The 2016 presidential election remains distant for most people, but for Philadelphians, a key election decision is just around the corner: whether or not Philadelphia will host the Democratic National Convention.
The Democratic National Committee — commonly referred to as the DNC — named the City of Brotherly Love as a finalist to host the 2016 Democratic convention, where delegates will officially nominate the party’s candidate for president. The other four finalists are Brooklyn, NY; Birmingham, Ala.; Columbus, Ohio; and Phoenix, Ariz. The DNC will announce the host city either later this year or early next year.
From Aug. 13 to Aug. 15, DNC officials met and toured Philadelphia with big names in local politics, such as Mayor Michael Nutter, U.S. Rep. Bob Brady (D-Pa.) and former Pennsylvania Governor and urban studies professor Ed Rendell.
“The economic impact and public exposure that the DNC bring would be very valuable for the city,” Penn Democrats Outreach Director Ray Clark and College sophomore, said in an email. “A return to Philadelphia, the birthplace of freedom, liberty and democracy, by the DNC is long overdue.”
Philadelphia has some familiarity with political conventions. Even though the last Democratic convention in Philadelphia took place in 1948, the Republican National Convention was held here in 2000.
If the 2016 Democratic convention were to be held in Philadelphia, it would also have implications for the Penn community.
“I definitely think it would make the political community pretty happy,” Clark added. “On our end, we want to have some type of student involvement. Whether it’s coordination with other college campuses to increase voter turnout or direct planning with the DNC, we’re aiming to have some stake in making this convention a success if the opportunity arises.”
Regardless of political leanings, the prospect of such a high profile political event draws interest from across the political spectrum.
“Penn has a vibrant political culture, and the people that are involved in major [political] organizations ... will be engaged with both parties’ nomination processes and conventions,” College Republicans Communications Director Kat McKay and College sophomore, said in an email. “No matter what, it will be exciting.”