Democrats chose Milwaukee on Monday to host Democrats’ 2020 national convention. We will nominate the next president of the United States in a city of working people, labor unions, and communities of color, all of whom play a critical role in who we are as Democrats. This is the first time the Democratic Party has held a national convention in the Midwest, outside of Chicago, since 1916. This choice emphasizes the importance of the heartland and the strength of a diverse community working together.
The Democratic convention is scheduled for July 13-16, 2020. As the party out of the White House, we go first per tradition. Republicans are set to gather in Charlotte, the largest city in battleground North Carolina, on Aug. 24-27, 2020.
Democrats see plenty of symbolism in Milwaukee after a bitter 2016 election defined by Hillary Clinton being nearly swept in what her campaign aides had confidently called a “Blue Wall” across the upper Midwest and Great Lakes region. That band of states twice sided with President Barack Obama, but Clinton held only Minnesota, ceding Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania — a combined 64 of the necessary 270 electoral votes — as white working-class voters flocked to Trump. Afterward, Clinton took withering criticism for not once visiting Wisconsin as a general election candidate. Since then, Wisconsin voters have re-elected Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, ousted Republican Gov. Scott Walker in favor of Democrat Tony Evers and elected the state’s first black lieutenant governor, Democrat Mandela Barnes.
Democratic officials in Washington said picking a convention site is as much about logistics as anything else, even as they acknowledge political optics and potential story lines. DNC officials have said that the question wasn’t about hotel rooms, but whether Milwaukee has requisite venues for other convention staples, from daily sit-down breakfast meetings for 57 state and territorial delegations to evening events put on by state parties, corporations, lobbyists and donors.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez chose Milwaukee over Houston and Miami after deliberations lingered longer than party leaders or officials from the three finalist cities had expected. Houston and Miami, the other two finalist cities, faced challenges.
Miami has an impressive concentration of luxury hotels, but many are in Miami Beach across bridges from downtown. That raised the prospect of delegates spending hours in traffic jams trying to get to convention facilities. The city’s arena also is not as new as in Milwaukee.
Houston had few if any logistical barriers. But according to party officials with knowledge of the process, the city’s organizing committee struggled to come up with the necessary financing without resorting to the oil and gas industry. That’s the city’s bread and butter, but it’s become anathema in Democratic politics because of the fossil fuel industry’s part in climate change. The city’s mayor also is embroiled in a long labor dispute with Houston firefighters — raising worries.
Also, though Houston and Miami are Democratic anchors in their states, Texas and Florida have no Democratic governor or senator between them.
Source: AP 3/11/19