DemDaily: It’s Milwaukee!

March 11, 2019

"The convention represents a tremendous opportunity for Milwaukee and Wisconsin to be on the world stage." Governor Tony Evers (D)

It's Milwaukee! The Democratic National Committee announced today that the midwest city will host the Democratic National Convention on July 13-16, 2020.

With the exception of Chicago, the Democratic Party has not held a national convention in the Midwest, a critical battleground in the 2020 presidential contest, in the last century. The choice is symbolic on a number of fronts.

Wisconsin had been a blue state since 1988, delivering Democrats a victory in seven presidential elections until 2016, when Hillary Clinton (D) lost the state to Donald Trump (R) by less than 23,000 votes (0.7%). Clinton drew criticism for not having visited the state in the general election.

In the 2018 midterms, however, Wisconsin was one of seven Republican gubernatorial seats that Dems flipped, made all the sweeter by the ouster of anti-labor Governor Scott Walker (R) by Tony Evers (D). Democratic Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, and Attorney General Josh Kaul also won, and US Senator Tammy Baldwin (D) was re-elected with 54.4% of the vote.

The 18,000-capacity Fiserv Forum earned a Pollstar Awards nomination for 2018 Best New Venue

In retribution, however, the GOP-controlled Wiconsin state House and Senate voted to weaken the power of incoming Democratic Governor-elect Tony Evers with a series of measures stripping his authority.

Now Democrats are taking the fight for Wisconsin's ten electoral votes to their backyard.

"The Democratic Party is the party of working people, and Milwaukee is a city of working people." 
-- DNC Chair Tom Perez

The site selection process began with the selection of three finalists, managed by Leah Daughtry, and the entire six-month process was led by Jess O'Connell. They were assisted by a Technical Advisory Group, which included seasoned veterans in the convention areas of housing, transportation, infrastructure, security, accessibility, and arena and production logistics.

The Milwaukee bid committee included Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, Senator Tammy Baldwin, Governor Tony Evers, Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes, Congresswoman Gwen Moore and Milwaukee Bucks Senior Vice President Alex Lasry.

The Wisconsin Center is 3 blocks from Fiserv Forum

The selection of Milwaukee also plays to the party's diversity agenda. The city of 600,000 is a majority-minority city, with an African American population of 40%, Hispanic or Latino 17.3% and 3.5% Asian (2010 Census).

Milwaukee won out over the other two finalist cities, Houston and Miami. According to HuffPost, Houston was rejected due to a labor dispute between the city and its firefighters, and Miami lost out to logistical concerns.

Republicans will hold their Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina from August 24-27, 2020.

DemList will be once again host the Democratic Convention Calendar, the DNC-recommended source for the Convention in 2012 and 2016. Make sure you are signed-up to receive the Daily political updates and announcement when the calendar goes up!

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Kimberly Scott

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Sources: DNC, Huffington Post, MSNBC

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