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Milwaukee Common Council committee asks RNC for $6M to host convention

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Posted at 1:37 PM, May 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-25 20:05:49-04

MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee Common Council committee accepted a substitute resolution, approving a framework agreement between the City of Milwaukee and the Republican National Committee (RNC).

The agreement is in relation to hosting of the 2024 RNC.

The resolution states the agreement can only be entered if the City of Milwaukee is selected by the Republican National Committee to be the host city and agrees to provide $6 million to the city for the purpose of addressing housing, higher education and workforce development.

The framework agreement plan is used as a way to lay out what thousands of convention goers can expect in terms of services and resources if the RNC were to take place in the Brew City.

The conversation around whether Milwaukee should host the Republican National Convention and how that will look is one that is drawing mixed reactions.

Five community organizations are asking city leaders to vote against an agreement to host the event in 2024.

Never Again Is Now co-organizer Rachel Buff said hosting the convention undermines the challenge to view issues through a lens of equity and race, arguing money would be better spent elsewhere.

"We all absolutely need capital projects. We absolutely need to invest in Milwaukee all of this is true, but there's so many ways we could do this," Buff said.

The financial impact to the city is a top issue for council members who talked about the agreement.

Milwaukee Commissioner of City Development Lafayette Crump said hosting the convention in Milwaukee would be better for everyone and would bring the city a financial impact of $200 million. That number is from a study that was done.

Alderman Bob Bauman asked where the figure came from stating that number is highly suspicious.

Republican Party of Wisconsin Chairman Paul Farrow said in a statement, having the convention in Milwaukee will bring hundreds of millions of dollars to the state.

Visit Milwaukee CEO Peggy Williams Smith agrees it would be beneficial.

“Imagine all of those people here being able to showcase all the good there is in Milwaukee and highlighting some of the things that we need to improve. It's just an opportunity that we missed in 2020 that I’d love to bring back to our community in 2024," said Williams-Smith.

Business owner Omar Shaikh was one of several people who gave a testimony. He urged leaders to think about the people when making a decision. He said his employees could benefit tremendously from business the convention brings.

Council members accepted a proposed agreement and moved to hold it. As of now, there is no word on when it could go before the full council.

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