Live Blog: The Democratic National Convention Begins

The Philadelphia Jewish Voice is on site this week at the Democratic National Convention. Publisher Dan Loeb, President Bonnie Squires, Vice President Ken Myers and writer Jessica Weingarten will be providing reports, photos and updates. Follow below from most recent to earliest.

Please refresh this page frequently or follow our twitter feed for updated content.


Monday night, July 25
Rabbi Julie Schonfeld
After Bernie Sanders’ call for unity, the night ended with an address by another Jew: Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, who delivered the benediction. Rabbi Schonfeld is the first woman to serve as executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly, the international association of Conservative rabbis. She is also a member of President Obama’s White House Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.


Monday night, July 25
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)
In a thunderous speech, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker took up the issue of income inequality:

We have a presidential nominee in Hillary Clinton who knows that, in a time of stunningly wide disparities of wealth in our nation, America’s greatness must not be measured by how many millionaires and billionaires we have, but by how few people we have living in poverty.

For more from Booker’s speech, check out the video below.


Monday night, July 25
Sarah Silverman
True to form, comedian Sarah Silverman gave a hilarious speech on the convention floor. A Bernie Sanders supporter, Silverman concluded her remarks by saying, “I am proud to be a part of Bernie’s movement, and a vital part of that movement is making sure Hillary Clinton is the next president of the United States.” When Silverman appeared on stage with Al Franken, comedian and senator from Minnesota, she went quite a bit further by adding, “Can I just say, to the Bernie or Bust people, you’re being ridiculous.”


Monday night, July 25
Anastasia Somoza
Anastasia Somoza, a disability rights advocate, gave a powerful and inspirational convention speech. She and her twin sister were born with cerebral palsy and spastic quadriplegia. In the 1990’s, Somoza met Hillary Clinton on a visit to the White House, and since then, she said Clinton “has continued to serve as a friend and a mentor.” About the Republican nominee, she said, “Donald Trump doesn’t see me, he doesn’t hear me, and he definitely doesn’t speak for me.” Watch her impassioned speech.


Monday night, July 25
Karla Ortiz
“I want my parents to see me do science experiments and find my rare rocks in the desert. I want to grow up to be a lawyer so I can help other families,” said 11-year-old Karla Ortiz during her address to the convention. An American citizen, Ortiz is the child of undocumented immigrants, who lives in constant fear of her parents being deported. Watch her poignant speech at the convention.


Monday night, July 25
Pam Livengood
“For my 50th birthday, I got a two-year old,” said Pam Livengood, one of the convention speakers who addressed the issue of addiction in America. Livengood is a grandmother from New Hampshire, who for three years, raised her young grandson because of her daughter’s problems with addiction. Listen to her speech below.


Monday night, July 25
Trump Video
A new Trump video was released at the convention demonstrating a contradiction between the Republican nominee’s words and deeds. Part of the “Donald Decoded” series, the video, produced by Funny or Die, gives a long litany of examples of how Trump outsourced American jobs in his businesses, despite his current claim of putting America first.


Monday night, July 25
At the Convention!
The energy on the floor was palpable. Here are some photos to set the scene, including a few shots of some well-known Pennsylvania attendees.


Monday evening, July 25
Dan excitedly displays his credentials entitling him to be on the convention floor. He also experiences life in the Oval Office for himself. His first act as chief executive: signing a bill into law that makes Shushan Purim a federal holiday.


Monday, July 25
From $4.50 bottles of water to unexpected meet-ups with delegates and elected officials, Doc Jess narrates her experiences on Day 1 of the convention.


Monday afternoon, July 25
Throughout the afternoon, members of The Philadelphia Jewish Voice press team continued their coverage of events throughout the city. Dan checked out the exhibit “Sweep the Country: Political Conventions in Philadelphia,” which is being held at The Heritage Center of The Union League through early next year. The exhibit covers the 11 political conventions that have taken place in Philadelphia between 1848 and 2000, and in September, it will add memorabilia from the 2016 DNC. The photo gallery below shows a Colorado delegate (middle) posing with the Colorado donkey outside The Union League, as well as several shots from inside the exhibit.

During his DNC travels, Dan also saw the Bernie Sanders rally. Using the interesting choice of messaging depicted below, some in the Sanders rally expressed their support for the legalization of marijuana.

DNC -cannabis


Monday, July 25, 10:30 am
The AJC Global Jewish Advocacy is holding several events around the city. Dan Loeb and Bonnie Squires attended one this morning, which was a panel discussion called “Anti-Semitism at Home and Abroad.” Here is a video of the program.

Bonnie Squires (r) with Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee and panel member at the AJC event.

Bonnie Squires (r) with Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee and panel member at the AJC event.


Monday morning, July 25

Bonnie Squires attended the PA delegation’s breakfast this morning and took these photos:


Monday, July 25, 9:40 am

Dan Loeb shares some of his photos from Monday morning at the Wells Fargo Center:


Saturday, July 23

Doc Jess’ Saturday Report From the #DNC

DNC bannerIt was an exciting day. Banners are up all over town welcoming people to the DNC, Hugh Brownstone and I drove in early in the morning to attend the 8 a.m. organizing meeting for the People’s Revolution/Occupy Protest.

We stopped at the Starbucks, as the meeting was changed to 9 a.m. While drinking our brew, a few police officers joined the line. WDNC Copse spoke briefly with them, and they were very nice. That is, they had the right attitude. They didn’t bother anyone at the meeting, which, because it was delayed again until 9:30, kinda sorta convened in an outdoor courtyard, and spilled into the street outside. While we were at the Starbucks, Hugh interviewed me about Jill Stein’s chances in Pennsylvania. Stein is the Green Party candidate for president. The bottom line is if she won 50% of the people who voted for Bernie in the primary, given that more people vote in a general than in a primary, she still couldn’t hit 10%.

It was interesting that the vast number of people at the meeting were baby boomers. I had noticed the same thing last year at the Keystone Progress summit where Bernie Sanders was the keynote speaker. I found it intriguing, especially as compared to the voting statistics based on age in the primaries. Then again, all of these things cost money. …

Will ConnerI met Will Conner, a nice young man from Ohio who is planning on running for Congress in the 2018 cycle as a Progressive. He and I talked ballot access, and how hard it was to get on a ballot if the party wasn’t there. It’s much easier for a congressional district than a state in most instances, but we’ll see how Ohio rolls as it’s known for being especially difficult. I will be talking to him again in November to help with his initial FEC forms.

Save the WorldI had my arm stamped for the protest, and wrote on one of the “How will you change the world?” signs outside the Arch Street meeting house. I also had the opportunity to speak to a number of young people who feel there is no difference between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. I wanted to understand the logic, and it appears that the driving reason is that they believe that the only way to make the Democratic Party more progressive is to get someone like Donald Trump into the White House, so that true revolution can occur. Trying to explain that this was akin to Berlin in 1931 was an abstraction that they couldn’t really get their heads around.

Shanna East2Finally, I was able to meet Shanna East, who was in charge of the day’s protest event. She was helped by dozens of people with badges that indicated “Security,” “Food and Water,” “Logistics,” etc. It was all very reminiscent of the Occupy protests a few years ago: very orderly, well organized, with a lot of concern for the health and safety of the participants.

All in all a good few hours. At that point, it became far too hot for yours truly.

Tomorrow – pick-up-credentials day! More then.


Thursday, July 21, 8:00 pm

Over sixty local Democrats met in Wynnewood to officially send off the Montgomery County’s delegation to the Democratic National Convention, and to mingle and hear from the Clinton campaign’s leadership.

Bill Leopold

Bill Leopold

State Representatives Mary-Jo Daley and Mark Cohen were two of Hillary Clinton’s delegates at the party. This will be Cohen’s fourth consecutive convention as he was a delegate for John Kerry at the 2004 convention in Boston, Massachusetts, and a delegate for Barack Obama at the 2008 convention in Denver, Colorado, and the 2012 convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. See Ken Myers’ interview of Cohen last week and Dan’s Loeb’s interview of Cohen from 2007.

Also at the party was Bernie Sanders’ delegate and former chairman of the Democratic Committee of Lower Merion and Narberth Bill Leopold. Other participants included State Representative Dwight Evans who is running as the Democratic candidate to succeed Chaka Fattah in Pennsylvania’s 2nd Congressional District, and Sharif Street who is running for Pennsylvania’s State Senate in the 3rd District.


Thursday, July 21, 7:30 pm

IMG-20160724-00168Philadelphia Jewish Voice President Bonnie Squires attended the “Stronger Together” interfaith service before the Democratic National Convention. She was greeted by her old friend from Washington DC, Rabbi Jack Moline, president of the Interfaith Alliance, which organized the service.


Thursday, July 21, 7 pm

The Philadelphia Jewish Voice is looking forward to reporting on the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this week. Ken, Jess, Dan and Bonnie visited the Philadelphia Convention Center today to pick up their press credentials from the United States Secret Service and the Democratic National Committee.


Thursday, July 21, 11:11 am

Lessons for Democrats from the RNC by DocJess.


Thursday, July 21, 7:17 pm

Jerry Falwell, Jr., President of Liberty University is speaking now.

Thursday, July 21, 1:51 am

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