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Democratic National Convention: Host Committee President Talks Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

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Kat Schleicher
/
Milwaukee Magazine
Democratic National Convention Host Committee President Liz Gilbert says "the opportunities really are endless" for Milwaukee as the host city.

Liz Gilbert sees the Democratic National Convention (DNC) as a huge opportunity for Milwaukee and Wisconsin. For many of the 50,000 people expected to attend, this will be their first time visiting. Gilbert, the host committee president, sees it as a chance to shape people's perception of the city.

"When we talk about the amount of influence this convention can have on stories and messaging about this town and about this incredible state, the opportunities really are endless," she says.

Gilbert played a pivotal role in the last two DNC committees. She was on the fundraising team for the 2012 convention in in Charlotte, N.C.. In 2016, she led the fundraising program for the convention in Philadelphia, Penn.

Gilbert was featured in this month's Milwaukee Magazine. Each year, she says the committee works to improve diversity. "We are the first host committee to have an entire department focused on diversity, equity and inclusion," she says. 

And while the committee focuses on the diversity of vendors and suppliers, they also want to keep things local. 

"We are making sure when we are awarding contracts or stepping into partnerships with businesses that we are really focused on those businesses that are rooted here and want to grow here," she explains. "Also, businesses that might not have the opportunity that this convention can provide.” 

Gilbert adds that the committee isn't just looking to forge partnerships in Milwaukee but across the Wisconsin.

The Democratic National Convention runs July 13-16, 2020.

What do you want to know about the 2020 elections and the DNC convention? Submit your questions below.

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Joy Powers joined WUWM January 2016 as producer for Lake Effect. Most recently, she was a director and producer for The Afternoon Shift, on WBEZ-fm, Chicago Public Radio.
Becky Mortensen joined WUWM as the Executive Producer of Lake Effect in November 2019. She has lived in Milwaukee since 2012.