Director of Convention Planning:
DNC deputy chief operating officer
advisory committee co-chair Joe Andrew, DNC chair Terry McAuliffe, advisory
committee co-chair Alice Huffman, and DNC general counsel Joe Sandler enjoy a
light moment during the committee's first meeting.
Lee Satterfield, Director of Convention Planning, Washington D.C.
continue in her role as Director of Convention Planning acting as a
liaison between the DNC and others in Washington and the staff
on-site in Boston. She was intimately involved in the selection of
Boston as the Host City.
Prior to her
role in Convention Planning, Satterfield served as the Deputy Chief
Operating Officer of the DNC. She has vast experience in Democratic
politics, serving as Chief of Staff to U.S. Secretary of Labor
Alexis Herman and in the White House during the Clinton
Washington, DC. May 22, 2002.
New York City boosters brought
cigars for the chairman and a "taste of New York" sampling of
desserts for committee members. The Detroit Metro Convention &
Visitors Bureau prepared a bag filled with baby items, a gift for
the chairman from Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Representatives from the
City of Boston arrived with about 50 stylish red soft-sided
briefcases emblazoned with the Boston 04 logo.
Members of the DNC's 2004
Democratic National Convention site advisory committee held their
first meeting today, and representatives from three of the four
cities competing to host the party's 2004 national nominating
convention were present and eager to help make a good impression.
DNC Chair Terry
McAuliffe's wife Dorothy had within the past week given
birth to the couple's fifth child, hence the cigars and baby items.
Jonathan M. Tisch, co-chair of New York's host committee and a
friend of McAuliffe's, sent the cigars. Susan Sherer from the
Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau prepared the gift bag for
McAuliffe; it included such items as little T-shirts from the city's
four professional sports teams (Tigers, Lions, Red Wings and
Pistons), baby washes, magazines, and cookies. "I'm a mom, and I
picked this stuff out," said Sherer, noting that she had even
managed to get a parking ticket while doing the shopping.
New York's host committee, perhaps
acting on the old proverb that "the way to a man's heart is through
his stomach," also decided it would be nice to provide a "taste of
New York" for members of the site advisory committee. During a
closed lunch, committee members sampled cheesecake from Junior's;
fortune cookies from Won Ton Foods; bread pudding from Sylvia's
Restaurant; flan from Old San Juan's; baclava from Omonia Cafe in
Astoria; canoli from Rocco's Italian Cafe; and chocolates from Li-Lac's.
In considering the possible
convention sites, members of the advisory committee will in the end
give more heed to budget numbers and infrastructure than briefcases,
baclava, and baby items, but if there is wavering between two cities
such thoughtful gestures could ultimately tip the balance in favor
of one city or another.
At today's meeting, members of the
advisory committee did preliminary reviews of the four proposals,
heard from technical experts about some of the factors they will
have to weigh, and determined to visit the four cities still in
contention--Boston, Detroit, Miami and New York. The meeting was
also a chance for the members of the committee to get acquainted
with each other.
The advisory committee will make
site visits in June and July, and, as an economy measure, members
will divide up the visits so that each person will visit two of the
four competing cities. The committee will make its final
McAuliffe in late summer. The DNC will announce the site in
Advisory committee co-chair Joe
Andrew said the committee will be seeking the host city that is
"best for our delegates and the best for the nominee." It will
require, he said, "the forging of a unique partnership." In
addition to the infrastructure requirements, the committee is
seeking as much budget flexibility as possible. "We want to be able
to move things from one budget area to another," Andrew said.
In an earlier interview, Andrew
said the large size of the advisory committee reflects the party's
efforts to be very inclusive and to reach out to people from
different geographic, racial, and experiential backgrounds. Serving
on the 40-person committee, named by McAuliffe in January 2002, are
people such as Willie Brown, mayor of San Francisco; Pepper English,
vice president of congressional relations for Bell South; Fred
Baron, 2000-2001 president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of
America; Alma Brown, widow of former DNC chair and Secretary of
Commerce Ron Brown; Larry Scanlan, political director for AFSCME;
Calvin Smyre, a state representative from Georgia who chairs the
House Rules Committee; and David Mixner, a writer and fundraiser
prominent in the gay and lesbian community.
The DNC has a number of staffers
working on the convention process, headed by deputy chief operating
officer Lee Satterfield. Zoe Garmendia wrote the RFP and did much
of the analytical work in preparation for the meeting.
In the back of the room, closely
watching the proceedings, were representatives from Boston (Julie
Burns, deputy chief of staff to
Mayor Menino and
Howard R. Leibowitz, director of the Office of Intergovernmental
Relations for the City of Boston), Detroit (Brad R. Van Dommelen,
senior vice president for strategic business development at the
Convention & Visitors Bureau; Susan Sherer, tourism economic
development advisor from the CVB; and Chandra Oden, director of
executive relations for Mayor Kilpatrick); and New York (Andrew
Stern, senior vice president of the New York City Economic
Development Corporation; Demetrios Ganiaris assistant vice president
of the NYCEDC; Kevin Sheekey, special advisor to Mayor Bloomberg;
Emma Bloomberg, assistant to Sheekey; and Jeff Stewart, director of
public communications for Loews Hotels and an assistant to Tisch
working on the host committee).
These three cities and Miami are
all that remain from the 34 cities that the DNC initially invited to
pursue the convention. Cost was a major consideration for many of
the cities that took themselves out of the running. For example, in
a phone interview Greg D. Ortale, president and CEO of the Greater
Minneapolis Convention & Visitors Association, estimated the cost
just to pursue a bid at between $250,000 and $500,000.
Putting on the convention itself
is a very costly proposition. Advisory committee co-chair Joe
Andrew said that Los Angeles spent $25.9 million on the 2000
convention and Chicago spent $23.5 million on the 1996 convention;
further, he said, those numbers do not include security and host
committee spending which brought the costs to $35 million and $32
million respectively. Budget numbers in at least two of the cities'
proposals are significantly higher, in the $41-$51 million dollar
range. The biggest items are the convention complex and security.
At one point during today's
meeting San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, a member of the
joked, "I'm here to seek assistance in retiring the city's bill from
'84." [San Francisco hosted the 1984 Democratic Convention]. While
the costs are significant, the returns are also great. Andrew said
the 2000 convention had brought economic benefits of $147 million to
Los Angeles and the 1996 convention had brought $130 million into
In the next two months the four
would-be host cities will be doing what they can to persuade members
of the advisory committee to select their cities. The date of the
convention remains unsettled; it had been tentatively set for
mid-July 2004, but in view of the Republicans' decision to hold
their convention starting on August 30, 2004,
weighing moving it to a later date.
Copyright 2002 Eric M.
Appleman/Democracy in Action
Democratic National Convention Host Committee 2008