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Local businesses inside DNC security perimeter could be "screwed"

Posted at 5:24 PM, Jul 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 07:46:02-04

MILWAUKEE — The security perimeter around the 2020 DNC in Milwaukee could have a major impact on businesses that are hoping to cash in on the event.

The Secret Service has yet to release the security zone around Fiserv Forum for the 2020 DNC; however, if the 2016 republican and democratic nation conventions tell us anything, security perimeters could be set up to a half-mile away from the center of the action.

Ian’s Pizza off Water Street serves up slices just a stone’s throw from Fiserv Forum and the hub of the 2020 DNC. Employee Morgan Allen is already excited to take advantage of their close proximity to the massive event.

“I’m hoping a lot of traffic, a lot of people who have never had Ian’s before will get to try, see what we’re about,” Allen said.

However, Allen is now worried about one thing that could keep many of those new customers away, a security perimeter around the DNC that’s supposed to keep presidential candidates and delegates safe on a world stage.

“I would say it is a concern for us, especially if we’re inside that perimeter as that limits access for our delivery drivers as well as our customers,” Allen said.

Only the candidates, delegates, security, media and others with special passes are allowed inside the DNC security perimeter. That means just a fraction of Milwaukee’s 50,000 expected visitors for the event will be allowed through the gates.

“If they're in the security zone, they're pretty much screwed,” said 2016 Philadelphia DNC Chairman Ed Rendell. “That's why you want to make that security zone as small as possible.”

Rendell said yesterday in Milwaukee that he went to bat for businesses during the 2016 convention.

”You have to be very careful to make sure that that secure perimeter doesn't essentially take away the heart and soul of downtown Milwaukee,” he said.

Rendell urges city leaders like Mayor Tom Barrett to do the same for Milwaukee businesses.

“I don’t see that as being a big issue right now,” Barrett said. “The perimeter will be determined early next year. We’ll have many, many opportunities to have conversations with the business owners, all those affected, we’ll have those conversations.”

The security perimeter details are expected to be released in January, six months before the event.