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Chicago to host 2024 Democratic National Convention

Photo caption: Mayor-Elect Brandon Johnson (Photo by Marcus Robinson) 

After more than a year of waiting for notification, Chicago will host the 2024 Democratic National Convention, President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday, April 11.

The Democratic National Committee selected Chicago to host the convention over finalists, New York City and Atlanta.

It will be Chicago’s second major convention in the summer of 2024. The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) also plans to hold its annual convention in Chicago next year.

The DNC will be held August 19 to 22 next year. It is expected to draw between 5,000 and 7,000 delegates and alternates and attract up to 50,000 visitors to Chicago.

Delegates from all 50 states will be housed in about 30 hotels in Chicago.

Evening DNC events will be at the United Center, daytime activities will be at the McCormick Place Convention Center.

The NABJ 2024 convention will be held July 23 to August 4. Last year over 5,000 journalists attended the convention, held in Las Vegas. The president of the NABJ is Dorothy Tucker, an investigative reporter for CBS2 Chicago.

During the past year, Governor JB Pritzker, Senator Tammy Duckworth, D-IL, a co-chair of the Democratic National Committee, and Mayor Lori Lightfoot have campaigned for Chicago to host the event where Democrats nominate a candidate for president of the United States.

Tuesday morning, President Joe Biden reportedly called Pritzker to tell him the news before Biden left for Ireland.

“Chicago is a great choice to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention,” Biden said in a statement. “Democrats will gather to showcase our historic progress including building an economy from the middle out and bottom up, not from the top down.”

At the Shedd Aquarium Wednesday afternoon, April 12, Illinois and Chicago and DNC officials hosted a press conference to make the official announcement. In addition to Pritzker, Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson, retired Congressman Bobby Rush and Congressman Danny Davis attended the event.

“Looking at this beautiful day, looking at the skyline, I think demonstrates why it’s so important that this convention is coming to Chicago,” said Lightfoot. “This dream and quest began well over a year ago, and a spark was lit by our incredible Senator Tammy Duckworth, also the vice chair of the DNC.”

Jaime Harrison, chairman of the DNC, said, “This region was critical to President Biden and Vice President [Kamala] Harris’ 2020 Victory. We won big here in 2022, and it will be a part of how we win big again in 2024. This region will also give us the opportunity to showcase the Biden-Harris economic agenda that is unleashing a manufacturing boom, strengthening a U.S. supply chain, creating good paying union jobs and expanding economic opportunity.”

Late Wednesday, former President Barack Obama tweeted, “There’s no place like Chicago,” the former president said in a social media post. “Michelle and I are thrilled to have the Democratic National Convention return to our hometown next year.”

Chicago last hosted a convention in 1996, when then-President Bill Clinton ran for re-election and Democrats helped make famous the “Macarena” dance.

“The last Chicago convention was a huge success. It makes sense to put the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 2024. Every facility where it will be located will be a union facility. Every hotel is a union hotel,” Senator Tammy Duckworth told NBC News Thursday.

“We are a state that guaranteed in multiple ways the right of women to have reproductive choice. And in fact, we are a beacon of hope and security for women’s health care from all of the states around us.”

Milwaukee will host the 2024 Republican National Convention.

Chicago was selected after Gov. Pritzker and supporters highlighted the availability of numerous downtown area union hotels and the nearby McCormick Place, the largest convention center in North America. Chicago’s Midway and O’Hare airports, as well as its restaurants and museums, were also used as points to sell the city to committee members.

The election of Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson, a 46-year-old Black progressive member of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, further fueled momentum behind Chicago’s bid. Johnson reportedly reached out to Biden on hosting the convention.

Chicago was chosen after an evaluation by the DNC’s Technical Advisory Group. The panel of experts considered Chicago’s hotel capacity, transportation, security, financing and other logistics.

In selecting Chicago for the convention, Democrats are highlighting the Midwest “Blue Wall” states, which include Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota. The “Blue Wall” of states represents the Midwest’s battleground states with Illinois serving in the center.

The convention will showcase the Biden agenda, values and the President’s accomplishments. The policies and agendas of Biden and Pritzker are closely aligned.

Illinois’ assault weapons ban, abortion rights and workers’ rights laws make the state an ideal location for Biden to present his agenda.

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