Chicago selected over Atlanta for 2024 Democratic National Convention
Pictured above is Illinois’ billionaire governor, J.B. Pritzker
To the disappointment of many in Atlanta, Chicago is the city that will play host to the 2024 Democratic National Convention.
The announcement came Tuesday that President Biden and Democratic National Committee (DNC) leaders had ultimately chosen Chicago over both Atlanta and New York City, who were both in the running for this major event. With the lobbying behind them, the Windy City and the Midwest is now front and center for this event, as Atlanta and New York cheer from the sidelines.
Many have speculated as to what went wrong for Atlanta, the birthplace of civil rights and the home of Martin Luther King, Jr.
In a written statement, DNC President Jamie Harrison acknowledged Atlanta for their monthslong effort and the city’s continued relevance in the party’s future, but did not go into details as to why Atlanta was not chosen.Some are pointing to a number of factors that may have played into Atlanta’s loss including various controversial laws in Georgia, which were viewed as having an adverse impact on Atlanta. Also a factor was labor membership. Speculation had reached a boiling point that labor unions were tipping the contest in the Windy City’s favor.
President Joe Biden, the “pro union” President, may have also played an indirect role. In discussing why Chicago was selected, a senior Biden administration official said the union issue was among a handful of factors that worked in Chicago’s favor.
“One certainly was labor,” the official said. “This president has said on more than one occasion that he wants to be the union president, the labor president, the working-man president. And Chicago and Illinois represent that very, very strong labor presence.”
Other factors that sealed the deal for Chicago were Illinois’ billionaire governor, J.B. Pritzker, Chicago’s abundant fundraising opportunities, the Midwest “blue wall”, and Chicago being a pro-union city.
Georgia’s position as a right-to-work state, which unions view as negative on their membership, did not help Atlanta. In Georgia, joining a union cannot be a requirement for a person to get or keep a job.
Another factor was ads touting Chicago’s strong union roots, which ran on Twitter and YouTube which pointed to Chicago having 45 unionized hotels.
Atlanta has only two — downtown’s Hyatt Regency and Westin Peachtree. Sealing the deal was probably a February letter in which 19 senior labor officials wrote Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison Atlanta’s lack of union hotels. “We are proud to represent members in Georgia and recognize the great cultural and political value of Atlanta, as well as the civil rights legacy and ongoing work for racial justice being led by activists throughout the state,” they wrote. “But the importance of having many union hotels for a Democratic convention is well known, and the city has done nothing during its long convention bid to address the problem.”
Lobbying by the unions may not have been the main issue in choosing Chicago and deciding against Atlanta, but their fingerprints cannot be ignored.