Daniel Kiachko ’13 had the unique experience of attending the Republican National Convention, which took place in Tampa Bay, Florida, from August 27—30.
“Just being there you could feel the excitement in the air,” Kiachko said. “It was a really cool experience.”
He explained that attendance at the Convention was invitation only. Reasons for invitation included donating a lot of money, being chosen as a delegate or an alternate delegate, or, in Kiachko’s case, being invited by a delegate. His father sits on a central committee in San Francisco and is very politically active, so when he applied to become a delegate he was accepted.
Including media, there were 6,000-7,000 people in attendance. On the floor, there were around 2,500 people, split evenly between delegates, alternate delegates, and guests.
“It was really interesting, being a kid—there’s not that many people under the age of 18, so it was really cool to experience that. I know a lot about politics but I learned a lot as well,” Kiachko said.
Kiachko spent a week in Florida, arriving before the beginning of the Convention and departing a day or two after its conclusion. During the day, he spent time with the California delegation, went to an American Israel Public Affairs Commitie (AIPAC) event, and attended several Jewish fundraisers. Each night, he listened to the Convention for four and a half hours, with around 10 speakers per night.
“My favorite speaker would be a toss-up between [Paul] Ryan and [Mitt] Romney,” Kiachko said.
When asked about attending the Convention in 2016, he replied, “Definitely. If I’m invited, I’ll be there. I want to let other kids know how important it is for them to be politically active and in the know of the issues facing our country.”