Patch is committed to in-depth coverage of the 2012 elections, from the local school board to the presidential race.
The Democratic National Convention is coming right up in Charlotte. Luis Alejo, who's headed to the democratic convention as a delegate representing our region, caught up with Patch last week.
Patch: How does a person become a delegate?
Luis Alejo: There is a meeting held once every 4 years and it is attended by local Democrats from the Monterey Bay Region. Those who attend this meeting are the ones who choose who becomes a "district level delegate." I received the highest number of votes when I became a district-level delgate for President Barack Obama at the 2012 Democratic National Convention that will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina this year. There are also a number of spots that are chosen as statewide at-large delegates and a certain number chosen as party leaders and elected officials delegates (PLEOs) that are appointed by the California Democratic Party.
Patch: Are we going to see you on TV in a funny hat?
Alejo: I might if I find one that looks cool and captures the pride of the Democratic Party.
Patch: Do you feel that your presence at the convention will make an impact?
Alejo: I feel that I am priviledged to attend the Convention and be a voice for all those dedicated Democrats who could not attend the Convention this year.
Patch: These days a lot of people are disenchanted with the two major parties. What makes you proud of your party?
Alejo: I believe my Democratic Party stands up for the hard working people and families of our region. Democrats are the party that best reflects the values, interests and concerns of the people of the beautiful Monterey Bay area.
Patch: Could we leave you a goodie bag at your hotel?
Alejo: I think we always see the most interesting things in such bags. I still have my bobble head of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa from the 2008 convention.
About The Convention:
Patch: Do you know other delegates going, or are you about to join thousands of strangers on the convention floor?
Alejo: Karina Cervantez is attending from Santa Cruz County. I know the rest of the delegates attending from Monterey and San Benito Counties as well. It is always fun meeting the other delegates from all over California. We have the largest and most diverse delegation out of all the states to attend the convention this year.
Patch: What are you looking forward to most at the convention?
Alejo: I love meeting Democratic leaders from all over the country and getting recharged for the November election to make sure President Barack Obama wins his re-election!
Patch: What would you want your neighbors to know about the convention?
Alejo: It is history in the making and is one of the most unforgettable experiences attending a Democratic National Convention. I attended the historic 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver and was able to witness the first African American win the Democratic nomination for president in the entire history of our country at Mile High Stadium in the presence of 85,000 people. It is something I can never forget!
About The Election in Your Town:
Patch: What is it like being a high profile Democrat in our region?
Alejo: I am honored to represent so many other dedicated Democrats at the Convention and doing my part to promote the goals of the Democratic Party this year.
Patch: What do you wish people in Gilroy knew more about Obama?
Alejo: President Obama has worked extremely hard to make sure our economy recovers and that Americans are put back to work. He also has accomplished milestone goals like making sure more Americans will have health insurance and mostly recently, that immigrant students can obtain a work permit throught "deferred action" so they can contribute to our economy and be leaders in their respective professtions.
Patch: What is the most surprising thing that you’ve seen or heard about the convention?
Alejo: We will have so many outstanding leaders speak at the convention, including Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Actress Eva Longoria, Women's Rights Leader Lily Ledbetter, President Bill Clinton and younger Latino leaders like Julian Castro from San Antonio. This will be the convention to watch!