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Stonewall Dems finalize plans for convention here

As the opening day of the 2006 convention of the National Stonewall Democrats draws near, more activities and events have been finalized.

        The three-day event will be held in Pittsburgh June 2-4.

        The Stonewall Democrats announced on its Web site that decorated Iraq War veteran Capt. Patrick Murphy will join Howard Dean, keynote speaker and chairman of the Democratic National Committee, at a June 2 VIP reception at the Cavenaugh-Graham mansion.

        Murphy, the Democratic candidate in Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District, is a former constitutional law professor at West Point and a criminal prosecutor.

        As governor of Vermont, in 2000 Dean became the first governor to sign a bill legalizing same-sex partnerships.

        The majority of convention activities will be held on the University of Pittsburgh’s Oakland campus.

        Scheduled workshops include “Messaging on GLBT Issues in an Election Year,” “Earned Media: How to Spotlight Your Organization’s Work,” “How to do Field Campaigning,” “Organizing Effective Canvassing” and “How to Plan an Event That Raises Money, Not Your Blood Pressure.”

        Convention organizers have signed the GLBT television network here! as a media sponsor, and crews from here! are expected to film speeches, workshops and events throughout the convention.

        As a sponsor of the convention, the Pittsburgh Pirates has made a block of tickets available for the June 3 night game against San Diego in PNC Park. Other major sponsors of the convention include America Votes and GoTV.

        Convention participants are encouraged to arrive early on June 2 to participate in a non-partisan voter registration effort sponsored by America Votes and Liberty PA at the Three Rivers Arts Festival; the campaign will be conducted from 10am until 5pm. Canvassing will resume on June 4 after a picnic with the keynote speaker.

        To register, visit the National Stonewall Democrats Web site at www.stonewalldemocrats.org.

Schedule of events

Friday, June 2

·10am: National Stonewall Democrats board of directors meeting featuring address by Evan Wolfson, Pittsburgh native and executive director of Freedom to Marry

·10am-5pm: Liberty PA/America Votes canvassing activities

·5-7pm: social at 5801 Video Lounge & Cafe, 5801 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside

·7-9pm: VIP reception with Howard Dean and other speakers at Cavanaugh-Graham mansion

Saturday, June 3

·9am: convention registration and continental breakfast

·9:30am: breakfast with keynote speaker

·10am-noon: campaign training

·Noon-1:30pm: picnic with Howard Dean and other speakers and trainers

·2-3:15pm; 3:45-5pm: campaign training

·7:05pm: Stonewall Night at PNC Park, $22; followed by a social at Images, 965 Liberty Ave., downtown

Sunday, June 4

·10:30am: National Stonewall Democrats membership meeting; special guest: Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (schedule tentative)

·12:30pm: lunch with Howard Dean

·2-4:30pm: Day of Action with LibertyPA