Small states like Idaho band together at national convention

After attending the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, Bert Marley knew he wanted the 2016 convention to be different.

In L.A., Idaho delegates stayed at a hotel in a Beverly Hills neighborhood while the convention and most other delegates were downtown. Worst of all, he said, Idaho’s delegation was on the outskirts alone.

Small states get lost in a convention like this. But when we stick together, we have a voice.

Marley, the Idaho Democratic Party state chairman, said he wanted his small state to have a voice this year. Collaborating with North Dakota Democratic Party Chair Kylie Oversen, he got his wish. Idaho stayed at the DoubleTree hotel in Valley Forge along with Utah, West Virginia, North Dakota, South Dakota and Hawaii.

“Anytime that we were negotiating with the DNC, we worked together,” said Oversen. “We collectively bargained, if you will, to elevate our voices as small states.”

“The high-caliber speakers we’ve been able to attract,” she continued, “North Dakota by itself probably wouldn’t have gotten Amy Dacey.”

Amy Dacey, CEO of the Democratic Party, wasn’t the only high-caliber speaker the small states attracted. On the final day of the convention, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley spoke at the delegation’s breakfast.

Without those other states, Marley said, they wouldn’t have been able to pull that off.

Via Idaho Statesman