It is difficult to get excited about a convention where the nominee is a foregone conclusion and delegates will rubber stamp an issues platform written by the White House. The Party faithful are largely window-dressing relegated to filling seats, wearing funny hats, eating and drinking.
But there is one thing worthy of your attention: Marion Barry wants to be a delegate.
Please do not let this happen. You have a vote. Use it. And when you do, do not vote for Marion Barry.
Barry is part of slate that calls itself "D.C. for Obama 2012." The slate has nothing to do with the Obama campaign. It is just a catchy name.
There are other slates: "51st State for Obama," "One City for Obama," "Obama Onward," and "Obama, Biden and D.C." They, too, have no connection to the Obama campaign.
Do not be confused by slates. Vote for people you know. If you do not know anyone who is running, talk to the candidates. The good candidates will be at the polls greeting voters when the D.C. Democratic Party holds its election to select 7 men and 7 women to serve as convention delegates.
Some of the hopefuls have been involved in party politics for years; others are relatively new and tout a message of reform. I believe there are good candidates on every slate.
When you come out to vote, I assure a fascinating glimpse into grassroots politics and conversations you will not forget.
All registered Democrats residing in the District can vote. The election is this Saturday, March 3rd, from 10:00am to 2:00pm. The only polling place is at the University of the District of Columbia, Building 46E, Connecticut Avenue and Windom Place NW (Van Ness-UDC Metro).
Whenever I travel outside of the D.C. metropolitan region the one local politician who people can name is Marion Barry.
He is a walking public relations disaster for the District.
In the summer of 2008 much of the nation and most of the press corps were going gaga over Barack Obama. The news that came out Denver was all about Obama. This year, reporters may be looking for a sideshow. Please, District Democrats, do not send Barry to the convention.
Take some time on Saturday to vote, and vote for someone other than Marion Barry.
Don't get me wrong. I like Barry. A conversation with him is often mesmerizing. His insight and views are illuminating.
But liking Barry and wanting him to represent our great city are two different things.
At the 1996 Democratic Convention, Bill Clinton spoke of building a bridge to the 21st century. There are times when I feel as though the District did not make it all the way across that bridge. Though our woes are not entirely his fault, the Barry legacy is a ball and chain.
Marion Barry is an iconic, inspirational and uplifting figure for some people here in the District, but we can do better than to be represented by him on the national stage.
Candidates for D.C. Delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention
District 1 Male Candidates
Carroll, Kevin Scott
District 1 Female Candidates
District 2 Male Candidates
Isaac, Sr., Donald
Johnson, Villareal “VJ”
District 2 Female Candidates
Harris, Janette Hoston
Smith, Shirley Rivens
Thomas, Hazel Bland