From The Philly Public Record
The Pennsylvania Convention Center has been in the news lately, and the news has not been favorable. The media report management, labor and contract problems are keeping large conventions away from the $1.3 billion convention center. The center was expanded to help pull more conventions, tourists, and dollars to the Philadelphia Region. It’s big money, and tourism is Pennsylvania’s number-one industry.
So with all the talk about its problems and demise, CONGRESSMAN BOB BRADY comes up with an idea that could help the convention center gain major revenue and show many groups what a great convention town Philadelphia can be. Last week, Brady convened a group of regional leaders to discuss bringing the 2016 Democratic National Convention to Philadelphia. Philadelphia has not hosted a national political convention since 2000.
Joining Brady at the Union League to discuss a bid for the 2016 DNC were 20 government, labor, and business leaders from Southeastern Pennsylvania. The leaders included IBEW Local 98 leader JOHN DOUGHERTY, former City CONTROLLER JONATHAN SAIDEL, STATE SENS. ANTHONY WILLIAMS and VINCE HUGHES, City Council PRESIDENT DARRELL CLARKE and COUNCILMAN JIM KENNEY, Montgomery Co. Commission CHAIRMAN JOSH SHAPIRO and MERYL LEVITZ, CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp.
The group discussed the issues they will need to address if Philadelphia hosts the convention. The litany includes transportation, hotel rooms, amenities and attractions, and security. The last issue has piqued the interest of MAYOR MICHAEL NUTTER, who says the City can’t afford to pay for security costs. Congressman Brady believes they can raise the money to run the convention and pay for police overtime without costing the City a nickel. Some would say that sounds like a dream, but those people have not seen Brady in action. He can make it happen.