DNC Group in New York to Assess Bid to Host 2024 Convention
WASHINGTON — The Democratic National Committee’s technical advisory group — the team of advisors who will ultimately select the site of the 2024 Democratic National Convention — will be in New York City Thursday and Friday to evaluate the city’s bid to host the big show.
New York City is one of four cities still in contention for the honor of hosting the upcoming Democratic presidential nominating convention. The other cities are Atlanta, Chicago and Houston.
The Republican National Committee is already poised to hold a vote on Milwaukee being the site of its quadrennial convention during its summer meeting in August.
While in New York, the DNC team will visit venues and hotels, meet with local officials and gather additional information regarding the city’s proposal.
Speaking with reporters in New York Thursday morning, Jaime Harrison, chair of the Democratic National Committee explained that what he and the party’s technical team do during visits to potential host cities is “look under the hood” and “ kick the tires” to make sure that we are picking the city that best represents the values of the Democratic Party.
“What we are looking for in a [convention ] city is one that can help us make that case, and can demonstrate, not only the diversity of the people who attend the event in that city, but for folks all across the country and all over the world.
“I think every city that we’re considering will have its own story. They will have their own pitch about why it’s important to be in that city, why it’s important to be in that state,” he continued.
Asked again about the qualities that will separate one city from the other contenders, Harrison said, “What we are looking for is the city that can demonstrate and illustrate the values of the Democratic Party … and who we are.
It will be a city, he said, that will answer the questions, “‘Where do we want to go?’ and ‘Where do we want to be?’”
“And so, New York is one of the great cities that can tell that story,” Harrison said. “In the end, we’ll make the decision based on the technical components of what we need for a convention, but we’ll also make the determination on which city we believe best tells the story that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are trying to tell to the American people. And New York is one of those cities that’s in that mix to tell that story.”
Mayor Eric Adams announced the city’s bid to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention on May 26, one day ahead of the deadline to submit proposals to the party.
The mayor’s office envisions Madison Square Garden as the primary event site, with the Jacob K. Javits Center being available to host other components of the event.
According to the proposal, the entire convention — from venues to office space to hotels to media centers — will all be located within a 20-minute walk.
“This is the most diverse city in America, and one that reflects the face of not only the Democratic party, but the entire nation,” Adams said during the announcement press conference.
“There is no better place for the DNC to host their convention than New York City, which is why we are proud to submit our bid today for the 2024 convention,” he continued.
“New York City was the epicenter of the pandemic, and now we’re leading the recovery,” he said. “And the convention will pour hundreds of millions of additional dollars into our economy in a part of the city that was among the hardest hit.”
During the 2016 convention — the last in-person Democratic National Convention — Philadelphia reported $230.9 million in economic activity and over 54,000 visitors to the region, and New York City officials project even larger numbers for 2024.
The city’s proposal has received support from numerous entities across New York City’s public and private sectors, including over 40 formal letters of support from leaders in government, business, hospitality, cultural institutions and labor, such as New York’s congressional delegation, New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, the New York City Hospitality Alliance, the Broadway League, and the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union.
More than 45,000 hotel rooms sit within a one-mile radius of the proposed convention sites. At the same time, the city has already secured commitments from 86 hotels to provide nearly 14,500 hotel rooms to delegates and other convention visitors.
Madison Square Garden’s central location also places it just blocks away from major cultural institutions and national landmarks like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Broadway theaters, and Rockefeller Center, as well as the headquarters of major media networks and thousands of restaurants, bars, shops, and other small businesses.
The proposal also highlights the city’s extensive experience providing security for high-profile events and a range of convenient transportation options, including three national airports offering nonstop service to 2,000 cities in the United States and around the world and a diversified public transit system with trains, buses, ferries, and quick-rental Citi Bike bicycles for travel in and around the city.
“The Big Apple is the perfect place for America’s Democrats to host the next convention and supercharge our campaign to retain the White House and Congress,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
“New York has all the capacity, resources, and endless amenities to host a historic convention, and notably, New York has been the launching point for successful national campaigns for Democrats. I will work hand-in-glove with Mayor Adams and civic and business leaders to promote New York’s first-rate bid,” he said.
The last time New York City hosted a presidential nominating convention was in 2004, for the Republican Party. The Democratic Party last held one of the events in the city in 1992.
But of course the Big Apple is not alone in its desire to host the upcoming Democratic National Convention.
Atlanta, Houston and Chicago are all being just as aggressive in their marketing efforts and the DNC technical advisory group will make visits to those cities as well in the next few weeks.
The Well News reached out to the mayor’s offices in each of those cities, but all three were mum on when the visits would occur, referring questions to the Democratic National Committee, which did not respond to an emailed request for comment.
Chicago unveiled its pitch to host the 2024 convention three weeks earlier than New York, announcing its intentions with a slickly produced video narrated by rapper, actor and native son Common.
The video casts Chicago as the “heartland of Democracy,” a theme picked up by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who said in a written statement that a convention hosted in Chicago would “invite the nation to explore the Land of Lincoln and Obama.”
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, meanwhile, pointed to the city’s “track record of successfully hosting premier, world-class events … with pride, dedication and hospitality.
“Hosting the 2024 Democratic National Convention in Chicago will create tremendous opportunities for job creation and business growth, and I am excited for the chance to show the world why Chicago is an important global city and the epicenter of the Midwest,” Lightfoot said.
The city is pitching the United Center, McCormick Place and the Wintrust Arena, among other venues all close to the Loop, as convention sites, and its proximity to swing states like MIchigan and Wisconsin as a prime reason for the Democrats to choose it.
Both states proved crucial in President Joe Biden’s victory over former President Donald Trump in 2020.
The last time Illinois itself was considered a swing state was in 1992, when then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton defeated President George H.W. Bush.
The Democratic National Convention last took place in Chicago in 1996.
That gave former Mayor Richard M. Daley the opportunity to redeem the city in the national spotlight after the full scale riots that erupted in Grant Park outside the Hilton Hotel on Michigan Avenue during the now infamous 1968 Democratic convention.
At the time, Daley’s father, Richard J. Daley, was the city’s mayor and a Democratic party potentate.
The 1996 convention took place in what was a brand-new United Center on the city’s West Side, and city officials credit it with jump-starting efforts to revitalize the city’s West Loop area, which is now home to numerous restaurants, shops and hundreds of new apartments and condominiums.
While Democrats speaking on background say strong arguments can also be made for Atlanta and Houston, they point to problems that could make them less likely contenders. Both Texas and Georgia adopted an array or voting restrictions after the 2020 presidential election, and both states are now at the forefront of restricting abortion rights.
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens revealed the city’s intentions regarding the 2024 convention at the state party’s annual gala. With Democratic Party of Georgia Chair Nikema Williams at his side, he vowed to do “everything in our power to bring the 2024 Democratic National Convention to Atlanta, Georgia.”
The last time the city hosted a Democratic National Convention was in July 1988 at the old Omni Arena in downtown Atlanta. That year, Democrats would nominate then-Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis, who went on to lose to George H.W. Bush in the general election.
A lot of things have changed in Atlanta since then, with the city becoming a cornerstone of the music, film and television industries and an outpost for bare knuckled, swing state style politics.
“Atlanta influences everything,” Williams said.
Houston narrowly lost its bid for the Democratic National Convention to Milwaukee in 2020.
“We were the runner-up I guess you could say the last time,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said six weeks ago. “This time, you know, we want to be at the altar and getting married.”