I flew to Denver Sunday morning on Jet Blue. Even though Governor Paterson and Senator Schumer were on the plane, it was still one hour late! Later that evening, at the Sheraton, where the New York delegation stayed, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver had a reception serving a mix of deli meats and Denver flavor - BBQ brisket and Senator Malcolm Smith, the Minority Leader, had a dinner for the Senators.
Aside from a 3:30 radio interview, I was free and I walked from one end of the 16th Street Mall to the other end. I planned to take the free bus back but the route was closed due to protesters. Congressmember Joe Crowley had a reception at Zengo in the Riverfront section where we dined on sushi and hors d’oeuvres, which turned out to be dinner.
Diary of a Delegate
Lunch with Congressmember Joe Crowley and the Queens delegates followed at the Capitol Grille, a lovely upscale restaurant at Larimer Square. I was back to the hotel to meet with Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and on to the Convention.
The weather in Denver was perfect - warm, sunny, with low humidity. We had been warned, because of the altitude, to drink lots of water. At the convention, at $3.50 per bottle, this was expensive hydration. I had no problem with the altitude until the trip to 14,000 feet where I had to walk a little slower and breathe a little deeper. A store was selling oxygen at $10 for a small bottle, which you sprayed into a napkin and sniffed. Fortunately, I had adjusted to the altitude and didn’t need it.
Transportation to the Pepsi Center and Invesco Field was a near disaster. Buses, when you could find them, left us off about a mile from the Pepsi Center and in the heat it was a long walk. Taxis were hard to find and nowhere to be found at night.
When the Queens delegation of Borough President Helen Marshall, Gloria D’Amico, Gloria Aloise, Jamie Plunkett, District Leader Martha Flores-Vasquez, Barbara Jackson, and I left Invesco Field about 9:30 p.m., we were misdirected to the wrong buses and walked all around the stadium. There were no lines, just chaos and we got back to our hotel about 12:45 a.m. - hungry and tired.
I know that there were many parties for large donors and elected officials sponsored primarily by corporations doing business in Washington. I decided that I would not attend any corporate functions because of ethical concerns.
That's our Toby - there for the free food and to be a pillar of integrity for the Queens Machine.