Boston is Heaven for local Dem leader | VailDaily.com

Boston is Heaven for local Dem leader

Deb Marquez
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Deb Marquez might not have been in Nirvana Monday night, but it’s as close as she’ll get on this side of the Pearly Gates.

Marquez called from Boston, on the convention floor of this year’s Democratic National Convention, where she was positively aglow, surrounded by enthusiastic Democrats cranking up to hear exhortations from Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and Al Gore.

“Boston is awesome, cool and clear!” said Marquez, just like the Democrats themselves.

Marquez has been a mainstay of Eagle County Democratic politics for decades, and was one of the most energetic soldiers in the Democratic fight against the Republican Revolution.

She was rewarded with broader party responsibilities at the state level, and is now a member of the Democratic National Committee. They’re 450 strong, which, she says, “is a little like being a member of congress.”

The Colorado delegation’s primary 2004 goal is, “Turning Colorado Blue,” a reference to those television maps in which states were depicted in red or blue during the 2000 presidential election. Blue states for Gore. Red states went to Gore’s opponent, the rhetorical target of most Democrats.

Colorado was not blue, something Marquez and her fellow Democrats hope to change.

“We’ve been going since 7:30 a.m.,” said Marquez at about 7:30 p.m. Monday. “Democracy is hard work.”

On the convention floor, the Colorado delegation is surrounded by the California delegation. In the hotel, they’re surrounded by the Georgia and South Dakota delegations.

Georgia is good for producing statesmen like Carter. California is good for producing tickets to great parties, which begin at night after the convention ends.

First thing Monday morning, her group heard from former Secretary of State Madeline Albright. Albright told them how important it is to elect John Kerry, and not elect that other guy.

“She said it’s important to elect someone who can work with other countries and bring America back to the stature it should be,” said Marquez.

Marquez spent much of Monday at the Hispanic caucus. She and Manny Rodriguez are the first two Hispanics elected from Colorado, an honor of which she is justifiably proud. Several have been appointed, but only those two elected. Marquez is also the only Democratic National Committee member from Colorado’s Western Slope.

Her favorite speaker so far was Al Sharpton, who’s the most entertaining speaker from either party.

“He got everybody fired up,” said Marquez. “His issue is the vote, and how no one is to be left out of the election pool this year. That’s something Democrats are working hard at. We’re not going to allow that happen again, in Florida or anywhere else.”