Democratic National Convention In Brooklyn? Bill de Blasio Throws His Hat In The Ring
On Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio entered a bid for the 2016 Democratic National Convention to be hosted in Brooklyn. The enormous political convention, during which the Democrats will nominate their presidential candidate, is not an entirely new sight for New Yorkers — the Democrats held theirs at Madison Square Garden in 1992, and the Republicans followed suit in 2004. But 2016 would be the first time the borough of Brooklyn, or any outside of Manhattan for that matter, had hosted the event.
De Blasio's pitch is for the convention to descend on the Barclay's Center in downtown Brooklyn, the centrally-located arena opened in 2012 to play home to the NBA's Brooklyn Nets. If actually held there, it would represent a kind of sea change in New York politics, where the central-ness of Manhattan as an event location is rarely challenged. It would also would mark a return by the Democrats' nominating convention after a long 22-year absence.
That such a proposal is coming from this particular mayor comes as little surprise — unlike his Republican predecessor Michael Bloomberg, who was born in Massachusetts and spent the bulk of his life around Manhattan's spires of capitalism, de Blasio is a Brooklyn native. Basically, he's trying to get his home turf a little love.
In his letter to Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the chairwoman of the DNC, de Blasio explicitly hailed his city's unique brand of big-city progressivism — shout-out to the largest citywide bike-share program in the country — and indeed, if you're holding a high-profile event, there aren't many places where you'll get more eyeballs than New York City.
Republicans, on the other hand, are also mulling possible convention center options. Backed by none other than former Vice President Dick Cheney, Kansas City, Missouri is making an all-in push to host the GOP's convention.