What Happens at the DNC?


The Democratic National Convention has arrived, and this year it’s taking place in the birthplace of independence — Philadelphia. From delegates to the media, DNC officials expect at least 50 thousand attendees to make the trip to the Wells Fargo Center this week.

While many are most familiar with the convention as being the place where parties chose their platform and elect their presidential candidates, it’s a lot more than that according to College of Liberal Arts professor Robin Kolodny. “There is so much is happening at once. The best way to experience it all, is to be there yourself.”

But who are the 4,764 delegates traveling from all fifty states that make up the Democratic National Convention?

“These aren’t your average people. They’re people who are longtime engaged with party organizations. These kind of individuals are leaders of the community,” says Kolodny. “They are the highest form of party organization. However they are only able to act for four days every four years.”

The DNC will last four days, starting on Monday, July 25, and concluding on Thursday, July 28.

Day 1 – Keynote address by one of the party’s most influential leaders to stir enthusiasm and excitement among the delegates.

Day 2 – The delegates make final decisions on what the party platform should represent and how it should stand on different issues.

Day 3 – The nomination of the party’s presidential candidate.

Day 4 – The nomination of the party’s vice presidential candidate.

All of the work that happens at the DNC all week long isn’t limited to the main stage. In fact, much of the action takes place outside of the convention’s four walls in large group gatherings that typically revolve around food and drinks. “I’m expecting a lot of water ice and pretzel sales. It’s a big opportunity for groups to get together,” Kolodny adds.

Overall, event organizers say they hope to make this Democratic National Convention the most engaging, innovative and forward looking convention in American history.


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