Highlights From Wednesday’s National Journal Events -  PICTURES

Sept. 5, 2012, 9:06 a.m.

The second day of the Demo­crat­ic Na­tion­al Con­ven­tion fea­tured a full slate of Na­tion­al Journ­al events. Thought lead­ers con­verged to dis­cuss budget plans, en­ergy policy, the youth vote, and health and en­ergy policy at the city level. 

To start, Na­tion­al Journ­al took a mo­ment to look ahead to the House and Sen­ate races in Wed­nes­day’s Daily Brief­ing. Rep. Chris Van Hol­len, D-Md., dis­cussed Re­pub­lic­an vice pres­id­en­tial nom­in­ee Paul Ry­an‘s budget plan and how he says it has be­nefited Demo­crats in House races around the coun­try. 

The ses­sion also in­cluded the ex­ec­ut­ive dir­ect­ors of both the Demo­crat­ic Sen­at­ori­al Cam­paign Com­mit­tee and Demo­crat­ic Con­gres­sion­al Cam­paign Com­mit­tee. The two ex­plained that states like Cali­for­nia have sud­denly come in­to play for Demo­crats run­ning for the House due to sig­ni­fic­ant re­dis­trict­ing since the last elec­tion cycle. 

The pan­el ended with Jen­nifer Duffy and Dav­id Wasser­man of The Cook Polit­ic­al Re­port. Duffy gave her take on toss-up Sen­ate elec­tions in Con­necti­c­ut, Hawaii, Montana, and Nevada. Over­all, she said, the Demo­crats have a 55 per­cent chance of main­tain­ing their Sen­ate ma­jor­ity.

Later, at the Amer­ic­an Pet­ro­leum In­sti­tute lunch­eon on en­ergy policy, Sen. John Bar­rasso, R-Wyo., and former Demo­crat­ic Ver­mont Gov. Howard Dean shared thoughts on frack­ing, the Key­stone XL pipeline, and re­new­able en­ergy.

Both agreed that the pipeline will even­tu­ally get built re­gard­less of who the next pres­id­ent is. But Dean wants the gov­ern­ment to push harder for re­new­able en­ergy by fa­vor­ing the bi­otech in­dustry. “It’s OK to pick win­ners and losers some­times,” he said.

Later on Wed­nes­day, Na­tion­al Journ­al held “Con­ver­sa­tions With the Next Gen­er­a­tion,” fea­tur­ing NBC spe­cial cor­res­pond­ent Chelsea Clin­ton, chief White House cor­res­pond­ent Chuck Todd, and Na­tion­al Journ­al‘s Chris Frates.

Sit­ting on the pan­el, act­ors Kal Penn — who has worked in Obama’s ad­min­is­tra­tion — and Amer­ica Fer­rera dis­cussed youth-voter en­gage­ment. Com­mon wis­dom is that apathy has re­turned to the youth elect­or­ate since its his­tor­ic 2008 en­thu­si­asm. Rod Snyder, pres­id­ent of the Young Demo­crats of Amer­ica, poin­ted out that 84 per­cent of re­gistered young voters do not show up on Elec­tion Day. 

But the pan­el pushed back against the no­tion of apathy, dis­cuss­ing ways to foster youth en­gage­ment. It’s about out­reach through youth-favored com­mu­nic­a­tion chan­nels, said Michelle Rhee, former chan­cel­lor of the Wash­ing­ton, D.C., pub­lic school sys­tem. Film­maker An­drew Jenks ad­ded that this en­gage­ment can’t wane between elec­tions. 

Na­tion­al Journ­al also con­vened a pan­el on “Build­ing Health­i­er Cit­ies.” Lead­ers on the is­sue from the pub­lic and private sec­tors gave their best pub­lic-private part­ner­ship solu­tions for rais­ing a health­i­er gen­er­a­tion.

Min­neapol­is May­or R.T. Ry­bak ex­plained how part­ner­ships with loc­al Min­nesota farms and busi­nesses cre­ated pro­grams to re­in­vent his city’s “food-de­liv­ery sys­tem” without si­phon­ing sig­ni­fic­ant pub­lic funds. For the first time ever, he said, we have a pop­u­la­tion want­ing to be in­spired to be­come health­i­er.

The day wrapped with a dis­cus­sion of en­ergy policy dur­ing the “Power­ing the City” pan­el. With en­ergy de­mands set to rise nearly 40 per­cent by 2030, pub­lic- and private-sec­tor lead­ers dis­cussed solu­tions for cit­ies to meet this de­mand. Demo­crat­ic Or­lando May­or Buddy Dyer men­tioned that 99 per­cent of his city’s wastewa­ter is re­cycled and all new city build­ings must be LEED-cer­ti­fied.

Oth­ers dis­cussed the need for re­new­able en­ergy. Cur­rently, 45 per­cent of Amer­ica’s en­ergy is coal-based and 10 per­cent is from re­new­ables, said CH2M HILL CEO Lee McIntire.

On Thursday at 9:30 a.m., Na­tion­al Journ­al hosts the fi­nal Daily Brief­ing, “A Con­ver­sa­tion with Cam­paign Man­agers and Seni­or Strategists.”

(Check out Tues­day’s Na­tion­al Journ­al event high­lights)