By Ana Martinez-Ortiz
It’s hard to imagine that the Democratic National Convention took place a year ago. While Milwaukee was the designated host city, it didn’t necessarily reap the intended benefits.
Conventions such as the DNC or RNC are a huge honor for the city chosen and they often impart an economic impact. Hotels and restaurants reap the most benefits, but the convention also provides a space for local entrepreneurs, chefs and more to get involved in the preparation process and during the convention.
An article by ESI Econsult Solutions called this “convention tourism.” With the number of delegates, volunteers and all-around visitors, money is expected in some capacity. Not to mention the federal grants that cities receive.
In 2019, Milwaukee was named as the host city for the 2020 DNC. Not only was it considered a win for Wisconsin but for the Midwest as a whole as the region hadn’t been selected to host a national convention since the 90s according to a 2019 article by the Journal Sentinel.
Unfortunately, like most things, the DNC was postponed before becoming virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Milwaukee was still considered the host city but more in name than anything else.
However, Milwaukee hasn’t given up hope yet. Earlier this week, the Democratic National Convention invited Milwaukee to try again. The city received a letter encouraging it to make a bid for the 2024 Democratic National Convention.
Mayor Tom Barrett released the following response:
“Based on its designation of Milwaukee as the 2020 convention host, the Democratic National Committee certainly has a positive impression of our city. I appreciate the invitation they’ve extended, and I will answer that Milwaukee remains interested in being a national political convention site. The formal process of assembling a bid for the 2024 Democratic National Convention requires quite a number of partners here in Milwaukee, and I will be consulting with those partners as we make decisions about moving forward.”
FOX6 News reported responses from other prominent individuals and groups including Preya Samsundar, the RNC spokesperson, and the executive board of the Democratic Party of Milwaukee County.
In the executive board’s response, it noted that Milwaukee should not have to pitch itself again to the DNC. The board suggested that the DNC follow through on its original commitment to Wisconsin.
The Democratic Party of Milwaukee County’s statement concluded with the following:
“Milwaukee welcomes you back, and we urge you to choose our city quickly so we can get back to work electing Democrats up-and-down the ticket and planning the best convention possible.”