You thought Philly tried hard to impress Pope Francis?
With national and international media set to converge on Philly yet again this July for the Democratic National Convention (DNC), the city is prepping to give an even warmer welcome than it gave to the World Meeting of Families.
At a meeting at the Wells Fargo Center Tuesday on nuts-and-bolts logistics for media ranging from CNN and Fox News to Univision planning to cover the DNC, Mayor Jim Kenney and DNC CEO the Rev. Leah Daughtry gave hundreds of members of the national media an unusually warm welcome.
“We’re very proud that you’re here,” Kenney told the media, at one point asking for a show of hands of who had been to Philly before (aside from local journalists). “We look forward to hosting you.”
Kenney told out-of-towners to contact the mayor’s office if they need tips on restaurants to visit while they’re in town. He urged them to check out West Philly, South Philly, Northern Liberties and Fishtown, and to visit Reading Terminal Market to find “every kind of food you can want.”
“We hope that you enjoy your stay and look forward to you coming back in July and enjoy it even more,” he said.
Daughtry also gave the media a warm pat on their collective backs.
“We appreciate you making the trip, whether you come from Center City or from across the country,” she said.
Daughtry’s comments seemed to indicate a theme of “connection” that the DNC may be relying on to make this election’s convention into more than just a four-day infomercial.
“Our goal this year is to make this convention the most engaging, inspiring and forward-looking convention in history. We want more Americans than ever before to feel connected to the convention experience, even if they are thousands of miles away,” Daughtry said.
“We know that for millions of Americans, they will rely on you for that connection. They’ll be tuning into your programming, checking your reports and sharing your content. So we’re here today to help your jobs be a little easier and to give you a better picture of all that we’ve got going on here in Philadelphia.”
Democratic Party officials and delegates from across the country will be converging on Philadelphia. The DNC expects to book 20,000 hotel rooms through the region for various visitors.
Most of the biggest events, including the formal nomination of a presidential candidate, will take place at Wells Fargo Center. But the Pennsylvania Convention Center will also see some events, including various Democratic caucus and committee meetings.
Hillary Clinton currently leads the race for the presidential nomination in terms of delegates, but opponent Bernie Sanders is still snapping at her heels. Pennsylvania voters will go to the ballots in the state primary on April 26.
The DNC will be held in Philly July 25 through July 28.