Delegates have been gathering in Atlanta for several days: NEA’s Board of Directors and Resolutions Committee, for example, started meeting on Saturday. NEOEA’s chartered bus arrived late yesterday morning, and we were pleased to learn that for most of us, our rooms were ready. Many state delegations had their first caucuses today, but Ohio held its first caucus a month ago in Columbus; so for many Ohio delegates, today is Arrival Day. There has been a constant stream of arrivals in the hotel lobby all day long.
Ohio delegates will be welcomed tonight at Ohio Night, which is a reception held on the night before our first caucus. That caucus is scheduled for 7:30 tomorrow morning, which is a way of easing delegates into the harder routine that starts on Wednesday. That’s the day when the Representative Assembly starts, and that’s when the 7:00 caucuses begin.
The RA will take place at the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC), which is near CNN Center. The two buildings have been a popular destination for delegates and family members: delegates register at GWCC, and during these early days it’s the site of a large exhibit of products and services aimed at educators. The CNN tour has been a popular destination for many delegates and their guests.
I went to the complex today myself. GWCC is about a 15-minute walk from our hotel, but it’s outdoors and quite hilly: you walk west from the hotel to Olympic Centennial Park and turn left. On my way back I tried the shuttle buses NEA arranges for the delegate hotels. That was a bit faster, but not much: pickup points for the bus routes are strung out for about a quarter mile, so even if you take a ride back to the hotel you’re going to be walking for a while.