At The Democratic Convention, Choreographing A Sea Of Signs

July 28, 2016

If you’ve been watching the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on TV, you’ve probably seen it happen a few times already: Every few minutes, a fresh wave of brightly colored signs — bearing campaign slogans like “Stronger Together” or “Love Trumps Hate” — spreads across the convention floor like wildfire.

Shelly Loos is in charge of floor operations for the DNC. And it’s her job to oversee the timing and distribution of the 300,000 to 400,000 signs at the convention, and the some 200 “runners” — volunteers running up and down the aisles handing out stacks of signs to delegates.

Unlike when Loos was a runner in 1992 — and the volunteers communicated via radio — Loos gives the “go” via mass text to “captains.”

Her gig isn’t without peril. This week supporters of Bernie Sanders showed their frustration by striking out Hillary Clinton’s name or otherwise defacing the placards.

“I don’t love it,” she says, adding that “this is a convention and we accept other people’s views.”

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