Chicago is a candidate for the 2024 Democratic National Convention
Chicago’s bid to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention is official.
A nearly three-minute promotional video narrated by the rapper, actor and Chicago Common native spins through iconic images of most of the city’s 77 neighborhoods, showcasing the city as a diverse metropolis paving the way for new many priorities of the Democratic Party: raising the minimum wage, protecting reproductive choice and investing in clean energy.
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said the convention would “inject more than $150 million” into the state’s economy.
“I am proud to invite the nation to explore the country of Lincoln and Obama and enjoy everything from our world-class museums and theaters to our spectacular lakefront, our world-class sports teams and our award-winning restaurants,” he said in a statement. .
Pritzker, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Democratic U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth are leading efforts to land their party’s convention, which could be the showcase for President Joe Biden’s possible re-election campaign.
Duckworth could have an influential voice in the process as she is vice chair of the Democratic National Committee.
Illinois is not a battleground, with a majority of voters choosing a Democrat in the past eight presidential elections. It could also face competition from Milwaukee, whose executives have expressed interest in bidding for the 2024 convention after the 2020 event went virtual amid the COVID-19 pandemic. East Milwaukee would also be in the running for the 2024 Republican National Convention.
In addition to a slew of Democrats supporting the effort, leaders from the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Restaurant Association, Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association, Illinois AFL-CIO and the Chicago Federation of Labor also support the offer, according to a press release issued by spokeswoman Tarrah Cooper Wright.
The tourism boom that accompanies a convention will certainly help the city recover from two years of pandemic shutdowns and restrictions. But critics have previously raised the possibility that the recent rise in crime in Chicago could impact the candidacy. A Democratic source who spoke to WBEZ in late March played down that concern.
On Tuesday, Lightfoot touted Chicago’s “track record” of hosting “world-class premier events.” The last time Chicago hosted the DNC was in 1996, when Bill Clinton and Al Gore secured the party’s nomination. That year the event was held at the United Center and although the release did not mention a potential site for the event, Jerry Reinsdorf and Rocky Wirtz released a statement of support.
“We are honored and thrilled to partner with the City of Chicago in its bid for the 2024 Democratic National Convention,” Reinsdorf and Wirtz wrote. “The arena that hosted the 1996 convention has been continually improved with over $450 million in private investment supporting state-of-the-art equipment.”
According to the Washington Post, offers are due May 27.
Becky Vevea covers Chicago government and politics for WBEZ. Am here @beckyvea.