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CEO of 2020 Milwaukee Democratic Convention makes first public appearance

NOW: CEO of 2020 Milwaukee Democratic Convention makes first public appearance

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The man in charge of putting on the DNC in Milwaukee made his first public appearance in the city on Tuesday.

Joe Solmonese also did his first TV interview since being named CEO of the DNC Committee.

Solmonese has been a part of every Democratic National Convention since 1988 and was National Chair of Obama's reelection campaign. He says he's running this convention will be the honor of his lifetime.

Solmonese says he took the job of DNC Committee Chair to tell Milwaukee's story.

"Working people, and the people of Milwaukee, and the grit and determination that they have," said Solmonese.

Solmonese says he brings skills he learned working on several conventions and high-profile political campaigns.

"I have a history of managing complex things and big groups of people," said Solmonese.

He's a leader in the LGBTQ community and was CEO of Emily's List which supports female pro-choice politicians. He lives in New York but is no stranger to Milwaukee.

"I came here first really to help Congresswoman Gwen Moore in her first race for Congress a number of years ago when I worked for Emily's list. I came back again when a number of friends of mine were working for Tammy Baldwin in her Senate race."

Solmonese says it's not enough to put on a great convention, he wants to leave Milwaukee in better shape than before the DNC.

"In terms of really being cast onto the national and the international stage, and how that's really going to change things here."

He says one of his biggest month-to-month goals will be getting all parties from volunteers to businesses on board.

"If you want to be part of this convention that you can find your way to be part of this convention. And so I hope that each month along the way, we're going to be able to help people see how it is that that's possible."

Solmonese says he will move to Milwaukee in early June and stay until the DNC is over.

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