MILWAUKEE -- With Milwaukee hosting the Democratic National Convention July 13-16, 2020, some of the key players came together Thursday evening, Oct. 24 at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to discuss the opportunities and challenges, and to make sure it goes smoothly.
Members of the 2020 Host Committee joined business leaders for a panel discussion at UWM focused on what the next several months would bring.
"When you host an event of this magnitude, you are a tier-one city in this country," said Lafayette Crump, Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee.
"We have a lot of work to do," said Dave Larson, Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee. "We certainly will be ready. The thing that we want to do is make this an event that isn't just in Milwaukee. It's about Milwaukee. It's for Milwaukee."
With the DNC expected to draw an estimated 50,000 volunteers from across the country, officials said challenges include making sure there are enough volunteers and accommodations.
"We do have enough hotel rooms," said Larson. "We're not bringing in cruise ships to park in Lake Michigan. We will have enough housing for everyone."
Members of the 2020 Host Committee said they're focused on the next nine months.
"It is a massive undertaking, both by the folks at the host committee, but also the community at large, government, business community, volunteers that we need," said Crump.
While the DNC may only last four days, members of the panel said the impact could stretch far beyond that.
"Once we've done this, once we've pulled it off, and I know that we will, we will have shown ourselves what we're capable of, and we'll just be hungry for more and more of it," said Crump.
The panelists said they wouldn't be surprised if, after the 2020 DNC, Milwaukee becomes a contender for others like it in the future.
The Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee on Thursday announced its official leadership structure after previously announcing Mayor Tom Barrett and Representative Gwen Moore would serve as co-chairs. The organization’s honorary chairs include Governor Tony Evers, Senator Tammy Baldwin, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, Former Senator Herb Kohl, Former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel President and Publisher Betsy Brenner, Community Volunteer Jacqueline Herd-Barber, Lubar & Co. Chairman Sheldon B. Lubar, Northwestern Mutual Chairman, President, and CEO John E. Schlifske, and Major League Baseball Commissioner Emeritus Bud Selig.