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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Obama Lets Voters Add To DNC Platform


WASHINGTON — The Democratic National Committee and Barack Obama's presidential campaign will hold meetings in all 50 states to get voters more involved in developing the party platform.

Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano will chair the Platform Drafting Committee, the DNC and the Obama campaign were scheduled to announce Tuesday. The committee will invite members of the public to attend meetings around the country, with policy experts and other Democratic officials on hand to answer questions.

Both political parties produce a platform, or statement of its principles, each presidential election year. In the past, the DNC has held a limited number of public meetings around the country to seek input on the document, generally from advocacy organizations or research groups.

Voters can go to Obama's campaign Web site, , to sign up to host one of the meetings, which will take place July 19-27. The drafting committee will receive a report with input from the meetings Aug. 1 before assembling a draft platform in Cleveland on Aug. 2-3.

The draft will serve as a working document for the full Platform Committee, which will meet Aug. 9 in Pittsburgh to consider and vote on the document. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, former New Mexico Attorney General Patricia Madrid and former Discovery Communications President and CEO Judith McHale are co-chairs of the committee.

The disclosure that the DNC and Obama's campaign would seek broad voter input on the platform came on the heels of the announcement that Obama would accept the Democratic nomination at Denver's Invesco Field at Mile High, a 76,000-seat, open-air stadium that is home to the Denver Broncos, instead of at the smaller Pepsi Center, official site for the party's national convention Aug. 25-28.

"Barack Obama believes that every American should be able to contribute to the Democratic platform, just as record numbers have participated in this campaign," deputy campaign manager Steve Hildebrand said.

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