CHICAGO — Democratic leaders are visiting Chicago this week to see if it could be the host of the 2024 Democratic National Convention — and local leaders are pulling out all the stops to make it happen.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Gov. JB Pritzker and other local officials held a news conference Tuesday where they pushed for Chicago to host the 2024 convention. The Jesse White Tumblers performed, children sang and local politicians promoted Chicago as a diverse, progressive Democratic stronghold that would be ideal for the major event.
The convention is set to be held in summer 2024. Chicago, New York City, Atlanta and Houston nominated themselves as hosts; Democratic party leaders are now touring the cities to determine which will be picked.
But “Chicago is the only choice and a place where the DNC can truly shine,” Lightfoot said Tuesday.
Members of the Democratic party delegation will explore the United Center, nearby airports, hotels and the city’s transportation systems to see if they’ll be suitable for the convention, Lightfoot said.
“I think we’re all up for it. … We’re ready for our closeup,” Lightfoot said. “This is a great, global city.”
Lightfoot said the convention would be a boon for Chicago, as it will have a “dramatic, positive economic impact” on the city and boost its economy. Pritzker has also pushed for the convention by saying it would bring millions in revenue to Chicago and benefit all of Illinois.
But having the convention in a diverse, Democratic powerhouse like Chicago would also benefit the larger Democratic party and help President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris secure a 2024 win, officials said.
The convention would “ignite the entire Midwest, from Minneapolis to Detroit, from Madison and Milwaukee down to St. Louis,” Lightfoot said. “This is a real opportunity to go right at the heartland. My view is: You win the heartland, you win the election.”
Local Democratic leaders released a website and video in early May nominating the city as a potential venue for the 2024 convention.
Chicago has been home to dozens of Republican and Democratic conventions throughout its history, but it’s been nearly 30 years since the last convention was held here.
The more recent Democratic National Convention to be held in Chicago was in ’96 at the United Center, where then-President Bill Clinton was nominated for reelection.
Before that, the city hadn’t held a major party’s convention since the infamous 1968 event, when riots broke out and the National Guard was called in.
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