It’s offi­cial: the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty has a host city for its next qua­dren­ni­al meet­ing. Philadel­phia, the City of Broth­er­ly Love and Sis­ter­ly Affec­tion, will serve as the gath­er­ing place for the 2016 Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Con­ven­tion, which will be held the week of July 25th, 2016, fol­low­ing the Repub­li­can Nation­al Con­ven­tion Cleve­land. (Typ­i­cal­ly, the par­ty that holds the White House sched­ules its con­ven­tion to fol­low that of the par­ty that is con­tend­ing for the presidency.)

“We’re going to have a great time togeth­er come July 2016 in Philadel­phia — and many more details are com­ing soon,” Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Com­mit­tee Chair Deb­bie Wasser­man Schultz said in an email to the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty’s mail­ing list. “But there’s plen­ty of work for us to do before we reach Philadel­phia, and Democ­rats will need your help to keep the White House blue.”

Sep­a­rate­ly, in a news release dis­trib­uted to the nation­al press, she said: “In addi­tion to their com­mit­ment to a seam­less and safe con­ven­tion, Philadelphia’s deep root­ed place in Amer­i­can his­to­ry pro­vides a per­fect set­ting for this spe­cial gath­er­ing. I can­not wait to join Democ­rats across the coun­try to cel­e­brate our shared val­ues, lay out a Demo­c­ra­t­ic vision for the future, and sup­port our nominee.”

“The City of Philadel­phia is excit­ed and hon­ored to be select­ed as the host city for the 2016 Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Con­ven­tion,” Philadel­phia May­or Michael A. Nut­ter said. “We believe that it was our proven track record of host­ing big events safe­ly and effi­cient­ly with a dynam­ic team of top-tier pro­fes­sion­als to orga­nize and man­age a con­fer­ence of this mag­ni­tude, paired with our City’s tremen­dous ameni­ties, its acces­si­ble loca­tion and his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance, which made Philadel­phia the ide­al choice for the 2016 Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Convention.”

Philadel­phia is already set to wel­come Pope Fran­cis this Sep­tem­ber for the World Meet­ing of Fam­i­lies. It has pre­vi­ous­ly host­ed six Repub­li­can Nation­al Con­ven­tions (the most recent in 2000) and two Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Con­ven­tions (in 1936 and 1948; the par­ty won the White House in both of those years.)

The oth­er final­ists were Colum­bus, Ohio and Brook­lyn, New York. Colum­bus had been lob­by­ing hard for the con­ven­tion and was real­ly hop­ing to land it, so the dis­ap­point­ment is being felt more acute­ly there. (The Colum­bus Dis­patch already has a sto­ry up lament­ing the city’s high­ly tout­ed yet ulti­mate­ly unsuc­cess­ful bid.)

Logis­ti­cal­ly, Philadel­phia may well have been the safest choice. As men­tioned, it has host­ed nation­al par­ty con­ven­tions before, and it def­i­nite­ly has the infra­struc­ture to house and move all the del­e­gates and media (there is a sub­way sys­tem and plen­ty of hotel rooms). Colum­bus lacks rail tran­sit, though its orga­niz­ers did a good job play­ing up the city’s strengths in their mar­ket­ing and lobbying.

The Ohio Repub­li­can Par­ty imme­di­ate­ly attempt­ed to make fun of the Ohio Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty fol­low­ing the announce­ment, sneer­ing, “Ohio vot­ers take note: the GOP wants your vote. The Democ­rats … not so much.”

That’s ludi­crous, of course: Democ­rats will spend a mas­sive amount of time, tal­ent, and trea­sure attempt­ing to win Ohio next year, just as they did in every sin­gle one of the last few cycles. We point­ed out to the Ohio Repub­li­can Par­ty on Twit­ter that they have lost the last five states they held con­ven­tions in (Tam­pa in 2012, St. Paul in 2008, New York in 2004, Philadel­phia in 2000, and San Diego in 1996).

More­over, in 2012, the Democ­rats lost North Car­oli­na, the state they chose for the 2012 DNC. The data sim­ply does not sup­port the asser­tion that a par­ty is bet­ter posi­tioned to win a state by hold­ing its nation­al con­ven­tion there.

Philadel­phia is a city steeped in his­to­ry, and it ought to make a nice gath­er­ing place for the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty as it meets to nom­i­nate a suc­ces­sor to Pres­i­dent Oba­ma. Peo­ple there cer­tain­ly seem excit­ed about host­ing the Democ­rats. Con­grat­u­la­tions to the City of Broth­er­ly Love and Sis­ter­ly Affec­tion on its selection!

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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