Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bei Falak Denver - I'm Headed to the Democratic National Convention!

For those who have read my blog over the years, they may have noticed a new sort of political trend in the posts that I've written over the past few months. I've been writing alot lately about the 2008 Presidential Campaign, and in particular a lot about Barack Obama.

There are a number of reasons for this. First, I am in the states now and so the Presidential campaign has become a large part of my life. Me and i nobia-hu Rashne, are sort of MSNBC junkies when it comes to the latest political news (no CNN for us, because Lou Dobb's head is huge and stuffed full of race baiting). Second, from an Ethnic Studies perspective, there are so many interesting things taking place in this election, because of the ways the media and other people are being forced to talk about race and gender, or doing their damndest to make sure that race and gender were never mentioned in any meaningful way. I've found the dynamics of the campaigns, at the level of race, gender and class, to be interesting, but even more so the way that Guam and other non-state territories have been treated by the media and by blogs. All of this has given me plenty of great material for my dissertation. Third, with this election being one which is played out in some many ways on the internet, the videos, cartoons and other creative loyalist art forms that people are making, are so interesting and range from digusting to hilarious.

Some of it has been truly inspirational, such as these videos below made by wil i am. I know that most people have seen these by now, but I watched them again recently after not seeing or hearing them for months and they still had an impact on me. There is still something very touching about them, that keeps me supporting Obama, even though I know there are so many problematic things about him.

One other reason is a very exciting one for me. And that's that for the past few months I've been under consideration to be an official press blogger at the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.

I was first contacted last year by Aaron Silverstein, a Colorado blogger who can be now found at at the blog Squarestate. Part of the outreach for this year's convention was to be the credentialing of a single blog from each of the states and territories. I for one knew nothing about this, and I'm sure alot of other blogger, especially from the territories had no idea that they could even apply for it. Thankfully, Aaron, after seeing this plan and surmising that this news probably wouldn't reach those of us tied to Guam, decided to started a blog dedicated to getting a blogger representing Guam seating at the Democratic National Convention. The blog was titled Guam Love Jason Rosenberg, and it was named such because the person in charge of the selection for the state bloggers corps, the Internet Communications Director was someone named Jason Rosenberg.

Earlier this year, at Aaron's urging I submitted my application to be the blogger for Guam. I know the blogging landscape for the island, and so I knew that there wasn't much competition for me. Aaron contacted almost every Chamorro who has a website about Guam and isn't selling things, asking them if they'd consider applying. Naturally since very few of this blogs were political or regularly dealt with political events or analysis, he didn't get much of a response.

I often lament to people how lonely I feel as a blogger from Guam. There are plenty of blogs out there (you can find plenty of links along the right side of my blog), but few people post regularly, most seem to be photo blogs with a small bit of humor and commentary mixed in, and I have yet to find any other blogger from Guam who regularly deals with political (local, national or international) issues. I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with those other types of blogs or those other blogs themselves, but I'm just saying that I wish there was more of a conversation or network out there.

I often get jealous of the blogging network made up of people tied to Saipan. It seems like everyday some new person creates a blog there for the sole purpose of attacking the CNMI government. It seems like everytime I vist the network there is some new, angry, hurtful and very often very personal fight or flame comment war going on up there. I can't say that I would love to go back into the terrible world of fighting everyday with people whose opinions are this cringing mixture of scary ignorance and almost impenetrable (and therefore incomprehensible) certainty. But, if there are more people in the room and in the conversation, at least you can feel like you have allies in the struggle. When I get hateful or dumb comments, its often like I'm alone against all the idiocy in the world. And for some reason, those idiots have so much more time on their hands to write non-stop tirades against me. But if I factor into account that they aren't using much of their brains to create those tirades, then I guess I can understand how they can produce so much...

Despensa yu' umabaknaihon yu'. But, fortunately and unfortunately, the lack of political Guam blogs had worked in my favor. Today I received formal confirmation that my blog, No Rest for the Awake - Minagahet Chamorro, has been selected to officially represent Guam at the 2008 Democratic National Convention!!! I received an email this morning notifying me, and also got this video from the Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean.

Yanggen ilek-hu na "excited yu'" siempre ti nahong este na fino'-hu para u na'tungo' hamyo i tinahdong-hu i minagof-hu put este! Mampos excited yu'! Mamposssss.

I will have more info soon, when I get more details from the convention committee and also make my plans for how to go about covering the convention and also connecting to other bloggers and others participating in the convention in August. I think that my perspective on the convention will be different than most other bloggers, because of the colonial status of Guam, and my commitment to its decolonization.

In the meantime, I'm pasting below the press release from the DNCC, which also features the full list of bloggers from the states and territories.



Party Chairman Notifies Selected Blogs Via Online Video Message

DENVER - As part of the Democratic National Convention Committee's (DNCC) commitment to engaging a broad spectrum of audiences in the 2008 Democratic National Convention experience using new technology and other creative means, Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Howard Dean today announced the blogs selected to participate in the DemConvention State Blogger Corps during the four-day event in August. Governor Dean notified the blogs selected via an online video message available at .

"Similar to the record-breaking voter turnout our Party has seen during the primary season, the demand for these coveted blogger positions is yet another indicator of the tremendous interest in this historic Convention," said Governor Dean. "The Internet has played a critical role in connecting Americans to elected officials and candidates seeking office. The DemConvention State Blogger Corps will continue to foster this dialogue - in all 50 of our states and our territories too - as we head towards this year's historic election and elect a Democrat to the White House."

The DNCC previously announced an expansion of the credentialed blogger pool from past Conventions and the addition of a state blogger credentialing program. As part of the new DemConvention State Blogger Corps, designed for bloggers covering state and local politics, bloggers will receive unparalleled access to state delegations and the floor of the Convention hall. In a truly unprecedented move, the DNCC will seat these bloggers with their respective delegations during the historic four-day event, providing even greater access for local coverage and perspective. Highlights from these blogs will also be featured on in the lead up to and during the Convention.

"The members of the DemConvention State Blogger Corps represent a broad spectrum of voices that illustrate the 'big tent' nature of our Party," said DNCC CEO Leah D. Daughtry. "Many of these blogs are vibrant communities, well respected in their home states and committed to ensuring that all voices can be heard in the political process. I'm excited about the roles these bloggers will have in engaging an even broader, more diverse base of people from around the country in conversations not only about the Convention, but about the future of our nation."

More than 400 applications were received from bloggers across the United States and multiple territories. Some of the blogs selected for the State Corps are full-time, professional endeavors while others are the work of individuals, who through their own efforts have become recognized authorities on state and local politics. Bloggers had to submit daily audience information and provide examples of posts that made their blogs stand out as an effective online organizing tool or agent of change, a demonstration of both the reach and impact blogs have had and will continue to have on the 2008 election. The program recognizes the growth of more localized blogs and is in line with Governor Dean's 50-state strategy.

In addition to the State Blogger Corps, the DNCC will soon credential a General Blogger Pool, to include local, state and national political bloggers, as well as niche and video bloggers from across the country. All applicants not selected for the State Blogger Corps are now eligible for selection as part of the General Blogger Pool.The DemConvention State Blogger Corps is listed below.

ALASKA - Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis -
ALABAMA- Doc's Political Parlor -
ARKANSAS- Under The -
ARIZONA - Ted Prezelski - Rum, Romanism and Rebellion -
CALIFORNIA - Calitics-
CONNECTICUT -My Left Nutmeg -
DELAWARE - TommyWonk -
DEMOCRATS ABROAD - Democrats Abroad Argentina -
FLORIDA - Florida Progressive Coalition -
GEORGIA- Tondee's Tavern -
GUAM - No Rest for the Awake - Minagahet Chamorro -
HAWAII - Ian Lind Online -
IOWA - The Iowa Independent -
ILLINOIS- Prairie State Blue -
INDIANA- Blue Indiana -
KENTUCKY - BlueGrassRoots -
LOUISIANA - Daily Kingfish -
MASSACHUSETTS - Blue Mass. Group -
MARYLAND - The Center for Emerging Media -
MAINE - Turn Maine Blue -
MICHIGAN - Blogging For Michigan -
MINNESOTA - Minnesota Monitor -
MISSISSIPPI - The Natchez Blog -
MISSOURI - Fired Up! LLC -
MONTANA - Left in the West -
NEBRASKA - New Nebraska Network -
NEW HAMPSHIRE - Blue Hampshire -
NEW MEXICO - Democracy for New Mexico -
NEVADA - Las Vegas Gleaner -
NEW YORK - Room 8 -
OHIO - Ohio Daily Blog -
OKLAHOMA - DemoOkie -
OREGON - BlueOregon (blog) -
PENNSYLVANIA - Keystone Politics -
PUERTO RICO - Jusiper -
RHODE ISLAND - Rhode Island's Future -
SOUTH DAKOTA - Badlands Blue -
TENNESSEE - KnoxViews/TennViews -
TEXAS - Burnt Orange Report -
UTAH - The Utah Amicus -
VIRGINIA - Raising Kaine -
VIRGIN ISLANDS - Democratic Party of the US Virgin Islands -
VERMONT - Green Mountain Daily -
WISCONSIN - Uppity Wisconsin -
WEST VIRGINIA - West Virginia Blue -
WYOMING - Hummingbirdminds blog -

###About the DNCC: The 2008 Democratic National Convention Committee is the official arm of the Democratic National Committee responsible for planning and organizing the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.


Victoria said...

Congratulations Che'lu! Biba!

CarbonDate said...

Congratulations! It's a well-deserved honor, since yours is one of the best blogs I currently read, even without the extremely limiting "from Guam" caveat. I'm sure you'll do your island proud.


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