Milwaukee mayor tells 2024 DNC planners 'we are ready'
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced Tuesday, Sept. 28, he formally responded to the Democratic National Committee’s invitation to compete to host its 2024 national convention by saying Milwaukee is in.
“A convention of this scale will bring significant financial benefits to our community,” Mayor Barrett said. “The convention would also provide our city with a great opportunity to show the world our people, our natural beauty, our history and our accomplishments.”
A news release from Mayor Barrett's office says past conventions have drawn 35,000 delegates along with thousands of other attendees. The Democratic National Committee says previous host cities have seen economic impacts exceeding $150 million from their conventions.
Milwaukee is one of at least 20 cities the Democratic Party is considering for its next presidential nominating convention. Having earned the designation as host city for the 2020 convention, Milwaukee is likely to receive serious consideration this time around. The 2020 event was truncated because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I think Milwaukee has a great shot to get a second shot at the DNC, because I think that we put together such a solid proposal last time,"
said Mayor Barrett.
He said a new proposal could be even stronger with all the new plans for hotels and more downtown.
"If we put together anything close to the proposal we put together for 2020, I think that we're going to be right there among the lead horses," said Mayor Barrett.
He also noted his chance at becoming ambassador to Luxembourg has no impact on the situation.
"The ambassador nomination has no impact whatsoever. Again, this will be a community effort led by people here, locally, so that's going to remain the same regardless of whoever is mayor," said Mayor Barrett.
Officials with Visit Milwaukee said they're for anything that is good PR and good economics for the city.
Political science expert and University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Professor Emeritus Mordecai Lee said it may not pan out that way.
"The Democratic Party, just like all politicians, is future oriented. In other words, what will help us in the future, what will help us in the next election, and saying we owe it to Milwaukee from four years ago [might not cut it]," said Lee.
He said the political landscape has changed since the last bid the city made.
"America and Wisconsin have become even so much more partisan than two years ago that I think it's gonna be harder to sell the convention as a nonpartisan activity," said Lee.
Mayor Barrett said this is the first step in a long process, as final decisions weren't made until March of 2019.
“Milwaukee is familiar with the extensive work and coordination necessary to prepare for a big political convention,” Mayor Barrett wrote to the DNC. “Milwaukee was ready to put on a great event. And we are set to do it again.”
After answering the initial invitation, interested cities will be asked to respond to a formal Request for Proposal process that is expected to begin later this year.
Read Mayor Barrett’s letter below: