Local Black businesses have opportunity to garner a sizable portion of the $200 million that would be spent during convention
Compiled by MCJ Editorial Staff
Working-class values beat out the glitz and glam of Miami, and the cowboy mystique of Houston Monday to become the host city for the 2020 Democratic National Convention.
The official announcement was made by Mayor Tom Barrett and Democratic Party Chair Tom Perez at the Fiserv Forum, which will be the official site of Democratic delegates from July 13 to 16 next year.
It’s at the Forum delegates will choose its nominee for the presidency of the United States.
In a statement, Barrett said it was a great day for the city and the state of Wisconsin. “Milwaukee is a first-class city, and we are ready to showcase the city on one of the largest stages in the world.”
Milwaukee will be the first major Midwestern city, other than Chicago, to host a national political convention. It was the city’s location and the state’s role as a key swing state in the coming 2020 election which boosted it over the other two finalists.
Noted community leader Martha Love, who was a member of the host committee that put together the winning bid proposal and worked one-and-a-half years to secure the convention, said she’s absolutely excited about having the DNC gathering in Milwaukee at the Fiserv Forum.
“I’ve been to nine DNC conventions; and to go to the 10th and have it in the city where I’ve lived all my life is so exciting,” Love said in an interview about Milwaukee’s selection.
Love said with the spotlight on them when the city steps upon the national and international stage in the summer of 2020, the city will be able to showcase its richness and diversity, as well as shed its dubious notoriety as the setting for such 80s sit-coms as “Happy Days” and “Laverne and Shirley.”
“We’re now a city of festivals, rich neighborhoods and culture,” Love boasted. “There will be press from all over the world and they will take our story back to their countries in the form of news reports.”
Love hopes the media attention will help attract more businesses to Milwaukee, as well as young professionals looking to live in a progressive city with educational, employment and cultural opportunities that make it ideal for starting and raising a family.
It also wouldn’t hurt, she hinted, if the attention also shows young native Milwaukeeans now in college and job training programs there are opportunities in their hometown and will stay.
But Love was mindful of the city’s challenges. “We have our problems and we’re trying to deal with them to the best of our abilities.
“But there are a lot of people doing some great things. I don’t think we have any more negatives than anywhere else. I choose to focus on the positive.”
Love noted approximately 50,000 people: delegates, political figures, Democratic members of Congress, security personnel, and news media will descend on Milwaukee and the metro area, which will generate approximately $200 million in estimated revenue for its coffers, as well as for businesses, hotels, restaurants, museums, and many others.
“I’ve been to nine DNC conventions; and to go to the 10th and have it in the city where I’ve lived all my life is so exciting…”
—Martha Love, member of host committee that put together the city’s winning bid
Black Milwaukee businesses could garner $50 million of the $200 million if they apply to the DNC organizers for the multitude of vendor opportunities that will be available for a wide variety of goods and services that will be needed.
Interested entrepreneurs and business owners can register to become vendors for the convention at: Milwaukee2020.com. They can get registered in their Supplied Registration Portal. Love said the host committee is look for all shorts of businesses to get involved and they are committed to ensuring the work is spread throughout Milwaukee.
Individuals interested in being part of the convention as a volunteer should also register at Milwaukee2020.com. Approximately 12,000 civic minded people are being sought.
The city learned of its historic selection early morning as Barrett was delivering his “State of the City” address at the new arena.
And it was at the Fiserv Forum the official announcement was made by Barrett and Perez. They were joined by Gov. Tony Evers, and other local political, business and party movers and shakers who helped make the selection of the state’s largest city possible.
In a joint statement, the Milwaukee Common Council said the news of the political convention coming to the city is “absolutely some of the best news our city has ever received.”
The council statement notes the agreement approved Monday includes protections for the city and zero taxpayer dollars.
“This event will be transformational for Milwaukee, bringing an economic impact that we want to be shared across the entire city and in every neighborhood,” the council statement read.
“We will be working closely with the Host Committee to follow through to make sure the convention will have the beneficial impact it so clearly promises – not only during those special days in July 2020 – but for years afterward as well”