Since being named a finalist in August for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, New York City has gathered $10 million in commitments toward the $100 million it says it needs to host the event. The Big Apple is competing against four other cities, including one in the swing state of Ohio.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration also said it expanded the list of members of the city’s host committee to 101 people. The committee includes JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon, entertainment mogul Barry Diller and his wife, designer Diane von Furstenberg.
“With this unprecedented show of support from such a broad cross-section of New Yorkers, we’ll be ready to hit the ground running the moment we’re named the host of the 2016 convention,” the mayor said in a statement. “Taken together, [Tuesday’s] announcements show that New York City is both excited and prepared to host a fully funded convention in all five boroughs to showcase the Democratic nominee for president.”
New York is the only city in a reliably Democratic state competing to host the convention. The other contenders are Phoenix, Philadelphia, Birmingham, Alabama, and Columbus, Ohio. Arizona’s growing Latino population and the Democrats’ efforts to turn the state blue makes Phoenix an attractive contender, while Columbus is in a vital swing state that helped propel President Barack Obama to victory in 2008 and 2012. Pennsylvania is a top target for Republicans in 2016. Alabama is just as solidly Republican as New York is Democratic, but hosting the 2016 convention in Birmingham may reinvigorate blacks to return to the polls in the same numbers they did when Obama was on the ballot, according to the city’s pitch.
"This is our last chance to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the great civil rights advances that took place in the mid to late '60s," said one of the documents in Birmingham’s bid packet, according to the Birmingham News. "This focus is particularly important in the upcoming presidential election because Democrats can't assume that the African-American turnout will be the same in 2016 as it was in 2008 and 2012 when we had Barack Obama on the ticket. Selecting Birmingham, with it civil rights legacy, helps ensure we don't take the African American vote for granted."
The Democrats carried Colorado in 2008 after holding their convention in Denver but lost North Carolina after meeting in Charlotte in 2012.