DNC, Helen I, United States discussed on Asian America: The Ken Fong Podcast


This episode is Helen Lee and Helen in a were brought together through think this facebook page the asian-american podcasters association as I think that's correct that you were wanting to start a podcast and I said Hey I'd be willing to talk to you and that's how it started and several weeks later my gosh this woman is a force of nature she has a staff of nine. She's got you know her website she got multiple episodes up but the first thing I want to talk about Helen is the fact that you were part of the just concluded last night Democratic National Convention all virtual for the first time. Welcome to the podcast and we wanna hear what that was all about. Yet thanks for having me can yes. Oh, my name is Helen I am from central Virginia went to school in Richmond Virginia. Rana area and then went to Washington University St Louis Missouri for Undergrad, and then afterwards I moved abroad four post Grad work. and was travelling during the time that the corona virus cove in nineteen broke out in ended up being stuck in Nepal by choice just due to the fact that flights were little. And I felt like it was safe to to shelter in place. So that's where I'm at right now and yes. So I. Got Involved during my time. Living alone during a pandemic with the organization Democrats abroad. Which helps a Democrat American voters abroad, which they are six point, five, million of US abroad. Technically a state hardy. So were the eleventh most populous state or twelfth most populous state if you look at numbers for voters and I got involved and I Iran to the delegates. To to represent. Voters abroad at the Democratic National Convention. So. That's how I became a delegate. It's a it was a process of me like talking to different electors around different parts of the world because of Americans abroad being spread out everywhere and then. Ran, in an election, where we use ranked voting became selected to be an at large delegate representing Senator Bernie Sanders to the DNC. At the time I won it was TVD. GO TO MILWAUKEE. and. So At the same time though as that's abroad, we are well well versed in the webinars well-versed in having communicate with different time zones and across borders and at a distance because of the nature of the organization, and so we were prepared to attend the Convention Online. As which they made the call eventually. So yeah, the past four days have been the Rapa of my work. And Yeah you want to ask a little bit more detailed questions about the DNC. Yeah well first of all, if if this were not a virtual convention in the past. Delegates like yourself was was the expense all paid for by each delegate I mean there's It cost someone to show up one of those things, right Right. So I think that's a great point you bring up Ken because I think, wow, this convention being unprecedented virtual online socially distanced I. think it might have been one of the most financially accessible conventions. I can a hundred percent say I would not have signed up to run and campaign to become a delegate for the DNC if we had not had this Special circumstance because usually for Democrats abroad, the actually meet at a global convention in a certain location and you have to frontload your money to fly out and meet together with this delegation of people and similarly if we were to represent. Voters abroad in Milwaukee will we'd have to fly back to Milwaukee and It's important to know that being a delegate while you are elected, you are not like it's a volunteer position you are not paid and so from what I've heard in the past for delegations that attended is. Once. You get elected. Some people have to start. Go find me's kickstarter bees for. Their costing like, Hey, like I'm attending this convention hotel costs are this Lukasz are this? Transportation costs are this and You know you don't want to go there and not like get some swag or something. Like a memory, right? Like these kinds of things all cost money and this time because everything had to be shelter in place for everyone. I didn't have to pay for a plane ticket So that was some savings and. That initially. It's weird if it's like a balanced right on one hand, it's a bummer I don't get to network in person I don't get to chat with people. There's something about being in the arena having an atmosphere on the other hand. It's a very contagious atmosphere like literally for germs. All right and. Yeah. So literally, such a dangerous during the coronavirus having you know thinking about the Democratic Party. In overall politics still being quite older there's a lot of immuno compromised people that are going to go and we cannot afford to lose leadership just like showing up to a convention in putting people's Health at risk. So having a convention being remote. More financially accessible. Definitely stay for call looking at the cases now. And they did manage to mail some like swag for us like US posters or pin or earth stuff but never got to me unfortunately. Well the Paul Paul his little a little distant right right so but that's kind of how the convention went and can if I can elaborate on this one component of the DNC that I found to be. The best part that came out of being virtual was the roll call I own. Absolutely I was I was choked up right right and I think it's important for people to know what the role wasn't the past. So usually a roll call is what it sounds like. You know year state delegation casting their votes and going up to the microphone in that being a really proud moment and but in reality like people gathering and being very loud and. You can't it takes hours. Wearing silly hat if you were to do it that way right and wearing silly hats like being Yeah. China. Get Yourself. Notice and I think this time what I got really emotional watching roll call because every state had almost equal time and what they did with the time was so significant because they had their home state to support them. We saw we saw Cal Amari House. We saw like the lake scenery we saw we saw like fields and we saw monuments like all we remembered America. The beautiful. Again, that's one thing and then to they were very strategic in getting. People on the ground to talk about issues they're passionate about. So we heard from teachers who are about to reopen schools are they're scared we heard from people who are activists we've heard from people who are farmers and facing climate change and those kinds of issues. Giving them time and space in the silence that a virtual convention gives is so important because I, I learned so much more about what America needs right now from that roll call that if it was person in more about who is louder than..

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