Milwaukee Chosen as 2020 Democratic National Convention Site


Photo by Jordan Johnson

Milwaukee will host the 2020 DNC.

The Democratic National Committee chose Milwaukee as the site for its 2020 national convention last Monday, beating out two other finalists: Houston and Miami Beach.

The convention will be held July 13-16, 2020 at Fiserv Forum, the home of Marquette men’s basketball and the Bucks.

Philip Rocco, assistant professor of political science, said there is likely a perception among party leaders that the failure to put boots on the ground to campaign in Wisconsin the 2016 may have cost Democrats the presidency.
Choosing Milwaukee as a host city allows the DNC to signal that the party isn’t taking the Midwest for granted, Rocco said.
“The choice is also strategic in another way,” Rocco said. “Milwaukee serves as a microcosm of the national political economy and allows Democrats to publicly interrogate how well the Trump administration has lived up to its promises to working-class voters on trade and jobs.”
Rocco added that Democrats can leverage Milwaukee to highlight enduring problems like residential segregation and inadequate infrastructure that need national policymakers’ attention.
Students are also anticipating the upcoming convention.
“I’m hopeful that having the convention in Milwaukee will raise the city’s visibility in national political discussions,” Kara Kaltenbrun, a senior in the College of Health Sciences and Milwaukee native, said.
Klatenburn said she hopes the convention brings to light issues in Milwaukee such as the homeless population and water quality.
Rocco said since the entire country will be watching the convention, it allows local political leaders and organizations to bring attention to core issues they care about.
“It’s reasonable to assume that, as planning for the convention proceeds, reporters from around the country could devote greater attention to policy issues in Milwaukee, as well as to how local institutions of all kinds — including universities — are trying to make the city a better place to live,” Rocco said.
Sam Langheim, finance director for College Democrats of Wisconsin and a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said he thinks the DNC made the right choice to have Milwaukee as the host city.
“Im really excited,” Langheim said. “To be totally honest, although I was so excited when I heard the news I wasn’t too suprised.”
Langheim said Milwaukee was strategically and logically the most sound choice for hosting the DNC.
 Langheim said the Milwaukee area has Democratic politicians at every single level of government and a history of being a progressive city reflected in politics and leaders. Democrats swept state wide offices in 2018 midterm elections.
He said this is the DNC’s way to make up for the mistakes made during 2016 but also to celebrate Milwaukee returning to its Democratic roots as a state.
“My biggest hope here is that the DNC makes an active effort to get students involved,” Langeheim said. “Political science, business and journalism majors could all really learn a lot from participating in such a major event, and I hope the DNC will bring students to the table, not only as volunteers, but as active participants.”