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Could downtown shootings affect Milwaukee's chances of hosting the RNC?

downtown shootings water street deer district
Posted at 9:57 PM, May 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 19:31:48-04

MILWAUKEE — At least 21 people were wounded by gun violence Friday night in downtown Milwaukee within blocks of the Deer District.

The three separate shootings happened after more than 10,000 people were gathered in the area to watch Game 6 of the Bucks/Celtics series. Seventeen people were shot in just one incident near Water Street and Highland Avenue.

Could the mayhem possibly have an affect on Milwaukee's chances of hosting the 2024 Republican National Convention (RNC)?

According to our partners at the Milwaukee Business Journal, a top official with the Republican National Committee said the organization is confident that both finalist cities (Milwaukee and Nashville) can provide a safe environment for attendees.

“The safety of our delegates and guests is of the upmost importance to the RNC,” RNC senior adviser Richard Walters told the Milwaukee Business Journal on Monday via email. “The Site Selection Committee members have had high level and in-depth conversations with law enforcement officials in both Milwaukee and Nashville and we are confident in the abilities of each city to offer a secure, safe convention for our attendees.”

Visit Milwaukee president and CEO Peggy Williams-Smith is one of the leaders of Milwaukee's RNC sales pitch. She told the Milwaukee Business Journal that the weekend's shootings will not affect the RNC's decision.

"While they're saddened to hear of this weekend’s events, the RNC is confident in the city leaders who are working hard to address crime in Milwaukee," Williams-Smith said.

Visit Milwaukee board member Jim Villa also told the Milwaukee Business Journal that the RNC is going to watch how Milwaukee addresses the shootings and overall safety issues.

“This is an issue for almost all major cities in the country and they'll want to make sure Milwaukee is taking action,” Villa said. “Mayor (Cavalier) Johnson took time to visit with the (RNC) search committee and I think that effort will lend a lot of credibility to his efforts in showing that he is taking swift action and will ensure the safety of their delegates.”

The RNC is expected to announce the 2024 host city this summer.

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