Illinois’ top Democrats announced on Wednesday they would ask national party leaders to hold its 2024 national convention in Chicago, calling the city an “ideal” location to deliver the party’s narrative to voters.
Led by Governor JB Pritzker, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Senator Tammy Duckworth, who serves as the vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, the proposal will tout Chicago’s “track record of successfully hosting large-scale events,” according to a statement from Tarrah Cooper Wright, CEO of Rise Strategy Group, on behalf of the Chicago convention bid.
“Our city and our state – a vibrant and diverse metropolis, thriving suburbs and strong rural communities – offer proof that our party policies benefit American families, and a convention would give a boost to the local economy” , said Cooper Wright.
Cooper Wright served as spokesman for former Mayor Rahm Emanuel and was nominated by Pritzker to serve on the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority. Cooper Wright was confirmed on Wednesday.
The convention bid also has the backing of Rep. Robin Kelly, who leads the Illinois Democratic Party, and Senator Dick Durbin, the second-highest ranking Democrat in the U.S. Senate. The offer was first reported by NBC News.
A deeply blue city at the center of an increasingly red Midwest could give Democrats a chance to reach voters in neighboring swing states like Michigan and Wisconsin, both of which proved crucial in President Joe’s victory. Biden on former President Donald Trump in 2020.
The last time Illinois was considered a swing state was in 1992 when Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton defeated President George HW Bush.
The Democratic National Convention was last held in Chicago in 1996. It gave former Mayor Richard M. Daley a chance to redeem the city into the national spotlight after police riots broke out in Grant Park outside the Hilton Hotel on Michigan Avenue during the 1968 convention. .
The 1996 convention was held in what was a brand new United Center on the city’s West Side, launching efforts to revitalize the West Loop, which is now home to trendy restaurants, trendy shops and hundreds of new apartments and condominiums.
The Republican National Committee is expected to choose between Milwaukee and Nashville for its convention in 2024.
During the 2020 campaign, Democrats held a scaled-down convention in Milwaukee in an effort to avoid spreading COVID-19.
Chicago’s biggest competition for the Democratic National Convention could be Las Vegas, with Nevada set to become a swing state again. A decision is not expected before the fall.
Supporters of Chicago’s budding bid for the convention will need to allay fears about Chicago’s historically high levels of crime and violence. The city recorded 800 homicides in 2021, the most in 25 years as well as an upsurge in carjackings.
However, Cooper Wright said Chicago is ready to make its case to Democratic Party leaders.
“From previous Democratic conventions to the NATO summit and annual large-scale events like the Air & Water Show, Chicago has a reputation for successfully hosting large-scale events and has the leadership to make a convention a success,” Cooper Wright mentioned.
The convention could boost Chicago’s waning hospitality industry, which has been slow to recover after officials lifted COVID-19 restrictions.
Contact Heather Cherone: @HeatherCherone | (773) 569-1863 | [email protected]