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Hollywood delegate complains about lack of child care at the DNC, enlists Villaraigosa's help

DNC delegate Susie Shannon with her daughter Grace. Susie is protesting the lack of childcare at the DNC.
DNC delegate Susie Shannon with her daughter Grace. Susie is protesting the lack of childcare at the DNC.
Kitty Felde/KPCC

The ladies were highlighted at Tuesday morning’s California delegation breakfast, with Sen. Barbara Boxer and Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke talking about women’s health issues and what they call the "GOP war on women." But one California Democratic delegate has a problem with her own party.

Susie Shannon is a delegate from Hollywood. She came to the Democratic National Convention with her 4-year-old daughter Gracie. Shannon’s beef: The DNC didn’t provide child care on-site at the convention arena.

According to Shannon, there are at least half a dozen small children in Charlotte with the California delegation alone. Last week's Republican National Convention TV coverage included lots of close-up shots of cute children on the convention floor. But delegates aren’t allowed to bring those babies or toddlers with them unless the child also has a floor pass. 

“It’s really about access for moms,” she said. “If you don’t allow the child in, then the caregiver can’t come in either.”

She said this particularly affects breastfeeding moms. “We want to be able as women to come on the floor, vote and caucus with our delegation, and that’s not an option for someone who has to bring their child,” she said.

The DNC has provided a directory of child care providers in the area, but Shannon said they may not be bonded and they’re not present at the convention site.

She's enlisted the support of feminist activist Gloria Steinem and DNC chairman and Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti brought the issue up before the rules committee to change things, but not until the next convention in 2016.

Postscript: I spotted both Susie and Gracie on the convention floor tonight.