MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee is once again in consideration to host the Democratic National Convention, after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the city to hold the convention virtually in 2020.
The Democratic National Committee wrote in a letter to the city on July 30 that this is the "very first step" and if Milwaukee's administration is interested, that they should contact the DNC before Oct. 1. The process to choose a host city officially begins later this year.
The city was 1 of 20 sent a letter by the Democratic National Committee asking for bids to be submitted.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said in a statement Monday that "Milwaukee remains interested in being a national political convention site."
Barrett adds that he will begin consulting partners "as we make decisions about moving forward.”
“Based on its designation of Milwaukee as the 2020 convention host, the Democratic National Committee certainly has a positive impression of our city," according to Barrett's statement.
Milwaukee was eager to be shone in the spotlight as the host city of the 2020 Democratic convention, but the event was forced to be held largely virtually due to COVID-19 concerns. It was also a missed opportunity for an economic boost - a benefit the DNC highlighted in their letter to Milwaukee for the 2024 convention.
The DNC notes past, in-person host cities have enjoyed an economic impact of about $150 million to $200 million - with over 35,000 delegates, honored guests, and members of the press in attendance.
The DNC also says after holding an unconventional 2020 version, "we are open to exploring new approaches and are continuing to rethink the best way to hold our next convention as well."
According to the letter from DNC Chair Jaime Harrison, "in 2024, the Democratic Party will gather to reaffirm our commitment to the core principles of our Party, celebrate the accomplishments of President Biden and Vice President Harris, and nominate our candidates for President and Vice President of the United States. We are beginning the site selection process earlier this cycle and would like to invite you to consider hosting the 2024 Democratic National Convention. This will be a historic event that can help shape the future of your city for decades to come."
Democratic State Representative Christine Sinicki of Milwaukee said Monday that “I would love to see Milwaukee automatically get it, but there is a process we have to go through.”
Siniki is the interim Chair of the Democratic Party of Milwaukee County. That organization released its own statement asking the Committee to forego the process.
“We should not have to make the case for why Milwaukee would be an excellent location for the DNC in 2024 -- we already did that just a few years ago. Instead, we simply ask the selection committee to follow the precedent of so many other postponed events and follow through on your national commitment to our state.”
The Republican National Committee has reportedly not begun the process of searching for a convention city yet, and released a statement about the DNC’s request for bids:
“After pulling the greatest trick since Houdini by making Joe Biden disappear from Wisconsin in 2020, we sincerely hope the DNC remembers to finish the act by making him appear in the Badger State come 2024.”
Milwaukee’s convention and visitors bureau, Visit Milwaukee, said in a statement that “VISIT Milwaukee, which is instrumental in bringing meetings and conventions of all sizes to Milwaukee, would welcome the opportunity to work with the community on a bid for the 2024 Democratic National Convention. We were impressed by and grateful for the efforts that went into the last bid, which included constant collaboration between state and local officials, and incredible work by our hospitality community. We hear from meeting planners around the country about how excited they are for what’s going in in Milwaukee, especially with the spotlight from the Milwaukee Bucks’ title run and the Wisconsin Center expansion, and it comes as no surprise that the DNC is excited by these things, too.”
It’s believed the two other finalists for 2020, Miami and Houston, were also asked to submit a bid if they are interested.