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Jackson, FitzGerald Announce Push to Host National Political Convention in 2016

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Media contacts:        
Maureen Harper, (216) 664-4011 or mharper@city.cleveland.oh.us
Jim Kopniske, (216) 664-4466 or jkopniske@clevelandcitycouncil.org
Rich Luchette, (216) 797-0931 or rluchette@cuyahogacounty.us 

CLEVELAND – Today, Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson and Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald announced their intention to request consideration of a resolution by Cleveland City Council and a resolution by Cuyahoga County Council to support city and county funding to attract a major national political nominating convention to Cleveland in 2016.

“Ohio, Cleveland in particular, is a significant force in national politics. Add to this strong political heritage our outstanding amenities, new convention and hotel facilities and our ideal location, and it is clear that Cleveland has what it takes to meet the demands of such a high-level national event,” said Mayor Jackson.

“Hosting a national political convention would help create jobs in Cuyahoga County, strengthen our tourism industry, and contribute as much as $200 million towards our local economy,” said FitzGerald. “I am looking forward to presenting this legislation and working to turn the goal of hosting a national convention into a reality for our community.”

The Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee have both invited Cleveland, among other cities, to submit proposals to host their respective national convention in 2016. A coalition of non-profits and community leaders has collaborated to establish the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee, Inc., a non-profit corporation that will prepare bids to host a national convention during the next presidential election.

"Cleveland City Council supports bringing a national Presidential convention to our revitalized downtown that offers conventioneers world-class convention facilities, the Rock Hall of Fame, the grandeur of the theater experience in Playhouse Square, first class restaurants owned by America's top chefs, major league baseball, and all the amenities of an urban city,” said Cleveland City Council President Kevin J. Kelley. “All of this, and add in the friendliness of our residents, makes Cleveland the perfect host for a 2016 convention."

Cleveland City Council will consider a resolution on Monday, February 24, 2014 that would indicate the City of Cleveland’s willingness to offer significant in-kind support for the necessary services, including Public Safety and Public Works, required to host a national nominating convention in 2016.

On Tuesday February 25, 2014, FitzGerald will introduce legislation to the Cuyahoga County Council that would authorize $2.5 million to support Cleveland’s bids to the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee. Funding details would be solidified pending the outcome of the application processes. An additional $2.5 million in in-kind law enforcement services would also be pledged by Cuyahoga County to support one of the two conventions.