(WASHINGTON) - Democrats have invited 10 cities to offer proposals for the party's national convention in 2004. The winning city is to be named this fall.
The cities are Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Miami, New York and Pittsburgh. Democrats have set their convention for July 17-23, 2004.
``The host city must be one that can handle more than 50,000 visitors, with a suitable convention facility and adequate hotel space,'' Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe said in the letter to the cities.
He noted the city ``must be committed to fairness and inclusion,'' have a strong union presence and have a history of respecting workers' rights. Democrats submitted 13 requests for proposals for the last convention and got nine bids, party officials said.
Democrats got a quick turndown from Chicago, which had the 1996 Democratic Convention.
``We just had our turn,'' Chicago Mayor Richard Daley said, describing the 1996 convention as a success for the city. ``Let's give some other cities the opportunity.''
A Florida Democratic official welcomed the invitation.
``Florida is on the mind of a lot of folks. I think particularly it would certainly be an in-your-face kind of move'' for the party to choose Miami following the contested 2000 election, said state Democratic Chairman Bob Poe. ``I think it would send a strong signal.''
Democrats reminded the cities of the positive national and international publicity and the money that a convention can bring in. Playing host to conventions also costs money. The 2000 Democratic Convention cost Los Angeles $36 million, much of it spent providing security and paying overtime to police officers.
Officials with both parties have said concerns about security costs after the Sept. 11 attacks have been raised in some cities.
The party's site advisory committee will meet in May to make recommendations on which cities the committee and party staff will visit and evaluate over the summer.
Republicans plan to announce next week which cities they will ask to submit proposals for the 2004 Republican National Convention. Dates of the GOP convention, which will be held after the Democratic event, have not been set.
On the Net: