FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Lindy Eichenbaum Lent, Mayor's Office
Councilwoman Elbra Wedgeworth
Rich Grant, Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau
(DENVER) While the official bid packet has yet to arrive in the Mile High City, local officials are taking the necessary steps to place Denver in contention to host the 2008 Democratic National Convention, including the formation of a local host committee.
“Once we receive the bid packet later this month, we will be in a better position to evaluate the feasibility and desirability of pursuing the convention from an economic development perspective,” said Mayor John Hickenlooper. “For many of us, this is not about partisan politics; it is about whether hosting a national convention - Democrat or Republican - can bring economic benefit to our city, region and state.”
Denver will convene a Host Committee Breakfast, sponsored by local philanthropist Tim Gill, on Tuesday, February 21, 2006, to gather community input and assistance in putting together a competitive bid and jumpstarting the necessary fundraising efforts. The Host Committee, co-chaired by City Councilwoman Elbra Wedgeworth, Brownstein Hyatt and Farber partner Steve Farber, realtor and RTD board member Juanita Chacon and National Civic League President Chris Gates, will include regional business, labor, tourism and political leaders. Kamlet, Shepherd and Reichert partner Willie Shepherd will serve as finance chair; Colorado Democratic Party First Vice Chair Dan Slater will serve as vice chair; City Council President Rosemary Rodriguez will serve as secretary; and Plasticomm Industries President Ron Montoya will serve as treasurer. All funds for the Denver 2008 Host Committee will be raised through donations and sponsorships; no taxpayer funds will be used.
“We believe the combination of our central location, our fantastic convention and hotel facilities, and the political landscape in the Mountain West makes Denver an ideal location for the 2008 convention,” said Wedgeworth, who co-chaired the Colorado delegation to the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston.
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) invited 35 cities, including Denver, to express interest in hosting the 2008 convention. As the required next step in the process, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper sent a letter in January to the DNC conveying Denver’s preliminary interest. According to the DNC, a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) will be mailed to participating cities on February 27 and the deadline for cities to respond will be May 19, 2006.
A 10-member Technical Advisory Committee, appointed by DNC Chairman Howard Dean, will review the RFP responses to determine which cities merit site visits, which are anticipated to occur between June and August 2006. The DNC is expected to announce the 2008 host city by the end of 2006. The convention will take place August 25-28, 2008.
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Lindy Eichenbaum Lent
Communications Director, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper