Over the next few days I am going to try to type in my experiences at the ACLU Inaugural Membership Conference. Overall it was a great experience and I would recommend in future years that people attend; Not to mention join this wonderful organization that is doing great work for all of us every day.
There is considerable information on the ACLU website about the conference and I will attempt to link to the relevant items and even some webcasts when appropriate.
Read on for my first day experiences. Tuesday, June 10th
This was travel day, in more ways than I originally expected. I had been invited to a reception being hosted by the VA ACLU chapter, so I needed to get up the hotel a day earlier than I had originally planned. I left Williamsburg around 1:30 ish and got in to DC and my hotel (the Omni Shoreham) relatively uneventfully. This trend was not to continue. The reception was occurring in Alexandria and started at 6:00 pm and, according to the directions I had, the house where it was hosted was 17 miles away. I did not want to arrive right at 6:00, so I decided to leave my hotel at 5:45, expecting that it would take me 20-30 minutes to get there. That was not to be; after getting lost I arrived at the reception at 7:00. I hate DC.
I only caught the tail end of the two speakers: Barry Steinhardt, the director of the Technology and Liberty Program (whom I was able to meet later, thankfully), and Dalia Hashad, the Arab, Muslim, and South Asian Advocate, both from the National ACLU office. Aside from that, I had a very good time. I was able to meet all of the members of the VA ACLU office and talk with them. I was slightly surprised that Kent Willis, the Executive Director of the VA ACLU had found my website and we spent some time talking about that. I spent an enjoyable time with their Legislative Director, Aimee Perron talking about many issues. She and I are both about the same age and we got along well in the subsequent days.
When describing my driving adventure to some of the assembled guests, they indicated that on my way back there was a far more efficient way to get back. In a lack of brilliance I decided to try this more efficient but undocumented way to get back to my hotel instead of the way I knew would work. Sadly it didn’t work and it took me an hour to get back to the hotel. ::sigh::