People living in cities that hosted 2016 RNC and DNC discuss holding a political convention

NOW: People living in cities that hosted 2016 RNC and DNC discuss holding a political convention

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- In 2016, Cleveland hosted the Republican National Convention. Democrats set up shop in the City of Brotherly Love.

Philadelphia Councilman William Greenlee said safety was a priority. 

"Public safety was an issue, making sure that we had enough police and other entities to provide good public safety," said Greenlee, "We did a lot of sprucing up of the city, if you will. We also wanted to be fair to the people in the city, for that week it would be disruptive with traffic."

The focus, he said, was not only on the people living in the city, but visitors. According to the Tourism Economics DNC Economic Impact Report from the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, the DNC drew in over 54,000 people to the Philadelphia region, and had a $230.9 Million economic impact. 1,500 jobs were also supported. 

"I think it worked. I think we did come off well and, just like Milwaukee, it will help, not just that week as far as tourism visitors, I think it carried over after that because I think people said, 'Oh this looks like a city that knows what it’s doing.'" 

In Cleveland, the RNC Host Committee created a campaign to bring people to the city, according to Emily Lauer, who served as the Senior Director of 2016 Cleveland Host Commitee and who currently serves as the Senior Director of Public Relations for Destination Cleveland. 

"We did have a campaign that really highlighted in Cleveland working, why you should move a business to Cleveland, why you should visit Cleveland."

She said a component of that campaign targeted delegates and those that were coming to the convention to come early and state late. 

"Showcasing Cleveland was one of the three reasons why we wanted to host either the RNC or the DNC in 2016," Lauer said. 

According to a study that focused on the economic impact of the 2016 RNC, the convention drew 48,000 visitors and had a $188 million economic impact, with $110 million in direct spending. It helped support 1,300 jobs. It also helped to get projects done around the city. 

"The RNC really served as a catalyst to get some big projects done that had been talked about for many years," said Lauer. 

Lauer said it's still too early to see what the long-term impact the convention had on the city, but she said one aspect that helped them during the convention and even now were the number of stories done about the city. There were 15,000 credentialed media members in the city during the convention. 

"Hosting the convention put Cleveland on the map." 

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