Saturday, July 20, 2024
Saturday, July 20, 2024

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HomeBreakingThe Greatest Show in Wisconsin – Coming in July

The Greatest Show in Wisconsin – Coming in July


The upcoming Republican National Convention, scheduled to take place in Milwaukee from July 15 through July 18, marks the formal end of the primary election period and the start of the general election season. Delegates of the National Republican Party will nominate and confirm candidates for president and vice president, adopt the party platform and rules, and launch the fall campaign. On July 15, 2022, Milwaukee emerged victorious over Nashville, another finalist vying to host the 2024 Convention, and will host this historic event this summer at the Fiserv Forum.

As this is Wisconsin’s inaugural hosting of the Convention, it is a prime opportunity to learn about this quadrennial event within our local area. To gain insight, I contacted Alison Prange, the Chief Operating Officer of the Milwaukee 2024 Host Committee. (Coincidentally, Alison is a close friend with whom I have cycled hundreds of miles and trained for numerous Ironman Triathlons. She is a powerhouse, well-suited for overseeing such an event!) I am thrilled to share the insights gleaned from our conversation.

What is the Milwaukee 2024 Host Committee and how is it related to the Republican National Committee (RNC)?

The Host Committee is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization entrusted with the responsibility of bringing the Convention to Milwaukee. Additionally, it is tasked with raising the necessary funds to execute the Convention successfully. Working on behalf of the City of Milwaukee and the region, the Host Committee aims to warmly welcome the thousands of guests traveling to Wisconsin for the Republican National Convention. Collaborating closely with partners at the RNC, the Host Committee operates in a manner like a movie production, where the RNC directs, and the Host Committee produces.

When did the Host Committee begin work and how many people are involved?

Alison began her work in late 2022, shortly after the announcement that Milwaukee would host the Convention. The Host Committee comprises a core group of five full-time staffers who collaborate with numerous volunteers. As the Convention approaches, thousands of volunteers will join efforts to welcome guests to Milwaukee and highlight our state and region. Apart from the Host Committee personnel, the RNC presently employs approximately 40 staff in Milwaukee, along with several contractors and businesses.

How many people will attend the Convention?

An estimated 45,000 guests are expected to travel to Milwaukee for the event, comprising RNC delegates, members of the media, and representatives from participating organizations and businesses. Each state party and territory will send delegates to the Convention, including elected Republicans from various levels of government, such as local, state, and federal representatives, attending on behalf of their respective states.

As a side note, delegates to the Convention from Wisconsin will be elected at numerous Congressional District Caucuses held around the state.

How does Milwaukee hope to benefit from the event?

In summary, the Convention is anticipated to have an economic impact of up to $200 million. This influx of funds will primarily result from out-of-state guests attending the event and the subsequent secondary economic benefits derived from their expenditure on goods and services within the region.

While exact logistics are still being finalized, it’s evident that there will be a surge in employment opportunities within the hospitality sector. Hotels across southeast Wisconsin are expected to be fully booked, with guests even extending their stays to areas as far as Madison and Kohler.

Moreover, the Convention will serve as a platform to showcase Milwaukee’s beauty, its energetic residents, and its diverse range of businesses. It will also enhance Milwaukee’s reputation as an ideal destination for hosting large-scale events in the future, consequently creating local jobs and other economic opportunities in the years to come.

Will the Convention be safe?

A tremendous amount of effort has been dedicated to ensuring the Convention proceeds while prioritizing the safety of attendees and the city alike. Convention security is overseen by a coalition of agencies including the United States Secret Service, the Milwaukee Police Department, the Milwaukee Fire Department, the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office, and various local, state, and federal law enforcement partners. The U.S. Secret Service will establish a security zone around the convention.

In February, the Secret Service released a preliminary map outlining the areas affected by the operational security plan, aimed at assisting members of the public. While the official perimeter is still under development, the public will be promptly notified once the plan is finalized. To minimize disruptions and ensure optimal security, the Secret Service is actively engaged in community outreach.

It’s crucial to emphasize that the Convention security zone will be among the safest places globally. Therefore, individuals should feel confident and unhesitant about participating in the event!

Interesting Convention Trivia:

  • The RNC has had a Convention every four years since 1856. In 1864, it notably welcomed Democrats who remained loyal to the Union during the Civil War. On the other hand, the inaugural Democratic National Convention took place in 1832.
  • As per tradition, the party holding the White House typically schedules its Convention after the event of the non-incumbent party. This year, in August, the Democrats will host their event in Chicago.
  • Milwaukee was officially designated as the host city for the Democratic National Convention in 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was conducted virtually.
  • The Republican National Convention is categorized as a National Special Security Event (NSSE) by the Department of Homeland Security. Alongside the Super Bowl, the political conventions for both parties, the Presidential Inauguration, and the UN General Assembly, it is one of the consistently designated NSSEs in our country.

The Host Committee Needs Volunteers!

The objective is to enlist 6,000 volunteers to serve at the Convention. These volunteers will be responsible for various tasks, including greeting the tens of thousands of visitors traveling to the event and ensuring their needs are met. Volunteer roles may be assigned at locations throughout southeast Wisconsin where delegates are accommodated.

Would you like to volunteer? You can do that here. (Soon—you need a background check)!

Engage with fellow Republicans, experience the energy, and bring that enthusiasm back to your county parties, contributing all you can to secure victories in November.

Christine Illgen
Christine was born in Brooklyn, New York, to refugees who fled Poland after World War II. Her family's experiences significantly influenced her social, cultural, and political views, sparking her conservative activism. Christine graduated from the University of Notre Dame with bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering. After relocating to Boston, she worked as a researcher at the MIT Center for Genome Research, specializing in laboratory automation for high-throughput sequencing for the Human Genome Project. While in Boston, she also served as a writer and software developer for Charles River Analytics and I2 Technologies. Currently, she holds the position of Vice Chair of the Republican Party of Dane County (RPDC) and serves as an advisor to the Wisconsin Federation of College Republicans. Before becoming Vice Chair, she co-chaired the RPDC Public Policy Committee and organized fundraisers, candidate forums, and educational events related to public health and parental rights. Chrissi Illgen's opinions represent her personal opinion and not those of this publication or any entity where she volunteers or works.

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