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City of New Orleans  |  New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau
New Orleans, LA

Although the DNC granted New Orleans an extension, in late June 2006 the City decided not to pursue the Democratic National Convention.  Kelly Schulz
Vice President, Communications and Public Relations for the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. explained the decision in a July 14 email:

The decision was made after much due diligence and consideration of having to raise millions of dollars and in-kind corporate sponsorships.  The Louisiana Democratic Party spoke with Boston, who hosted the last DNC in 2004 -- the total monetary outlay was $70m and the in-kind was $11m.   All those involved, at the city and state level agreed that we would very much like to host the event, but without major local sponsors and the ability to bring in outside donors, we had little chance of hosting the event successfully.  The decision was not a reflection that New Orleans cannot handle large conventions as we successfully are welcoming citywide conventions once again.

As New Orleans was working to recover from the damage wrought by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, the city would have provided a highly symbolic location for Democrats to hold their convention.  In a Sept. 12, 2005 e-mail (below) Ron Faucheux, a political and public affairs analyst and former Louisiana state legislator, made the case for both parties to hold their conventions there.

"There is an effort to drum up support to get both major political parties to hold their 2008 national conventions in New Orleans -- and to announce it jointly.  This would be a powerful vote of confidence for the city's future.  It  would also indicate a serious bipartisan commitment to disaster recovery for the New Orleans/Gulf Coast region, both substantively and symbolically.  Holding both conventions in the same place is nothing new.  The last time Democrats and Republicans met in the same city was in 1972 in Miami Beach.  In fact, the first  national party conventions were held in the same city -- Baltimore -- in  preparation for the 1832 election.   The highly successful experience of the 1988 Republican convention in New Orleans demonstrated the city's capacity  to host national political conclaves.  The nearly three years between now  and the 2008 convention season is enough time for the city to repair and ready itself.  The decision to hold the 2004 Republican convention in New York in the wake of the Sept. 11  terrorist attack on that city set a modern precedent for siting a convention in  a place that needed a national show of support and  an economic boost."
Copyright © 2006  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action