BradyQG.com.