A local woman who works while attending college was among the individuals who saw at least part of the Washington State Democratic Convention.
The statewide gathering, which attracted more than 1,000 people including 740 delegates, was held Friday in the Vancouver Convention Center and Saturday in the Clark County Events Center, in Ridgefield.
Jeanne Evans, of Washougal, volunteered on the hospitality committee. That meant she served as a hostess and part of the cleanup crew in a hospitality suite.
“About 400 people milled through there,” Evans said. “It was so upbeat and such a positive energy. Everyone was looking forward to the future. There was no negativity.
“I was so proud to be part of that,” she added. “We talked about issues. It was like we were all one big neighborhood.”
Evans is a member of the Clark County Democratic Central Committee.
“It was very fun,” she said. “Nobody was a stranger. They are just a friend you have not met yet. It was amazing. We are like-minded. It was very good and very positive.”
During the convention, Evans had an opportunity to hear Gov. Chris Gregoire and Sen. Patty Murray.
“Governor Gregoire had everyone on their feet about the direction the state is heading,” Evans said. “We have a lot of work to do. Murray was awesome and eloquent and powerful. I’m so proud of the state of Washington, that we have these powerful Democratic women.”
Evans is enrolled in the paralegal program at Clark College, while working at New Seasons Market in Portland.
“It’s a midlife change,” she said. “I will be 50 this year. They inspire me. Working with them lets me know I’m worth all my effort. They are making a difference in people’s lives.”
Forum topics at the convention included an introduction to the Public Disclosure Commission and new media training “Facebook and Beyond.”
Former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, chair of the Democratic National Committee, was the keynote speaker.
Dena Horton, chairperson of the Clark County Democratic Central Committee, was an automatic delegate at the convention.
“It went exceptionally well,” she said. “The state party did a really great job organizing everything. There was plenty of space, and it was very well set up.
“People have thought that Democrats are not as excited or engaged,” Horton added. “You would not have known that. It was a pretty raucous party the whole weekend.”
She said this was the first time the State Democratic convention was held in Clark County.
“We were just thrilled,” Horton said. “It was the first time we had facilities large enough. I think we knocked it out of the park.
“It was great getting to meet people from across the state,” she added. “As the host county, we were in charge of hospitality and fun. We ordered sunshine. It was great.”
The state Republican Convention was held June 11 and 12, also in Vancouver.