Common Council unanimously approves agreement for DNC
The announcement caught the council off guard as several members are in Washington for the National League of Cities so six were absent but nine were here which was enough to vote. The council voted unanimously to approve the agreement.
As part of the agreement, Milwaukee would need to provide security and both the police and fire departments will work with Homeland Security and the Secret Service to come up with a security plan. This is the most expensive part of the agreement. Security will cost an estimated $50 million. In years past, that money has been paid for by federal grants and the city expects that to be the case. If for whatever reason Congress doesn't approve those funds, the costs will fall on the Host Committee which would nearly double the amount they need to fundraise.
"All of the information that came before us says that the federal government is always giving grants for these types of events. It's extremely important nationally to not have anything go wrong, public safety-wise at an event like this. We're talking about very high profile, important people will be here," said Milwaukee Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton.
The city also agrees to expedite any permits the DNC needs and DPW will put together a transportation group to plan out how everyone will get around. The agreement also says that the streetcar will be free during the convention.
The DNC is expected to bring $200 million to the area and in the agreement, it's clear they want to make sure the entire city benefits. One section says there must be a commitment to provide opportunities to minorities, women, LGBTQ, and veterans in terms of planning and providing goods, equipment, and services for the convention. The DNC host committee already held meetings with local businesses and aldermen expect that effort will ramp up.
"Being able to make sure that we're able to bring enough businesses to the table and this is in the area of entertainment, restaurants, just being able to have enough people with logistical stuff setting up sound and lighting in different situations," Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton said.
See the full agreement below: