Delegates, pundits, commentators, media mavens, and others have begun to arrive in Boston for the upcoming 2004 Democratic National Convention, which is set to take place between July 26th and July 29th. New England's largest city has never played host to a major political convention, and the city has spent copious amounts of time and money in preparing for the thousands of people who are descending on the entire area over the next couple of weeks. Some people have expressed considerable concern over the security of the convention during this rather tumultuous period, especially considering that the city has been locked in a fierce battle with the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association over a number of demands in the struggle to sign a new contract. Obviously, one primary concern is that various terrorist groups might try to disrupt the proceedings of the convention. Touring the city last week, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge was generally quiet on specific operations to improve the security of the city, but he did tell reporters that patrol boats will be positioned in Boston Harbor and that mobile command vehicles will be posted at strategic locations throughout the city. All told, there will be around 4500 security personnel in Boston during the convention.
The first link leads to a recent Newsday article that talks about the various security measures that are in place to ensure the safety of the delegates, elected officials, and other visitors to Boston during the convention. The second link offers a news piece from the Boston Globe that talks about the experiences of delegates soon to arrive at the convention from various parts of New England. The third site will lead visitors to an audio feature from the Tavis Smiley show (featured on National Public Radio, where Smiley talks with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Massachusetts State Senator Dianne Wilkerson about the challenges facing the city of Boston during the convention. The fourth link leads to another audio feature from National Public Radio in which Tovia Smith reports on the ongoing dispute between Boston police and the city of Boston. The fifth link leads to a well-designed site from PBS that offers complete news coverage on the 2004 presidential election, including a roundup of the best election websites and a calendar to keep visitors current on campaign events. The last link offers an unofficial look into what to do when visiting the convention in Boston next week, and includes information on local businesses and apartment rentals for those in need of space.