I’m in beautiful West Virginia. And, like, it’s completely beautiful, I’m kind of in love with the place. I’m in Charleston (the state Capital) for the weekend (since about 4am yesterday) with a couple of my fellow Young Democrats of Massachusetts board members representing our various chapters at the Young Democrats of America’s Spring/Summer Conference. It’s my first YDA event. It’s been a lot of fun so far, though, even if I am completely exhausted and still working remotely while I’m here.
Yesterday was mostly a ‘fun’ day, without any general business programming (though the national Executive Committee met) but with a Welcome Reception at the WV Governor’s Mansion (SERIOUSLY, it was so effing beautiful and right on the river and it’s a FREAKING ANTEBELLUM MANSION.) and we got to have so much sweet tea and it made me miss living in the South so badly it hurt. The weather here is perfection (humid and 90+ degrees, I can’t get enough). After the reception, we went to another part of the city to a dive bar called Red Carpet Lounge with really bad karaoke (there was John Denver & Neil Diamond to be sung!), $3 cocktails, and a back patio for smoking and drinking in the evening air that was bigger than my entire apartment. By the end of the night I had only spent $4. I can’t even get the cheapest beer in Boston at a bar for $4!! I took my shoes off (because it was beautiful out and I was in heels) and walked the two miles back to the hotel through the city at one in the morning.
So far today I’ve gone to a breakfast sponsored by the the United Mine Workers and saw a speech about the history of coal mining from Del. Mike Caputo (the WV House Majority Whip), never heard of him before this trip (not being up on WV politics) but he was super excited and pissed off and gave a great speech about the work of the Union.
Then I went to the Labor Caucus meeting but was immediately put off. Of the 30 people in the room there were three women and one non-white person. That was it.
I spent the rest of the morning in the Rules Committee learning a lot more about the structure of YDA and reminiscing about the joys of parliamentary procedure (ah, college) before lunch with the Massachusetts delegation (all three of us) and then phone banking for Ed Markey (#imwithed).
Coming up, the Women’s Caucus, the LGBTQ Caucus, and our Regional meeting, all of which are happening this afternoon into the evening.