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Your Voice Reaches Democratic National Convention

By Adil James, MMNS

Farmington–March 17–The Democratic National Convention CEO, made a conference call this past Monday to discuss the interests of the Democratic National Convention in faith-based media outreach up to and during the coming Democratic National Convention in August.

Participants in the conference call included such presigious names as The Washington Post, New York Times, and NPR.

A complete list of participants includes: National Catholic Reporter; Reglion News Service; JTA; Washington Jewish Week Newspaper; Commonwealth Magazine (Catholic); Beliefnet; NY Times; The Associated Press; CME Publications; PBS; Salem Radio Network; Precious Time Magazine; AZ Daily Star; Muslim Observer; Jewish Telegraphic Agencies; Jerusalem Post; The Christian Science Monitor; PBS Religion and Ethics and News Weekly; Missionary Messenger; Boston Globe; Christianity Today; and the Washington Post.

Representing the Democratic National Convention (DNCC) 2008 were Rev. Leah D. Daughtry, the CEO of the Convention Committee, Wally Podrazik, the Director of Media Operations, and Natalie Wyeth, the Press Secretary for the DNCC.

In essence the call was a description of the outreach efforts of the DNCC and a warm invitation to faith-based media to attend the Convention. There was also a brief introduction to people of faith involved in the DNCC; Rev. Daughtry was careful to include at least one person of each major faith community and their involvement in the DNCC. The Muslim person she mentioned was Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, the Director of SoundVision, who is a member of the Democratic Faith Advisory Council–selected for that position by DNC chair, Governor Howard Dean.

SoundVision is one of the premiere outlets for Islam-related merchandise including very nice videos, soundtracks, and toys. Imam Abdul Malik is the founder of SoundVision; he is a powerful figure in Chicago’s Muslim community, as the Chair of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago. He is originally from Pakistan.

He maintains memberships in several important organizations including the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights.

Rev. Daughtry described her own work as a reverend operating out of the pulpit of her Washington DC church, and described her enthusiasm for embracing people of faith and for conducting the DNCC in a way consistent with her faith–therefore seeking to make the 2008 DNCC as “green” as possible; seeking to involve DNCC workers as volunteers in Denver-area charities during the lead-up to and during the convention; and performing many and diverse faith-based community-building activities with the Denver community. All of this she described in relation to her belief in the phrase “faith without works is dead.”

Another first: customarily there are parallel sessions during political conventions–this year for the first time ever, one of the parallel sessions at the DNCC will be a “people of faith” caucus. This caucus will coexist with the continuing caucuses such as the African American Caucus, the Pacific Islander caucus, and others.

Also this year, the DNCC will kick off with an interfaith service. Rev. Daughtry explained that the DNCC was making “a concerted and dedicated effort to be as inclusive as possible.”

Throughout the convention, she explained, the DNCC organizers will highlight faith leaders in the community of Democrats.

The conference call was also an invitation to a political convention that will be historic regardless of which Democratic candidate wins the nomination.


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