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2020 DNC pulled from Fiserv Forum, will move toward mostly virtual event

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) announced Wednesday, June 24 the 2020 Democratic National Convention will be scaled back and moved from Fiserv Forum to the Wisconsin Center, a much smaller venue. Delegates are also being asked not to travel to Milwaukee for the event as they will vote virtually. 

"It will not be a convention like we have seen in the past," Mayor Tom Barrett said in a news conference Wednesday evening. 

According to a news release, the DNCC reiterated the Democratic Party’s commitment to holding a convention that would protect public health while transforming the convention experience for delegates and viewers. Convention planners said that host city Milwaukee would anchor the events for the week, and that programming would include both live broadcasts and curated content from Milwaukee and other satellite cities, locations and landmarks across the country.

The release says, convention planners are also developing new ways to organize and engage online with more voters than ever before during this critical election year. Later this week, convention organizers will launch the first of a series of engagement campaigns that will allow Americans across the country to share their ideas and add their voice to convention programming.

Anchored every night in Milwaukee, the Democratic National Convention will include four nights of programming from August 17-20, 2020.

Additional updates unveiled by the DNCC include: 

  • Conducting official business without risking public health—After consulting with public health officials about the COVID-19 pandemic, convention organizers are announcing today that they have determined state delegations should not plan to travel to Milwaukee and should plan to conduct their official convention business remotely. A process is being developed to ensure all delegates can cast their votes on all convention matters, including the presidential nomination, remotely during the convention. DNC standing committee meetings will take place virtually as well, with the first standing committee meetings set for the last week of July.
  • Announcing our Convention Chair—U.S. Representative Bennie Thompson will serve as Permanent Chair of the 2020 Democratic National Convention. The Convention Chair presides over all official convention business.
  • Developing robust health protocols—In addition to continued collaboration with local, state, and federal public health officials, the DNCC is bringing on nationally-renowned epidemiologists and infectious disease experts Dr. W. Ian Lipkin and Dr. Larry Brilliant, who will help advise on efforts to protect the health and safety of convention staff, attendees, and the people of Wisconsin. Dr. Lipkin, Director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University, is an expert in diagnostic testing and collaborated with the WHO on coronavirus outbreak control for SARS, MERS, and COVID-19. Dr. Brilliant, a former professor of epidemiology, is best known for his work on the successful eradication of smallpox.
  • Updating the convention campus—With fewer people gathering in person at this year’s event, convention planners are modifying the convention campus. All convention proceedings will move from Fiserv Forum to the Wisconsin Center, the convention center located in downtown Milwaukee. Specifics regarding delegation representation on the convention floor will be provided after public health officials complete their assessment of the trajectory and impact of the coronavirus pandemic and determine how many people can safely gather in person later this summer.
  • Eliminating official auxiliary events—Previous conventions have included several large-scale events attended by thousands of people, such as a welcome reception for media and delegates as well as an event for volunteers. In keeping with the commitment to deliver a convention that poses no unnecessary risk to public health, convention organizers will no longer proceed with hosting these in-person parties.
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