Like precincts all around Austin, the Gullett cafeteria was packed. Precinct 239 chair, Jim Bryce said they were anticipating about 100 to 150 attendees because they knew there was a lot of interest. They ended up with more than double that amount. The overflow didn’t last though. The caucus started at 7:00 and it wasn’t until 9:00 that everyone signed in. By that time, many people, myself included, felt that making their candidate preference known was enough and went home.
What follows is Jim’s post to the Allandale newsgroup at 2:50 a.m. regarding last night’s event.
What if you have a Party and everybody comes? That’s what happened last
night at the Democratic Precinct 239 Convention held at Gullett
Elementary. We had 419 attendees sign in; that’s about 400 more than
usually attend. Oh, I forgot, the Fire Marshall came too, plus, of
course, various friends, children and amazed observers.
While preliminary estimates anticipated maybe 100 or 150, no one expected such participation.
It was a wonderful experience where dozens of people helped deal with
the overflow and pitched in to handle the main initial task:
registering the attendees. This was a cooperative effort between those
representing Hillary Clinton and those representing Barack Obama.
The two otherwise opposing factions worked together to achieve the
goals of the convention: election of delegates to the county convention
and actions on over fifty resolutions. By mutual agreement each cross
checked the work of the other. When there were complex issues regarding
counting "provisional voters," everyone sincerely considered the
problem and arrived at solutions with mutual agreement thereby
eliminating the possibility of contests over details.
But the real kudos go to Gullett Elementary and Janie Ruiz, Principal.
Aided by her excellent staff, Principal Ruiz arranged for us to use the
cafeteria, supplied audio/visual equipment, directed traffic that would
challenge a Manhattan policeman, and ran copies of voter lists and
forms when we ran short. Finally, past midnight, above and beyond the
call of duty, Principal Ruiz, saw the last, weary conventioneer, me,
off and locked the school.
The Convention passed a resolution commending Gullett Elementary and
Principal Ruiz for making this event such a great success. Thanks to
— Jim Bryce, Democratic Precinct 239 Chair, Travis County, Texas