Wednesday, 20 July 2016

The Democratic National Convention marks the second major event Philadelphia will host in less than a year.
But don't expect to see Hillary Clinton riding up and down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway atop the bed of a pickup truck, as Pope Francis did last September. The DNC will be markedly different than the papal visit, but perhaps no less monumental.
For one, only 50,000 people will be flocking to Philadelphia. And the events largely will be confined to the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Center City and the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia


The evening sessions, held at the Wells Fargo Center, will feature a mixture of speeches, entertainment performances and party business, like ratifying the latest Democratic platform. Of course, the delegates also will formally nominate Hillary Clinton as the party's presidential candidate. Clinton will give her acceptance speech on Thursday night. 
"It's going to look like America," Deputy Press Secretary Christopher Huntley said. "It's going to be great to see how diverse and inclusive our convention is compared to what you will have seen in Cleveland the week before."
The Wells Fargo Center events are limited to delegates, party officials and credentialed media. But the DNC is arranging public watch parties at the convention center and elsewhere in Center City. Here's what to expect on each of the four nights.
• Monday: First Lady Michelle Obama, Sen. Bernie Sanders and DREAMer Astrid Silva will address the future for American families and the importance of an economy that benefits everyone.
• Tuesday: Former President Bill Clinton will be joined by Mothers of the Movement, a group of black women whose children have been killed by the police or by gun violence. The mothers of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, among others, will be on stage. 
• Wednesday: President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will address the stakes of the 2016 election and highlight the experience Hillary Clinton provides.
• Thursday: Hillary Clinton will accept the party's nomination and present her vision for the United States. Her daughter, Chelsea, also will speak. 


The specific agenda for the morning events held at the Convention Center has not been publicly released. But, generally, each of the four days will follow the following schedule
• State delegations will hold breakfast sessions at their respective hotels, featuring speeches from various campaign personnel and state leaders. Many state delegations are staying at hotels in Center City. But others, like those from American Samoa, Guam and Hawaii, will be stationed out in the suburbs.
• Beginning around 10 a.m., delegates will take part in caucus and council meetings held at the Convention Center. 
Throughout the convention, the AAPI, Black, Hispanic, LGBT and Women's caucuses will meet to discuss their involvement in the Democratic Party and civic engagement. The following councils also will meet: Disability, Ethnic, Faith, Labor, Native American, Rural, Senior, Small Business Owners, Youth and Veterans and Military Families.
"It's also a really great way to bring everyone together, get rallied and ready for the evening festivities, and also for our next president," said Tamia Booker, director of constituency and allied groups engagement. "They're a really great time."
The various meetings are open to the public and will continue until about 4 p.m. each day. There is no need to register
Activist Cheri Honkala argues against the city's planned shut down of rush hour protests during the upcoming Democratic National Convention.


Tens of thousands of protesters are expected to demonstrate during the convention. The city has designated six zones within FDR Park, across Broad Street from the arena, where protesters can obtain permits to demonstrate. Other protests will take place at Thomas Paine Plaza in Center City and Marconi Plaza in South Philly.
Though permits are required to stage protests, city officials have said there will not be any "crackdown" on protesters who do not obtain permits. City officials had been adamant that demonstrations would not be permitted in Center City during the morning and evening rush hours, but later eased up on that stance.
Recent city legislation enables police to issue $100 civil fines instead of making criminal arrests for nuisances crimes, like disorderly conduct or blocking a street. Mayor Jim Kenney signed the law in an attempt to avoid mass arrests during the convention.
Several groups have announced plans to protest, including a network of some 30,000 Bernie Sanders supporters who plan to demonstrate throughout the convention. Eight permits have been granted.
The approved demonstrations also include Sunday marches by Global Zero, which advocates the elimination of nuclear weapons, and Food and Water Watch, a consumer rights organization.
Other groups say they will proceed with their demonstrations, with or without permits. They include the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign, which seeks to march from City Hall to South Philly on Monday, July 25. Another group, dubbed "Shut Down the DNC" and organized by a coalition that includes the MOVE Organization and the Coalition for REAL Justice, also plans to demonstrate.
Additionally, a group of bikers seeking to celebrate the political process plans to bike down Broad Street at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 27.


Conventioneers do love to party. And the city will be ready.
Various parties will be thrown by myriad organizations and political groups throughout the week. Some, like one being thrown by EMILY'S List, will take place during the afternoon. Others will occur after the events at the Wells Fargo Center wind down.
The Clinton campaign is planning to hold a post-DNC event on Independence Mallon Friday, July 29 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Exact details have not been announced. 
To aid conventioneers in their revelry, legislation passed alongside the state budgetwill enable some establishments to circumvent existing alcohol laws during the convention, including the 2 a.m. last call. Establishments hosting events directly related to the DNC can apply for special events permits allowing them to extend drinking hours. (Similar restrictions are also being waived in Cleveland, site of the Republican National Convention). 


The Democratic Party will ratify its latest platform at some point during the convention.
That platform calls for many of the legislative changes advocated by Clinton or her Democratic primary opponent, Bernie Sanders, on the campaign trail – Wall Street reforms, universal health care, clean energy mandates, criminal justice reforms and a minimum wage increase.
For the first time, the party's Drafting Committee unanimously adopted an amendment calling for the abolishment of the death penalty, calling it a form of cruel and unusual punishment.
The Drafting Committee held public forums in Washington and Phoenix before voting to approve the platform on June 25 in St. Louis. The platform is expected to gain the approval of the full, 187-member Platform Committee at a forum being held July 8-9 in Orlando, Florida.
The platform was drafted by a group that included various members of Congress, community stakeholders and representatives from both the Clinton and Sanders campaigns.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton takes a photo with a member of the audience following a rally at the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal in Cincinnati, Monday, June 27, 2016.


Hillary Clinton was long viewed as the inevitable 2016 Democratic Party nominee – even before she announced her candidacy. But it nearly took her the entire primary season to gain the support needed to clinch the nomination.
Now, Clinton will look to unite the party after outlasting a competitive campaign by Bernie Sanders, whose self-described, democratic-socialistic ideals attracted anardent following of young voters.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Sanders supporters are expected to gather in neighboring FDR Park. Sanders has not withdrawn from the race, but has pledged to vote for Clinton.
Nevertheless, the Democrats will coronate Clinton, who will launch an effort that could focus as much on preventing Donald Trump from winning the presidency as it will on her own qualifications gained as a former first lady, senator and secretary of state.
The convention will likely also include an address from her vice presidential candidate, who has yet to be announced. 
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton talks with Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., at Omar's Cafe while campaigning, Wednesday, June 1, 2016, in Newark, N.J.


As the convention nears, speculation is running rampant regarding Clinton's choice to fill the ticket.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts, is drawing much of the media attention, particularly after she and Clinton campaigned together in Cincinnati
Warren, a Democrat well-known for her anti-Wall Street and liberal stances, could help Clinton bridge the gap with Bernie Sanders' supporters. Her inclusion would generate added hype for being on the first all-woman ticket, but Warren's independence could make Clinton reluctant.
Warren reportedly is on a short list of nine names Clinton is considering, according to the Wall Street Journal. Others speculate Clinton will opt for a less flashy candidate, such as Sen. Tim Kaine, a loyalist representing the swing state Virginia. But Kaine's personal opposition to abortion could pose some hurdles.
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker also was tossed out as a possibility who could further secure the African-American vote while appealing to young and progressive voters, too.
Among the other names Clinton reportedly is considering: U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Casto, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, California Rep. Xavier Becerra, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.


The DNC host committee is presenting PoliticalFest, an interactive festival highlighting American political history, as a way to engage the community throughout the convention.
The non-partisan festival includes exhibits featuring multi-media displays, historical artifacts and guest appearances at seven locations throughout Philadelphia.
The National Constitution Center, which simultaneously is running its "Headed to the white House" exhibit, will serve as the hub for PoliticalFest and host a political theater event. Each location will offer a different theme, including the campaign trail, Pennsylvania and the Presidency, and the history of political conventions in Philadelphia.
Tickets for PoliticalFest are $15 for adults and $5 for children ages 17 and under, college students and seniors ages 65 and older. Veterans and credentialed convention attendees are free.
The event run is open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. beginning Friday, July 22 and ending Wednesday, July 27.
Here are the other six locations:
• Pennsylvania Convention Center, Hall F, 12th and the Arch streets
• The Library Company of Philadelphia, 1314 Locust St.
• Philadelphia History Museum, 15 S. 7th St.
• The Heritage Center of the Union League of Philadelphia, 140 S. Broad St.
• National Liberty Museum, 321 Chestnut St.
• Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1300 Locust St.

This map shows the road closures slated to occur near the Wells Fargo Center during the Democratic National Convention.


Compared to the papal visit, road closures and parking restrictions will be minimal.
Pattison Avenue will be closed from Seventh Street to the east entrance of FDR Park, beginning at no later than noon on Saturday, July 23 and extending until 9 p.m. on Friday, July 29. Broad Street will be closed south of Packer Avenue during that same time period.
Terminal Avenue also will be closed from Broad Street to 11th Street. A stretch of 11th Street will be shuttered from Hartranft Street to Terminal Avenue. 
The I-76 exit (No. 350) to Packer Avenue will be closed from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. beginning Monday, July 25 and ending Friday, July 29.
Several streets, identified on the above map in blue, will be restricted to authorized vehicles only. A listing of those streets can be found here
I-95 will feature some restrictions that primarily will affect large commercial vehicles.
Vehicles weighing more than five tons will be prohibited from traveling between Exits 13 and 22 from noon on Friday, July 23 until midday on July 29.
The northbound ramp to Exit 17 (Broad Street) will be closed to all drivers during this period. The southbound exit will be closed intermittently during the following times:
• 10 p.m. Friday, July 22 until 6 a.m. Saturday, July 23
• 2 p.m. Monday, July 25 until 2 a.m. Tuesday, July 26
• 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 26 until 2 a.m. Wednesday, July 27
• 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 27 until 2 a.m. Thursday, July 28
• 2 p.m. Thursday, July 28 until midday Friday, July 29.
PennDOT has detour information here.
SEPTA's AT&T Station (AKA Pattison Avenue) on the Broad Street Line will remain open throughout the convention.
As for parking, the city will actually enforce the ban on median parking on South Broad Street – to ensure the safety of protestors who plan to march down Broad. Otherwise, the city encourages residents to watch for signs listing any temporary parking restrictions in their neighborhoods, but such restrictions are expected to be minimal. 

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