The Denver Post reports that city officials have placed a bid to host the 2008 Democratic convention. Mayor Wellington Webb withdrew our 2004 bid due to security concerns. We are one of six cities in the running. Our competition is: Detroit, Las Vegas, New York,
The labor unions oppose Denver’s bid. They want Mayor Hickenlooper and other officials to encourage employees at the new Hyatt Regency at the Convention Center to join unions. They also are lobbying for increased pay for street and facility cleaners.
“There are cities that have elevated the wages and benefits of workers in the service industry, and we believe those cities deserve a national Democratic convention and that Denver is not yet one of those cities,” said Leslie Moody, president of the Denver Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.
Bid Committee co-chair Steve Farber (where does he get the time?) is not afraid of the labor unions:
Steve Farber, a lawyer who is co-chairman of the committee that submitted the formal bid Thursday, said he doubts labor’s opposition will harm Denver’s chances. “I think our chances our fantastic,” Farber said. “We’re out front and in the lead, and it’s ours to lose. I’ve been told that by some folks at the DNC.”
I attended the 2004 national conventions in New York and Boston. Downtown Boston was overwhelmed by the numbers and talk radio had created so much fear of traffic standstills, that most businesses closed that week. It was a madhouse — and a ton of fun. New York, on the other hand, seemed no different to me than at any other time. Sure, there was a greater police presence but the amount of time it took to get from point A to point B seemed no different than at non-convention time. New Yorkers just took it in stride.
I would love to see the convention come to Denver. Between the delegates and the press, it will be a lively week. It will also showcase our city and allow local reporters and regular citizens to share the national spotlight.