A town hall of a Democratic convention

Keeping with its message of inclusion and hope to involve everyday citizens in the Democratic National Convention in Denver later this month, DNCC organizers have announced a town hall theme for the week.

Called “America’s Town Hall” the schedule will include opportunities for regular Americans to ask questions of national Democratic leaders throughout the convention week by sending text and video messages. Organizers are sending film crews out to eight U.S. cities, including Denver, to solicit questions as well.

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius
Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius

“We have plans not only to include voices from across America but also people from across America that have never been able to participate before,” said Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, convention co-chair and a possible vice presidential pick for Barack Obama, during a conference call with reporters Monday morning. “We see the convention and the town hall format has an opp ortunity to really continue that momentum (we saw in the Democratic primaries) and as a kick-off to America’s excitement to vote.”

Before people get too worked up about firing controversial questions off at America’s top Democratic leaders in front of millions of TV viewers, there are some disclaimers.

The town hall questions will be filtered and presented to Dem leaders during each convention night by pre-recorded video or cell phone text message.The questions will fall in line with the selected theme of each night, including:

Monday, Aug. 25 — One Nation, a look at Obama the man, Obama the politician (the prime-time speaker that night will be Michelle Obama.)

Tuesday, Aug. 26 – Renewing America’s Promise, a look at the change America needs in domestic areas like education and health care (the prime-time speaker willA 0be Hillary Clinton.)

Wednesday, Aug. 27 — Securing America’s Future, a look at America’s military future and security abroad and at home (The yet-to-be-announced vice presidential nominee will headline the prime-time speech).

Thursday, Aug. 28 – Change You Can Believe In (Barack Obama’s acceptance speech).

The town hall meetings have also been a staple of Obama’s Republican contender John McCain, who touts his commitment to “straight talk” and has opened some of his events to the general public for unscripted question-and-answer sessions.

The “open door” approach that allows everyday citizens to help steer the conversation for Democrats is unique, Sebelius said.

“[It will be] a much more inclusive, a much more involved convention,” she said Monday. “The fact that each night of the convention will look very different than every convention in the past (by creating) a d ialogue with Americans about their future, about taking back their country and moving America forward is unique.”

People can submit text and video questions online at www.DemConvention.com/townhall though Aug. 27. and questions will also be answered online during the convention week, officials said.