By Gloria Dulan-Wilson

Hello All:

The City of Philadelphia, as well as the tri-state area, is about to become the focus - once again - of international, national and local media, as the plans for the upcoming 2016 Democratic Convention move into high gear!

While the Convention Center and Wells Fargo Arena are going to be the centralized location for most of the activities, the entire City of Philadelphia will be engaged in this high profile, highly politicized ritual that takes place every four years - with all the pomp and circumstance, hoopla, and hype that goes along with the ceremonious selection of a presidential candidate.

The Rev. Leah Daughtry, CEO of the Democratic National Convention, is, for the third time  coordinating the DNC here in Philadelphia - which means she must be doing something right, having coordinated the DNC Convention in Denver, CO in 2008, when Barack Obama was nominated for the Democratic Presidential Candidate; and in 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina, when he once again received his party's nomination for a second term.  This is a gargantuan undertaking, but Ms. Daughtry seem equal to the task - and what a task it is.  Political interest groups converging from all over the US, each wanting their own individual attention.  Media outlets jockeying for position to make sure their cameras are positioned to get even the slightest flutter of an eyelash!  

Rev. Leah Daughtry, CEO Democratic National Convention 
At the recent briefing held at the Wells Fargo Arena, she was grace personified as she fielded questions from all over the map.  She has assembled a team that is working tirelessly to make this as much a success as her other two conventions.  She is in the center of the storm.

And, while there are those who are integrally involved in the activities from day one, there are many who live here in Philadelphia who naively think it has nothing to do with them.  However, nothing could be further from the truth!  Whether you're just a resident, or a student, a business owner, or involved in the clergy, this is as significant for you as it is for the elected official and the wannabe  presidential candidates.  Make no mistake about it!

And the fact that the convention is being held in Philadelphia is no small coup - thanks to the efforts of Mayor Michael Nutter, who has consistently positioned Philadelphia as a world class city, and beat out top contenders, such as Brooklyn, NY for this cherished opportunity, it is now time to rise to the occasion, and show the world what you're made of.  You cannot afford to sit idly on the sidelines while the world is coming to your doorsteps!

Philadelphia Mayor Michael A Nutter and Leah Daughtry 

The Convention takes place from July 25 through the 28th, but guests will begin arriving several days prior to the kick off.  An undertaking of this magnitude will involve huge corporations, vendor services, transportation, entertainment, interaction from all stand points.  There will be media of all stripes - from local news to national and international news coverage.  It behooves you to learn as much as you possibly can about the upcoming events, and the businesses that will be involved. Job opportunities are already available in some of  the more intelligentsia and labor intensive organizations.  You need to find out who and what they are, and begin applying for them - NOW! Not at the last minute.  People will be needed to check people into hotels; into the Convention Center, to provide local specialized transportation; to work in the restaurants and many venues, to be part of hospitality programs.  And this is the time to become part of the process - NOW - not at the last minute (I know I said it before - but just wanted to emphasize the seriousness of the situation.)

Those of you who are vendors, who design Tee Shirts, buttons, banners, and memorabilia- now is the time to get started - Not only is the Democratic National Convention come to Philadelphia in 2016, but it is also the 240th ANNIVERSARY OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE - which was signed in Philadelphia in 1776!!!  So this is a doubly historical occasion all around!  There will be many opportunities to be part of American History on so many levels.   From the many tourists who won't be a part of the Convention, but will be here to be a witness to History, the opportunities abound.  From tour guides, to re-enactment specialists, catering, administrative capacities to photographical specialists.  Whatever your talent or skill - bring it out, dust it off, and make is shine!

The interesting thing about 1776 is that African Americans in Philadelphia were free and could vote at the time.  Not that we lived in the lap of luxury; or had and special privileges - but most African Americans lived in the Southern portion of Philadelphia from 7th and South onwards, right where most of the historical sections of Old Town and the exclusives neighborhoods now exist.  

W.E.B.DuBois, in his empirical study, THE PHILADELPHIA NEGRO, thoroughly details the live and times of Black people in Philadelphia from the first slave ships on through the beginning of the 20th Century.  An intensively detailed depiction of the structure of our communities before, during and after the Revolution, and the other epoch making events that impacted us during that time.  

We were resourceful then as we are now.  And with the upcoming Convention, it's time to rise and shine and get it done.  

Those interested in finding out what the opportunities and options are for the upcoming DNC Convention, should reach out to DNCPhilly 2016DNCC or demconvention.com - or your locally elected officials. 

Don't miss out - this means a great deal to all of us.

I will be providing additional updates as things progress.  In the meantime - Get Busy and Get Involved!

Stay Blessed &

Gloria Dulan-Wilson

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