DNC “Should Not Be Our Priority,” Barrett Says
Mayor says he's focused on pandemic and city has halted work on Democratic Convention.
It’s a virtual certainty that the Democratic National Convention will not go off as planned. But whether it still happens at all is an open question.
Even the convention’s biggest champion, Mayor Tom Barrett, is admitting that the expected 50,000 visitors and $200 million economic impact aren’t likely to happen at this point. “I can’t foresee us having exactly the kind of convention as predicted,” said Barrett on Wednesday afternoon during a press briefing.
Scheduled for July 13th through the 16th, the DNC was expected to have over 6,000 delegates, 15,000 media members and countless others descending on Milwaukee. But with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing unabated, a host of warning signs started flashing in the past 24 hours.
“I think it’s a very fluid situation,” said Barrett of what will happen. He said city staff has halted all work related to permitting and logistics for the event. “In other words, this is way out on the back burner.”
He is optimistic that some form of a convention will take place in Milwaukee. “I believe the Democrats are going to choose their nominee in Milwaukee,” said Barrett. “I don’t know what form that is going to take.”
There is one event postponement that’s actually a positive at this point. The decision to reschedule the Summer Olympics for 2020 opens up a large window from July 24th through August 9th that was previously unavailable. The Republican Party had selected August 24th through the 27th for its convention, and the Democrats opted to go in front of, instead of during, the Tokyo Olympics.
Barrett said even a scaled down convention could a be “shot in the arm” for businesses, particularly the hospitality industry.
But how much time is Barrett spending on this? None, he said. “This should not be our priority right now,” said the mayor.
The city has not incurred any direct costs for the event. Private funders cover the work of the host committee and public safety-related costs are scheduled to be covered under a $50 million federal grant.
If you think stories like this are important, become a member of Urban Milwaukee and help support real, independent journalism. Plus you get some cool added benefits, all detailed here.
- Milwaukee County Currently Suppressing COVID-19 - Graham Kilmer - Aug 13th, 2020
- Unemployment Claims Below 1 Million Last Week - Graham Kilmer - Aug 13th, 2020
- Transportation: Bus Capacity Increasing to 15 - Graham Kilmer - Aug 13th, 2020
- UWM Professor Studying How To Improve Pandemic Communication - Jeramey Jannene - Aug 13th, 2020
- WI Daily: COVID-19 Testing Hits Month Low - Jeramey Jannene - Aug 13th, 2020
- Gov. Evers Announces Launch of COVID-19 Response and Recovery Investment Dashboard - Gov. Tony Evers - Aug 13th, 2020
- Pandemic Aid Programs Are Failing Us - Princess Safiya Byers - Aug 13th, 2020
- Baldwin Rebukes Trump Admin Over Testing Shortages - Erik Gunn - Aug 13th, 2020
- GOP Hasn’t Interfered With Mask Mandate - Shawn Johnson - Aug 13th, 2020
- WI Daily: COVID-19 Spreading Faster in Waukesha County Than Milwaukee - Jeramey Jannene - Aug 12th, 2020
Read more about Coronavirus Pandemic here
- VISIT Milwaukee launches virtual tour of Milwaukee in advance of DNC - Visit Milwaukee - Aug 13th, 2020
- ACLU of Wisconsin Calls For Reduced Law Enforcement Presence Due to Scaled Down Democratic National Convention - American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin - Aug 12th, 2020
- RNC Statement On Biden’s Radical VP Pick - Republican National Committee - Aug 11th, 2020
- Democrats Release List of DNC Speakers - Jeramey Jannene - Aug 11th, 2020
- Democrats Announce Wisconsin Speakers and Schedule Updates for 2020 Democratic National Convention: “Uniting America” - 2020 Democratic National Convention - Aug 11th, 2020
- DNC-Timed Art Installation Covers Downtown - Jeramey Jannene - Aug 10th, 2020
- Coalition to March on the DNC Responds to Biden’s Decision to Stay Home - Coalition to March on the DNC - Aug 5th, 2020
- DPW Statement on Changes to the Democratic National Convention - Democratic Party of Wisconsin - Aug 5th, 2020
- Barrett Disappointed Biden Won’t Attend DNC - Jeramey Jannene - Aug 5th, 2020
- Joe Biden Won’t Travel to Milwaukee For DNC - Jeramey Jannene - Aug 5th, 2020
Read more about Road to the DNC here