Politics, parties, and pundits: Organizers say 'we're off to a good start' 1 year out from 2020 DNC

Christopher Walton

MILWAUKEE -- Saturday, July 13 marked one year out from the start of the 2020 Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee. Organizers said they're on track with fundraising and finding volunteers for the convention set for July 13-16, 2020. However, there's much left on the to-do list in terms of preparing infrastructure and addressing challenges.

There are no such things as off days for Christopher Walton, chairman of the Democratic Party of Milwaukee County -- but he wasn't complaining about that.

"Excited! Very excited!" said Walton. "We got a lot of people excited. We have volunteers coming in by the boatload, and we've been raising pretty good money so far."

Officials said 50,000 people are expected to attend the 2020 Democratic National Convention, and organizers were working feverishly to ensure it goes off without a hitch.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett

"This convention is putting a spotlight on how important the city of Milwaukee is, how important the state of Wisconsin is," said Walton.

One year out, organizers said infrastructure and security were the biggest challenges, including lining up venues and vendors for the 2,500 events that will take place at Fiserv Forum and throughout the city, and distributing law enforcement to keep them safe.

"There is a tremendous amount of work to be done," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Mayor Barrett's to-do list was long, and at the top of it was telling his city's story.

"We're going to have media scrutiny unlike anything we've seen before," said Mayor Barrett.

Mayor Barrett said he expects visiting media to point out Milwaukee's challenges, including poverty, public safety, and racial tension, and he said he wants the city's charm to also make headlines.

"We want to highlight the positives, but not sweep the challenges under the carpet. We think it's important we address those as well," said Barrett.

With less than a year to go, it was all hands on deck for organizers -- preparing Milwaukee for politics, parties, and pundits.

"The spotlight is on Milwaukee," said Walton. "We're off to a good start."

The city passed a mini test when the LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) convention was held in Milwaukee July 10-13, and President Donald Trump visited Milwaukee on July 12. The convention attracted about 20,000 people, and President Trump traveled with a national press pool.

Mayor Barrett said both events went well.