WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at http://www.DemocraticConventionWatch.com
In one of my earliest posts, I quoted from Harry Shearer on New Orleans:
The radio hosts noted that, though this is an historically Democratic town, only the Reps have ever held a convention here, the “Read My Lips” conclave of 1988. The reason, one of them alleged, was that the Democratic organizers insisted on more rooms in unionized hotels than the city could provide.It is true that the Democrats have insisted on union hotels in their convention cities. This presented a problem for the DNC spring meeting coming up in April in New Orleans:
The group usually uses only union hotels but got a special dispensation from labor officials to book the downtown Sheraton, he said. Dean said the Sheraton was the only full-service hotel that was reserving rooms and could handle a convention that large.Union cities are typically located on the coasts and midwest, which would rule out having the convention in the south or southwest. Colorado Luis has been watching this issue for a while. In November he wrote:
Well Luis reports that the organizing efforts in Denver aren't waiting for the convention:
I understand there is only one unionized hotel in downtown Denver -- the Executive Tower Inn. I'm a big union supporter (live in a union household actually) and I understand the preference for unionized cities. But unfortunately we are at the point where the union hotel preference limits the convention possibilities to a few of the usual suspects (Boston, NYC, SF) plus Las Vegas.
I would recommend a deal where the convention can go to a city like Denver and yes, N.O. where the hotels aren't unionized and in exchange there are organizing efforts in conjunction with the convention.
UNITE HERE is launching a drive to organize the Convention Center Hyatt and they have convinced City Council to declare neutrality (which is the best they could have hoped for). This is huge because a successful campaign there could cause other downtown hotels to go union as well.
I'm not hoping that UNITE HERE will succeed so that Denver can host the DNC. I'm hoping the prospect of landing the DNC will help UNITE HERE succeed in organizing downtown Denver.