No doubt I am not aware of all the issues involved but some basic logistics would seem to include (no doubt there are others):
- The ability to host what will probably be at least 2000 and perhaps up to 4000 people.
- Need to have a theater-ballroom that can hold everybody, and enough break-out rooms of adequate size.
- A hotel that can hold enough of the conventioneers and/or enough hotels with enough rooms near the conference site.
- It should be a major transportation hub, relatively easy and cheap to get to. - It would be better if it was a relatively green eco-conscious site.
- It should be a Unionized site, but more on this (and possible ways to deal with non-union location) later in the discussion of New Orleans below.
Also, it should be a place that makes some sort of statement and furthers our goals... whether this is to:
- make us look good
- make Repuglicans look bad,
- do lobbying
- be in local/state election swing state/district
- be in a presidential battleground state
- be in a party convention city
- regional choice after being in Vegas & Chicago
- link up with local and state netroots to promote local and state campaigns.
- include training in canvassing and then go out and canvass key nearby districts?
I asked around to some folks at YKos in Chicago and came up with this list, in alphabetic order (I have further added and adjusted the list based on Tuesday polling. There is some semi-rationalized and no doubt arguable lumping of cities together. I only have 15 options in the polling, and some lumping is necessary or they would just be left out altogether):
- Atlanta: we have not been in southeast yet, predominantly African-American and Democratic city in red state, CNN, biggest hub in south, has the conference ability; may be right to work state and don’t know if there are unionized hotels.
- Atlantic City: we have not been in the northeast yet. Like Vegas has the relatively inexpensive casino hotels, blue state but still with too many Repug congressmen, we have not been in Northeast yet.
- Cleveland or Columbus or Cincinnati – battleground and swing state. Midwest like Chicago was.
- Dallas or Houston – pretty damn red but we are going for the senate seat. Some more districts could be in play. Let’s mess with Texas. It is an anti-union "right to work" state.
- Denver – site of Democratic convention.
- Kansas City or St Louis – swing state and battleground state.
- Los Angeles – media capital and I understand they have some other stuff there. Also San Diego, San Francisco.
- Miami or Tampa or Orlando – Southeast. Swing state and battleground state. It is an anti-union "right to work" state.
- New Orleans – many strongly favor this choice. Makes a point of our ongoing support. Repuglican failure highlighted. It is a moral statement and political message choice. Could even have volunteers week before or week after to help with rebuilding; link with local activists and netroots. Senate and governor swing state. However, it is a "right-to-work" state. I spoke with the convention bureau and have confirmed that the three main hotels that are the right size and have adequate conference facilities for us (Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton; 1200 to 1600 rooms) are all non-union. The Loews is unionized only has 285 rooms and does not have adequate convention facilities on-site. So... would our union friends care to facilitate a meeting in a "right to work" state at a non-union hotel... possible benefits are showing-up to show Union support for new Orleans? And maybe do a little organizing while we are there!?
- Philadelphia or Pittsburgh- northeast, some swing districts nearby, relatively cheaper hotels and convention site for northeast. Pittsburgh has a green/eco-friendly convention center, but not as easy to get to.
- New York City (or Newark NJ or Upstate NY) – media capital, northeast, unionized. 9/11 and WTC, Hillary and Giuliani (& Bloomberg?).
- Seattle, WA or Portland OR - Pacific northwest, somewhat swing states and battleground states.
- St. Paul/Minneapolis, MN – site of Repuglican convention. Senate swing race. Bridge collapse as a result and symbol of what happens when you have 30 years of mindless tax cuts and deregulation; cronyism corruption and incompetence with the messaging of government as the problem; selfishness instead community.
- Washington D.C. (or Northern Virginia or Baltimore MD) – let go into the belly of the beltway beast and lobby while we are there. Visit your Congresscritters.
Update 1: New Orleans and other southern cities are of course hot in August. The convention could be held in June or early July. Also, frankly, we are indoors for most of it, and air conditioning, eco-friendly or not, is likely to be the predominant climate wherever we are.
Update 2: An interesting suggestion from FDL and others about lowering cost by holding on a University Campus. Housing might be less. Could still have it in pretty much any of the cities mentioned. E.g.: New Orleans has Tulane, Dillard, Xavier, UNO (also avoids the non-union hotels); Columbus has Ohio State University; DC has Georgetown, George Washington, Howard & American U; St Paul/Minneapolis has U of MN & Concordia; Denver has U of Colorado & U of Denver; NYC has NYU, Columbia & CUNY; etc. etc. Would still need to be cheap transport Hub and have adequate conventioneering facilities and actually have enough cheap rooms. Alternative would be to reserve for a block of cheap rooms at Universities as inexpensive housing alternative, even if convention itself is at convention center/big hotel.
Update 3: Although I try to remain neutral, I am taking diarist's prerogative to comment... so far I am surprised at the relatively few votes for St. Paul/Minneapolis (being the RNC convention site) and Denver (being the DNC convention site). In my mind those two, along with New Orleans and D.C. (each for obvious reasons), and any major city in a real swing state (OH, FL, etc.) would be natural sites. And I am surprised at the relatively high numbers for Philadelphia/Pittsburgh (led by the commenter who jumped in ahead of my tip jar, which may have over-promoted it.).
Note 1: The following 22 states are , although how many unionized hotels there may be in a given city will no doubt still vary: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wyoming.
Note 2: 50 Largest Cities by Population, 2005 estimates
New York, NY 8,143,197
Los Angeles, CA 3,844,829
Chicago, IL 2,842,518
Houston, TX 2,016,582
Philadelphia, PA 1,463,281
Phoenix, AZ 1,461,575
San Antonio, TX 1,256,509
San Diego, CA 1,255,540
Dallas, TX 1,213,825
San Jose, CA 912,332
Detroit, MI 886,671
Indianapolis, IN 784,118
Jacksonville, FL 782,623
San Francisco, CA 739,426
Columbus, OH 730,657
Austin, TX 690,252
Memphis, TN 672,277
Baltimore, MD 635,815
Fort Worth, TX 624,067
Charlotte, NC 610,949
El Paso, TX 598,590
Milwaukee, WI 578,887
Seattle, WA 573,911
Boston, MA 559,034
Denver, CO 557,917
Louisville-Jefferson, KY 556,429
Washington, DC 550,521
Nashville-Davidson, TN 549,110
Las Vegas, NV 545,147
Portland, OR 533,427
Oklahoma City, OK 531,324
Tucson, AZ 515,526
Albuquerque, NM 494,236
Long Beach, CA 474,014
Atlanta, GA 470,688
Fresno, CA 461,116
Sacramento, CA 456,441
New Orleans, LA 454,863
Cleveland, OH 452,208
Kansas City, MO 444,965
Mesa, AZ 442,780
Virginia Beach, VA 438,415
Omaha, NE 414,521
Oakland, CA 395,274
Miami, FL 386,417
Tulsa, OK 382,457
Honolulu, HI 377,379
Minneapolis, MN 372,811
Colorado Springs, CO 369,815
Arlington, TX 362,805
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