Resolution to change DNC format passes unanimously, door now open for virtual event

MILWAUKEE -- The Democratic National Convention held in Milwaukee this summer will be the first of its kind. The DNC voted unanimously Tuesday, May 12 to allow the convention committee to change the format -- opening the door for a virtual event.

The DNC rules and bylaws committee met by phone to consider and vote on changes to the upcoming convention.

DNC Chairman Tom Perez

"That's the job of great leaders to adapt to ever-changing situations and prepare for everything," said Tom Perez, chair of the Democratic National Committee. "Preparedness. That is exactly what the rules and bylaws committee is doing today."

The resolution allows Democrats, adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic, the flexibility to hold parts of the 2020 Milwaukee convention virtually.

"We're providing the convention team with the opportunity to look at a wide range of potential options," Jason Rae, Milwaukee native and DNC secretary, said. "This isn't about Option A or B, but rather this is looking at all the pieces of the convention.

Jason Rae

Rae said it is too early to say exactly how delegates will cast their votes and that convention leaders are working with federal, state and Milwaukee health officials monitoring the coronavirus pandemic to balance safety and politics.

"As a Milwaukeean, I know how important this convention is to our city," Rae said. "I know the team is going to be creative to ensure we can still showcase Milwaukee while also ensuring we keep an eye out for the public, for the health and wellbeing of all of our participants."

The resolution now moves on to the full Democratic National Committee where it must be approved by a majority of members. That vote will likely be taken by mail.

The 2020 convention will take place at Fiserv Forum the week of August 17. It is not clear how many days the convention will last or how many people will attend. The DNC has only said that those decisions will be made based on the status of the pandemic closer to the start of the convention.