By Nyesha Stone
Milwaukeeans should be proud to know we beat out cities like Atlanta and New York for the 2020 Democratic National Convention (DNC) bid. Milwaukee has made it to the top three finalists as we compete against Miami and Houston. Since we actually have a chance at winning this bid, it’s time to talk about what this would mean for the city.
Milwaukee Urban League hosted the first of many discussions about the potential Milwaukee DNC and how the city can become involved. The discussion was held this prior Tuesday, Nov. 28, at its office on 435 W. North Ave.
President and CEO of Milwaukee Urban League Dr. Eve Hall greeted local businesses owners and entrepreneurs as she explained what the discussion was about.
“It’s important for our communities and others to know what this would mean for this community,” said Dr. Eve about the potential impact of the DNC on the city.
Alex Lasry, senior vice president of the Milwaukee Bucks, said he came to the discussion not with his Bucks hat on but with the DNC committee’s hat. According to Lasry, although the convention would be held downtown, they would need and want the entire city to participate.
“Whatever it takes to put on an event, we’re going to need local business’s help,” he said. When people come to Milwaukee, he wants them to think, “this was made in Milwaukee – in Wisconsin.”
He said there have been studies that show tremendous economic growth with cities who host these types of events. According to him, this convention could bring between a $200-$300 million impact on the city. In 2008, the DNC brought about 50,000 more individuals to Denver and they held about 1,500 events during the 4-day span of the convention. Looking at the numbers, the Milwaukee DNC committee knew it was important to discuss this with the community.
“We want this convention to build the growth of Milwaukee,” said Lasry. “We want to make sure this impacts the city,” and not just downtown.
At least 50,000 hotels rooms must be available within a 20-minute drive from the convention. We all know that downtown can’t host all of these spaces, which means hotels around the city will be booked as well to meet the demand. The Milwaukee DNC committee wants the city to be aware that there are many opportunities to gain from and be a part of for the convention.
A slide show presented by Jason Rae, secretary of the DNC Executive and Credentials Committee, displayed how local businesses could register as a supplier with Milwaukee for the convention.
Registering your business does not guarantee you will be hired, he said.
“Here’s an opportunity to register not only with us [DNC] but with other businesses,” said Rae.
Rae and Lasry made it clear that this opportunity isn’t just for those who are privileged. They’re looking for diversity and more opportunities to build business and stronger business relationships with minorities, LGBT, women and veterans, amongst others.
They encourage everyone to go to Milwaukee2020.com and click “supplier registration” to register their business.
The winner of the bid should be announced come January or February, but Lasry said that’s not definite.
To find out more about the possible Milwaukee 2020 Democratic Convention and to register your business visit Milwaukee2020.com