Wisconsin Public Radio

Perez Sees Regional Impact For DNC Convention

Milwaukee’s 2020 convention will give Democratic Party springboard to organize Midwest.

By , Wisconsin Public Radio - Apr 24th, 2019 11:25 am
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DNC Chairman Tom Perez poses with his signature at the Newsroom Pub in Milwaukee on April 23, 2019. Photo by Corrinne Hess/WPR.

DNC Chairman Tom Perez poses with his signature at the Newsroom Pub in Milwaukee on April 23, 2019. Photo by Corrinne Hess/WPR.

While the Democratic National Convention will be concentrated in Milwaukee, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said the event will be an opportunity to organize across Wisconsin and the Midwest.

Perez and his team are in Milwaukee on Tuesday and Wednesday working on preparations for the July 2020 convention the city will host. He called the convention and election  the most “important of a lifetime.”

“I think what we are going to do here is going to enable us not only to win in Wisconsin but in states across America and take back our democracy,” Perez said.

Perez spoke briefly Tuesday to reporters during a stop at the Newsroom Pub in downtown Milwaukee, where he added his signature to more than 1,200 signatures of presidents, princes, famous journalists, entertainers and athletes that hang in the iconic building.

Perez was most impressed by the signature of West Bend native Liberace. Although he said he didn’t even want to look at the wall of athletes’ signatures because “he would stay all day.”

Democrats chose Milwaukee to host the convention last month. The decision will bring the party to the heart of the working-class Midwest which sent President Donald Trump to the White House in 2016.

Before that, Republicans hadn’t won a presidential race in Wisconsin since 1984.

During the last two major statewide elections, candidates from both parties narrowly won their races. Gov. Tony Evers won Wisconsin by about a 1 percent margin last November. Conservative Judge Brian Hagedorn won the race for the Wisconsin Supreme Court by less than 1 percent earlier this month.

Perez said preparations are not only being made for a convention in Milwaukee, but his team is investing and organizing in Wisconsin and throughout the country.

Perez said since announcing Milwaukee would host the convention, similarly-sized cities across the country have gotten excited.

“They want Milwaukee to be able to show America that gritty cities that have remarkably diverse populations of folks who have a spirit of stick-to-it-ness and community are how we build America,” he said.

So far, 19 Democrats have announced they are running for president. Perez said he welcomes the big field.

“It’s a first-class challenge to have,” he said. “They all have a common want. To make sure everyone has access to health care.”

Listen to the WPR report here.

Tom Perez Says Milwaukee Convention An Opportunity To Organize Across Midwest was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

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