Jeramey Jannene

DNC Postponed To Mid-August

"I consider this extremely good news," says Mayor. Democratic Party remains committed to Milwaukee.

By - Apr 2nd, 2020 12:39 pm
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Alex Lasry, Tom Perez, Tom Barret and Mandela Barnes toast with beer. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Alex Lasry, Tom Perez, Tom Barret and Mandela Barnes toast with beer in March 2019. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, there will still be a Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee. But it’s going to happen five weeks later than originally planned.

The convention has been rescheduled for the week of August 17th, the Democratic National Convention Committee announced Thursday morning.

“In our current climate of uncertainty, we believe the smartest approach is to take additional time to monitor how this situation unfolds so we can best position our party for a safe and successful convention,” said convention CEO Joe Solmonese in a release announcing the news.

The convention was originally scheduled to take place from July 14th through the 16th, with events before and after. But amid the pandemic and a growing wave of cancelations, even current frontrunner Joe Biden called for the convention to be delayed.

“I consider this extremely good news,” said Mayor Tom Barrett in a press conference held shortly after the announcement. “It was always clear to me that they were committed to nominating the next Democratic Presidential nominee in the city of Milwaukee.”

The Mayor said he thinks the convention will help with the economic recovery in the city. “I hope this will serve as a very, very important shot in the arm for our businesses,” said Barrett.

But with the change comes a host of logistical issues. Fiserv Forum will still host the convention and the Wisconsin Center will still host the media, but all of the 50,000 visitors need to update their travel plans. “Is it going to take some work? Absolutely yes,” said Barrett.

Barrett said he wasn’t sure how many people would be able to attend the rescheduled convention. “I think it is far too early to even predict what that will be,” said Barrett. The convention was originally predicted to generate a $200 million economic impact. The DNCC promised more updates in the future regarding details of the convention.

One major looming issue remains even with the new date. Will the pandemic have passed by the time of the convention and will people be traveling again?

“Let’s hope that by August life is back to normal for all of us,” said Barrett. Echoing remarks made Wednesday afternoon, Barrett said the convention should continue to remain on the backburner.

Existing events planned for the new convention window may need to be rescheduled. Northwestern Mutual‘s annual meeting, normally the biggest convention the city hosts, was already scheduled to not conflict with the convention in 2020. Now it may have to move again. Wisconsin Center District CEO Marty Brooks said the district would have discussions with the company about its August 10th through 12th event.

Irish Fest, the city’s largest ethnic festival, could also need to be rescheduled. It is supposed to run from August 13th through the 16th. The original DNC plans called for a welcome party at the festival grounds before the convention started

“Leadership means being able to adapt, and that’s exactly what our party is doing. The City of Milwaukee has been an incredible partner, especially over the past few weeks as we’ve confronted this global crisis, and we couldn’t be more committed to highlighting Wisconsin as a key battleground state, as it is at the center of so many of [President Donald] Trump‘s broken promises,” said DNC Chair Tom Perez in a statement.

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More about the Coronavirus Pandemic

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Read more about Road to the DNC here

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