The 2016 Republican National Convention is officially underway with nearly 50,000 guests, including 15,000 members of the media and 3,000 GOP delegates, descending on the city of "Progress and Prosperity."
Monday night the Alzheimer's Impact Movement (AIM) was part of an exciting event where several hundred delegates, elected officials, and media celebrated the first night of the convention. AIM partnered with the non-profit organization Headcount to raise awareness about Alzheimer's disease, and last night’s event was co-chaired by Alzheimer's congressional champions, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX). (Check back next week to hear about our event with Headcount at the DNC).
Monday afternoon saw drama on the convention floor as Never Trump forces disrupted proceedings over a convention rule that blocked pledged delegates from dumping the party’s nominee and voting for someone else. After both sides tried to shout each other down and the Colorado delegation walked off the floor, the chair regained order and the program proceeded. Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Melania Trump were the headline speakers during primetime and focused on sharing the personal side of Donald Trump.
As I've walked around downtown Cleveland and through the convention hall on Monday, I had the opportunity to meet a number of delegates and attendees from around the country. After telling folks I’m attending the convention for AIM, many shared their families’ struggles with Alzheimer’s disease. I've been humbled by both their willingness to tell me their stories and their gratitude for the work we do. From a cab driver telling me about his mother’s recent diagnosis to a Wisconsin delegate sharing how she recently put her father in to an Alzheimer’s facility, each person had a unique perspective on this devastating disease. Yet all have a common agreement that we must do more as a nation to fight Alzheimer’s. Stay tuned - more to come this week from Cleveland.
John Funderburk is the Finance Director of the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement.