While Republicans will getting a lot of attention at their upcoming convention in Cleveland, there will be groups using that spotlight to reach out to people who might not agree with what’s happening inside the convention hall.
Sister Simone Campbell, the leader of a progressive Catholic group called Nuns on the Bus, is hoping attendees and people who gather outside the Republican National Convention are thirsty.
“We’re going to have two lemonade wagons on Monday of the convention and we are going to go out in teams with our lemonade wagons to offer lemonade to folks, some refreshment and then to engage in conversation.”
Campbell says that conversation will focus on trying to take the sour tone out of politics by finding common ground to move the nation forward. She says the nuns will be asking three questions.
“The first one is “who in your family is difficult to talk to about politics and why?” The second is “what worries you in this election cycle?” and the third is “what gives you hope for our nation?””
Campbell says the nuns on her bus will be going to Philadelphia the following week to ask the same questions of people outside the Democratic National Convention. She says the group will then put those responses together to try to come up with a dialogue that will prompt candidates to move the nation forward in a positive way.
Another group is hoping to use humor to bring people together around its serious cause. Gabriel Mann of NARAL Pro Choice Ohio says his group and the comedy group Lady Parts Justice will be holding a dinner and fundraiser with Daily Show creator Lizz Winstead and two other comics. Mann says the comics will be adding some running commentary to likely Republican nominee Donald Trump’s acceptance speech.
“They are going to be cracking jokes about what Donald Trump is saying so the speech will air during the event. We will get to watch it and hear it live and as he is making comments, they are going to add in their own insights.”
The Ohio Democratic Party’s David Pepper says his organization will have presence at the RNC but is still planning the schedule. But he says they will probably keep it fairly low key.
“In many ways the most powerful message about how off the wall, how dangerous and destructive Donald Trump is is himself. And so if Americans watch closely at that convention and he keeps up what he’s been doing for months, frankly he may be the best person to convince Americans that he’s not fit to be president but we will be up there as well.”
Pepper says the party will spend time in Cleveland dispelling what it considers false information.