By Karen Stokes
Tuesday morning marked the unofficial start to the 2020 Democratic National Convention with a Media Winter Walk-thru for the press to plan coverage logistics and introduce the media to the city of Milwaukee.
More than 500 members of the media converged on the city to get their first look at Milwaukee and convention facilities, the Fiserv Forum and the Wisconsin Center. The walk thru began with a welcome reception Monday evening at Discovery World.
“Our mission at the Host Committee is to make the most of the incredible spotlight that will be on Milwaukee leading up to and during the 2020 Democratic National Convention. That work doesn’t start next July — it’s already begun,” said Liz Gilbert, President of the Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee. “We’re thrilled to continue our efforts with the winter walkthrough by showing members of the media what a special place Milwaukee is to live and visit.”
Tuesday, they met at the Fiserv Forum for a continental breakfast, a walkthrough of the convention complex, informational break-out sessions and tours of the city.
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski and DNCC CEO Joe Solmonese welcomed the group, shared thoughts on the convention and answered questions from the media.
“When we bring the eyes of the world to Wisconsin we’re going to remind people what Democrats stand for from affordable healthcare, higher wages, to common sense government. If we pull that off I have no doubt we will win in November,” said Solmonese.
Tuesday was also the anniversary of the 2018 Wisconsin Gubernatorial Inauguration and the DNC is hoping to carry the momentum of the 2018 democratic election successes to the 2020 presidential election.
“I truly believe that Wisconsin is the state that will elect the next President of the United States. It was key last time and it will be key this time,” said Gov. Evers.
It will be the first time that the Convention will be held in Milwaukee or in a Midwestern city other than Chicago in over 100 years. The focus will be on Milwaukee, a city of about 1.6 million people.
“It’s very exciting that we are the center of the political universe right now,” said Lt. Governor and Milwaukee native Mandela Barnes. “People need to know that you care about them because for far too long people have been ignored and that’s why the 2016 election was the way it was.”
Milwaukee’s hosting of the convention has significance for Democrats. In 2016, Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, did not campaign in Wisconsin which was perhaps one of the reasons why she lost the state by 23,000 votes. Holding the convention in Milwaukee will send the message that Democrats don’t plan to overlook Wisconsin in 2020.
The four-day 2020 Democratic National Convention will be held July 13-16.