November 21, 2006

Denver Inches Closer To 2008 Democratic National Convention

Western Democrats hope the party gets "mile high" with a little help from their friends:
Mayor John Hickenlooper isn't the only one working to bring tens of thousands of people to Denver in August 2008; governors and officials in several other Western states are helping in the city's bid to lure the Democratic National Convention.

The event could help raise the profile of a region that has become increasingly important to both major political parties, Hickenlooper said Monday.

"It's not so much about Denver as all the changes in Utah, New Mexico, Montana, Wyoming," Hickenlooper said. "We should be able to champion and show off what the region has become."

Hickenlooper said Denver's bid was also getting help from officials in other Western states and cities.

"The convention really shines a very bright light and illuminates our success to a dramatically larger market," he said.

Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean has said the party expects to decide between Denver and New York next month.
Aside from a lower profile than New York, Denver's bid for the convention has suffered from labor pains, but these may have been allayed through proposed unionization and the recent strong showing by Democrats in the 2006 midterms:
In recent weeks, Denver has resolved some tension with unions after initial concerns stemming from a lack of unionized hotels in the city. Last month, Denver, which helped finance a new downtown hotel with bonds, agreed that workers at that hotel could unionize, and the Colorado AFL-CIO this month approved a resolution supporting Denver's convention bid.

Democrats in Colorado and other Western states also posted political gains in this month's general election, two years after Colorado was a rare bright spot for the party. That won't have much bearing on the final decision, however, LaVera said.
Remaining barriers to a successful Denver bid? Logistics and New York's cachet.


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