April 10, 2002
Democratic National Committee
430 South Capitol Street, SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
I am proud that Pittsburgh has had an opportunity over the past several weeks to review the Request for Proposal for the 2004 Democratic National Convention. The Democratic Party and organized labor have deep roots in Pittsburgh and these connections are as important today as in the past.
Pittsburgh is a City on the move. We are rebuilding Downtown and our riverfronts, and our neighborhoods retain their charm while attracting new investments in commerce and housing. The riverfronts, areas we were once warned to stay away from, are alive with renewed greenspace. People of all ages are now drawn to the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers to sit quietly on the banks or canoe in the water or cycle and run on the trails.
A centerpiece of the rebuilding of our city has been the construction of a premiere convention center. Without the full support and cooperation of organized labor, we would not have realized this goal. The convention center, because of its unique column free design, met the vast majority of the RFP requirements and will provide an exciting venue for a future convention. Today, however, we are at a critical juncture in securing the remaining funding for the building to insure that all the interior and exterior finishes meet the quality standards that have been established to date. Our estimates for retrofitting the building to meet the needs of the 2004 Democratic National Convention are significantly above the costs we are working to fund in order to complete the convention center.
However, our convention center will be finished and an adjacent new hotel will be built in plenty of time to submit a proposal for the 2008 Convention. I am committed to mobilizing the community to prepare an outstanding bid in the next round. If another opportunity arises within the Democratic Committee for any other conference, I would appreciate an opportunity for Pittsburgh to submit a bid.
I want to extend a personal invitation for you to visit Pittsburgh. You will be amazed at what this community has accomplished. A partnership between business, labor, academia and government has transformed our City physically and economically. Please join me in seeing firsthand the best location for the Democrats in 2008.