Fuse and Voto Latino joined forces this year for Crash The Parties, a competition to give two young talents the chance to cover the 2016 Democratic and Republican National Conventions. Arlene Santana earned the opportunity to head to Philly to cover the DNC from July 25-28, and by the end of a long day of interviewing and reporting, she was all smiles on Monday night.
“Our first day has been incredible!” Santana exclaimed. The Sullivan City, Tex. native got to experience Philadelphia’s DNC from all angles—read her recap of Day 1 below:
1:00 PM: We drove through the city to the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where we got a chance to check out PoliticalFest, which has a replica of the Oval Office and Air Force One. I think the Oval Office was a little more powerful—everyone is familiar with it, everyone wants to sit in that chair and everyone has seen the show House of Cards, too!
3:00 PM: We headed to the Wells Fargo Center in the blazing heat. The day started off very hot, and then all of a sudden it started pouring rain, and there were flood warnings, so it got a little chaotic.
3:45 PM: The theme today was ‘United Together,’ and there was definitely an effort to try and unify the Democratic Party today, despite the protestors we spotted outside while heading into the arena. There were definitely opposing energies, but the effort was there.
4:15 PM: We started speaking to a variety of delegates inside the Wells Fargo Center—a 22-year-old Latino from Utah, and a 28-year-old Latino. They were so smart and eloquent and knowledgeable, and I was blown away by them.
5:30 PM: We were starting to get pretty tired and in need of some coffee, but there isn’t a coffee stand here in the Wells Fargo Center, so we tried to go outside but it was still pouring rain. We rain through the scene in search of coffee—that’s how desperate we were! We didn’t find any, but the rain woke us up.
6:15 PM: There was a gentleman inside the DNC floor wearing a sports jacket with Christmas lights that spelled out ‘Feel The Bern.’ I’d never seen anything like that before.
8:05 PM: The speeches are starting to get really good! The food lines are taking over an hour, so it’s time to watch some of the Party’s best and brightest, following a performance by Demi Lovato a few minutes ago.
9:30 PM: Eva Longoria, from my home state, was so awesome introducing Cory Booker! Love her.
10:10 PM: Michelle Obama’s speech blew everyone away. When she came on and started speaking, it was the first time that everyone in the arena stopped talking and listened to every word. She’s a rock star.
10:45 PM: I’ve only had a slice of pizza today, so I’m ready for some food! Until tomorrow, DNC!
Watch Arlene speak to some of the best and brightest at the DNC below: